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)

TYRONE TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY PROPOSAL
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.

HOWELL PUBLIC SCHOOLS
OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
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)?

HAMBURG TOWNSHIP ROAD MILLAGE PROPOSAL
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.

WHITMORE LAKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANNEXATION AND ASSUMPTION OF BONDED INDEBTEDNESS PROPOSITION
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?

CROMAINE DISTRICT LIBRARY BALLOT PROPOSAL
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).

PINCKNEY COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
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?





IOSCO TOWNSHIP ROAD MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
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?


HARTLAND TOWNSHIP ROAD MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT MILLAGE PROPOSAL
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?


STOCKBRIDGE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
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)?

Why should a conservative re-elect Snyder?



Why should a conservative re-elect Snyder?

            Before I became County Chair, I was an outspoken critic of Gov. Snyder over some issues. I supported Attorney General Mike Cox in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. My views have not changed since then. There are many issues where I disagree with Governor Snyder. However, he'd be much better than Mark Schauer. On every issue I disagree with Snyder, Schauer not only agrees with Snyder, but goes much further than he does.

            Rick Snyder signed Right to Work. It got to his desk and he signed it. Mark Schauer would repeal it. Rick Snyder signed a partial birth abortion ban. Mark Schauer voted against a partial birth abortion ban. Rick Snyder was leading the way to enact balanced budgets in Michigan. Mark Schauer added to the debt, both in Michigan, and in his two years in congress.

            We also need to help our good conservative state legislators in Lansing. Who is more likely to sign Senator Joe Hune's bills if they pass? Who would be more likely to sign a bill sponsored by Lana Theis or Dr. Hank Vaupel? I think we all know the answer to that. 

            One issue that isn't discussed is judges. As an attorney, I understand that this is an issue that can impact us for 30 or more years. In Michigan, judges are elected for their terms, but governors appoint judges to fill vacancies if judges resign or die during their term. Justices Robert Young and Stephen Markman, two of the best in the state, were originally appointed by Governor John Engler. You can bet that Governor Jennifer Granholm would not have appointed them, nor will Mark Schauer. Rick Snyder appointed Brian Zahra and David Viviano, both good justice who have judicial experience.

            With too much to lose with these issues, I highly encourage a vote for Governor Rick Snyder, along with Justices Brian Zahra and David Viviano, and Judge James Robert Redford (Redford's opponent Richard Bernstein has NO judicial experience). For district judge, Dennis Brewer has my vote. He would replace a Granholm appointee who has issues with temperament. Brewer is an even tempered attorney who would be an excellent judge in this county.

            This gubernatorial election is important. I do not agree with Governor Snyder on all issues, but I agree with Mark Schauer on zero issues. We can not let Mark Schauer win. Snyder agrees with us at least on some issues. We need him to win another four year term, and make sure the most conservative electable candidate wins in 2018.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Primary Recap - Livingston County

Most of these were not a surprise to me. There were a couple of minor surprises with the results.

Most of the contests were on the Republican side. There was one on the democrat side. I was way off here. I don't follow the dems much in the primary because there's enough on my own side to watch.


D - Primary - Most expect Ingham County treasurer Eric Schertzing to win because he's an elected official. That's very possible, but most people can't name their county treasurer. It's a low-key position. The most active candidate I've seen on the campaign trail is Jeffrey Hank. I wouldn't count out Susan Grettenberger however for "identity politics" reasons as this IS a dem primary which worships identity politics. I haven't been following the dem primary that  closely yet. If I had to predict a winner, I'll go with Jeffrey Hank in a mild upset since I've seen more from his campaign than others.


The actual results were:
In Livingston:
Grettenberger - 2522
Schertzing - 1113
Darga - 806
Hank - 675

I thought Hank seemed like the most active candidate in the county. Schertzing won overall due to his support in Ingham County. I wouldn't have been that shocked if Grettenberger won, simply because democrats are obsessed with identity politics. 

In the 8th District, Mike Bishop won rather easily over Tom McMillin. That's not a surprise from what I've seen. He had the support of the NRA (regardless of Natl Assoc of Gun Rights hype, they are AA compared to Major League), Mike Rogers, and the better absentee and ground game including doors. This was mostly across the board. The only places McMillin won were these:

Genoa Twp 10 (Non AV)
Genoa Twp 12 (Non AV, Overall)
Green Oak 4 (AV)
Green Oak 9 (non AV)
Hartland 4 (non AV, overall)
Howell Twp 1 (Non AV, tied AV, overall)
Howell Twp 2 (Non AV, Overall)
Marion Twp 4 (Non AV)
Putnam Twp 1 (Non AV)
Tied in Tyrone Twp 1 Non AV
Tyrone Twp 2 (Non AV, Tied AV, Overall)
Tyrone Twp 3 (Non AV, Overall)
Tyrone Twp 4 (AV, Overall)

Tyrone Township is probably the township that has moved the furthest to the right in the last 20 years. It voted for Debbie Stabenow in 1998 overall. It's now the major base for the Tea Party vote in Livingston County. I don't think there's much Flint influence there anymore. I'm surprised McMillin didn't do as well in Hartland which also a strong tea party area, although to a slightly lesser extent. Howell Twp also has strong tea party pockets, and it showed in the votes. While there are some tea party pockets of strength outside of those areas, they aren't as dominant as there are a very large number of old school conservate Republicans that aren't as loud, but make their presence felt when it is voting time.



There were two primaries for open seats. State Rep. One was the 42nd race that wasn't even close. Lana Theis won in a blowout with 49.80% Rich Perlberg was a distant 2nd with 26.27%, followed by Dale Rogers and Nick Fiani with 13.28% and 11.18%.

I was quite surprised with Nick's results. I thought he would do much better, especially in the Brighton area. I think the Right to Life endorsement of Lana hurt him badly. Rich Perlberg's results are about what I expected, as was Dale Rogers (who had some strength in Green Oak, Hamburg, and Putnam). I thought Lana would win, but not by the margin she won by. Lana won all precincts except the following:

Brighton City 1 (Non AV, Overall) - Rich Perlberg 
Brighton City 2 (Non AV) - Rich Perlberg (Lana won overall)
Brighton City 3 (Non AV, Overall) - Rich Perlberg
Genoa Twp 4 (AV) - Rich Perlberg (Lana won overall)
Green Oak 2 (AV) - Rich Perlberg  (Lana won overall)
Green Oak 7 (AV) - Nick (Lana won overall)
Hamburg 1 (AV) - Rich Perlberg (Lana won overall)

AFP is getting a lot of credit (or blame) and had a lot of mailings out for Lana. I think they were a factor, but a smaller one than other forces. The Livingston County Press and Argus is not the most popular news organization among conservatives. They are a quite liberal paper which endorsed Obama. Rich Perlberg - rightly or wrongly - got the blame for the paper's editorial stance. He also stated he was in his words "pro-choice" and supported an increase in the gas tax. Those comments reinforced the doubts many activists had regarding the newspaper. A large number of Republican voters would not vote for him under any circumstances after that, regardless of the endorsements of Bill Rogers, Carol Griffith, and Maggie Jones. They thought that he was not a republican based on his statements in the candidate forums along with his editorials (oftentimes snarky) in the paper. Was he a democrat? Was he a liberal? Were the paper editorials his true feelings or a needling to get people to read the paper? That was something we didn't know the answer to. That doesn't fly in the townships around Brighton.

This left an open for both fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. Lana Theis was running since last year. She raised a lot of money, knocked on a large number of doors (including rural areas), got the right to life endorsement, had AFP's support, the tea party's support, and a majority of the republican establishment supporting her (with Nick getting his share as well of the latter). The rest liked Nick for the most part, but followed RTL in supporting Lana for various reasons. Nick clicked the $1000 reporting waiver in 2013, which raised doubts about him raising enough money to be competitive.

There's hard feelings about the Right to Life endorsement and how it happened. Nick Fiani is also pro-life. With RTL not supporting him or even mentioning him as pro-life, some thought he was pro-choice which understandably bothered him a great deal. On the same note, RTL didn't want Rich Perlberg to win. That's a big reason why Nick lost to the extent that he did. Dale Rogers didn't like that Rich Perlberg got the MEA endorsement as he was a teacher. He got some support in the Southern tier of the townships. Putnam Township was his best area, and also has a higher number of teachers. I think some of the MEA Republicans (about 1/3 of MEA members) and MEA independents voted for Dale over Perlberg.

Lana had her based united and out to the polls and made what was supposed to be a possibly competitive race turn into a blowout. Timothy Johnson was the unopposed democrat. Speaking of Timothy Johnson, maybe us 42nd district folks can take some of his advice. On his site, he mentions as reasons for running.
1. Tired of being told men rule.
2. Tired of being told white men rule.
3. Tired of being told old white men rule.

That leaves Johnson out. Well, there's one person running who is not an "old white man", that that's Lana Theis.


In the 47th District, it was a close race as expected.
Vaupel -  41.83% - 3917
Day - 36.69% - 3436
Campbell - 17.68% - 1656
Melton - 2.93% - 274
Ring - 0.78% - 73 (Ring dropped out)

Some, especially out of county pundits who do not understand Livingston County, are saying crossover votes from dems to stop made the difference. I think that's absolute horsecrap. There was probably some in Howell City (particularly precinct 2 and to a lesser extent 1), but what won for Vaupel was a strong GOTV operation on the west side of the county. Vaupel got Joe Hune numbers out of Handy Township. He got 50% in Cohoctah, 64% in Conway, 73% in Handy Twp, and 62% in Iosco Twp. It was the Joe Hune method of winning. Vaupel won Howell by 47 votes. He won Handy Township by over 400 votes. These are not unheard of results in Livingston County primaries. The west side votes in a block.

I thought Phil Campbell would have done better than he did. He was hurt by geography and didn't have the campaign spending to keep up with Vaupel or AFP. He ran a good race with will be a formidable candidate in the future. Harold's a nice guy, but didn't have a chance.

Some, in particular outside the county interests tried to paint Vaupel as a RINO. It didn't fly. Some did a fake robocall (and did the same in Ottawa County) that supposedly pushed for crossover voters. That was from an organization that doesn't exist and was trying to hurt Vaupel. It didn't fly. Why? Because these voters, particularly in the west side of the county, know Vaupel, as they know Cindy Denby and Joe Hune. Dr Hank Vaupel is a well known mainstream conservative who is solid on the issues.

That's not to disparage the other candidates. Wendy Day, with the assistance of a large amount of money in mailings and billboards from AFP, ran a strong campaign of her own. Wendy took every precinct (overall combined AV and Day of voting) east of Fisk and Fisher Roads. That's the dividing line between Oceola and Howell Twp. Vaupel took almost every precinct west of that line with the exception of Howell Twp 3(near Wendy's home), Marion Twp 2 (Her home), Marion Twp 4, and Howell City 3 (Phil Campbell won his home precinct). Vaupel took the AV's in Deerfield 2 (lost overall), day of voting in Hartland 5 (lost overall), and day of voting in Oceola 1.

Wendy's best area was Tyrone Township. That's the tea party stronghold, which gave her 52%. She also won Hartland (47%), Oceola (45%), and Deerfield Townships (44%). This was a geography race where the west side beat the northeast side of the county. Vaupel now faces Jordan Genso.

In the county commission primaries, I was almost completely caught offguard by the Steve Williams vs Steven Hart race. I didn't see a lot from Hart, but he almost won. He only won three precincts, but that was enough to make this a 53 vote race. I wasn't caught off guard by the Doug Helzerman vs Ron Van Houten race. Helzerman is an elected official from the Fowlerville area. This was a geographic based race. Helzerman won north of Mason Rd. Van Houten won south of Mason Rd. Iosco Twp saved Van Houten. He won by 24 votes overall, and won Iosco by 124.

Onward to the general election. We can keep Livingston County moving in the right direction, or we can let it turn into Wayne County and Ficanoland by electing democrats. The latter is unacceptable.

Friday, August 01, 2014

I thought attorneys were supposed to be able to read.

This got forwarded to me. Shari Pollesch, Joe Hune's opponent sent this out.

Dear Supporter,
 
So, according to today's Livingston County Press & Argus, Senator Hune believes that the report about my fundraising success is going to cause funds to pour into his campaign from grassroots supporters. And, if you review the comments on line, Dan Wholihan, Chair for the Livingston County Republicans is predicting that Senator Hune will beat me in November "75-25%".  That is not what I am hearing at the doors and that is not what our grassroots fundraising so far has suggested. 
 -----------------------------------------------------
This was my quote.  

Shari Pollesch is raising money, but it's not the be-all and end-all of a campaign. Garry Post actually outraised Cindy Denby by 10K in 2010, but was demolished 67-29%. Joe is the type of person who doesn't take a race for granted. If he thinks it won't be a 75-25 win, he'll be working hard in the campaign as he already is.  

How the Hell do you get a 75-25 prediction out of my state? What makes Joe Hune a strong candidate is that his opponents never outwork him. If Shari works hard, Joe's going to work harder. That's how he is. He's already working on his campaign (and for Vaupel's at the same time). 


If Shari's lying about what I said in the comment section which is public, what else is she lying about?



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primary thoughts - Campaigns and Prop 1

There's an old saying. Don't shit where you live. I'm seeing a bit of Oakland County type of politics creeping into my county. Sign wars and 9AM Sunday illegal robocalls from organizations that do not even exist.That's not good for the future here in LC. Leave the a-hole behaviors to the "Communications Guru" types.


Of the major primaries here:

I'm speaking here as an analyst and I'm not making endorsements here. I'm also not speaking for LCGOP here.

MI-08:
R - Primary - I think Mike Bishop's going to take this. The NRA endorsement is THE big one in this county. Bishop was the only one to get it. Bishop has the more active campaign and ground game from what I've seen as well. He has the Mike Rogers endorsement and that is still a popular endorsement in this district outside of some of the libertarian factions. Tom McMillin is very popular with the libertarian factions, but will that carry him to victory? I wish both sides would quit using those gosh damn robocalls. I have those things and think they cost votes. NRA and Mike Rogers support carries the day.

D - Primary - Most expect Ingham County treasurer Eric Schertzing to win because he's an elected official. That's very possible, but most people can't name their county treasurer. It's a low-key position. The most active candidate I've seen on the campaign trail is Jeffrey Hank. I wouldn't count out Susan Grettenberger however for "identity politics" reasons as this IS a dem primary which worships identity politics. I haven't been following the dem primary that  closely yet. If I had to predict a winner, I'll go with Jeffrey Hank in a mild upset since I've seen more from his campaign than others.

State Rep:
HD-42 - There were some bitter undercurrents in this primary from the start. While one of the reasons is a poorly kept secret, I'm not going to get into all of that on the blog, especially in my position. Everyone is accountable for their record. The record includes experience, statements, editorials, political office, party office, and ideology.

For awhile there was three people running. Lana Theis, Nick Fiani, and Dale Rogers. There were rumors of a 4th at some point and it ended up being former Argus editor Rich Perlberg. Perlberg's paper endorsed Obama and Kerry. I don't know if that was Rich, Gannett, or someone else. Whatever the case, it's going to have major ramifications. Rich had some of his own editorials as well, some rather snarky, that are coming back to haunt him. Jennifer Hensley searched the Argus archives and found some of his greatest hits. Great Lakes Education Project's PAC pounced on those and fired off two mailings against Rich (so far)

The records from the newspaper made the candidate forums critical for Rich because of doubts about him surrounding the paper's left of center slant. Two issues I think are going to kill him politically. One is the gas tax. It's not popular at all here. The other which isn't mentioned as often, but is even bigger, is abortion. A lot of the establishment vote is going to Lana, not Rich. One of the biggest reasons is life. Rich supports abortion rights. Lana and Nick are pro-life. That issue is a litmus test for a large number of people. It also is an issue that becomes personal quickly. Certain issues with a lot of people don't have room for disagreement. That's probably the 2nd biggest in this county, with the 2nd Amendment being the biggest.

A lot of base voters were who considering between Lana and Nick (Dale has his own base, largely teachers) are now looking to stop Rich because of the combination of the paper's stances, gas taxes, and especially abortion. The comments on taxes and abortion reinforced the fears base voters had from the paper. This turned the primary for a lot of base voters into stopping Rich supporting who they think is the best chance to do so. Some voters on the fence got off the fence due to ideology.
Rich does have a few big endorsements. Bill Rogers, Carol Griffith, and Maggie Jones are the most notable.



Nick Fiani also has some significant GOP support and I can't count him out. He did made one major critical error that I think is making things extremely difficult. In 2013 when he filed, he clicked the $1000 reporting waiver. That tells potential donors that he's not going spend much on his race, and therefore they didn't take him seriously. A piece of advice to all candidates is this. Don't click the waiver unless you almost know for a fact that you plan to stay under it. It's not bad for a small office, but for a larger office, it closes doors that otherwise would be open. I think the $1000 waiver may have cost him a chance at Right to Life's endorsement even though he's pro-life. Nick didn't spend a lot of money on his campaign, but probably had the most free media of all the candidates from his battles on the school board. He's done a good job there with Greg Gray and John Conely. Brighton Schools almost got an emergency manager. Without Nick and John, they might have gotten one. Nick eventually took off the waiver wire. I think he'll do much better than most candidates who raise under 5K for their campaign, but that's a big hurdle to overcome when there is an 80K candidate (plus AFP) in the race. I can't count out Nick after he upset Ken Stahl in the school board election. Most people didn't expect that.


I expect the Right to Life vote to carry the day for Lana, along with those who don't like the paper. It's still a competitive race however.


HD-47
For all the ideology hype here, I think this race will come down to tone and geography. There are four candidates (and Ted Ring who dropped out), all of whom are conservative. Their styles and background are all different. Dr. Hank Vaupel, Wendy Day, Phil Campbell, and Harold Melton.

The tea party vote is split some, although I think Wendy Day has the majority of tea party vote. Some of it is going to Phil Campbell, Harold Melton, and Doc Vaupel as well. Most of the "establishment" is going to Doc Vaupel, although some of it is going to Phil Campbell and Wendy Day as well. Joe Hune and Cindy Denby are both supporting Vaupel.

Most of the candidates however have their own base of people. I think the west side is going to vote for Vaupel heavily. I think Howell is mostly going for Campbell, but with some significant Vaupel and Wendy Day support. Melton will take some Howell Township votes. Hartland and Tyrone are tougher to call. They are the most heavily tea party areas of the county. That would be Wendy's advantage. Vaupel raised the most money, but Wendy has AFP. Phil Campbell has strong organizational skills and defeated an incumbent to be mayor of Howell so he's not to be counted out. If I had to call this, I think Doc has a very slight edge, although it's anyone's game.  Full disclosure. I'm biased and have a contract with Vaupel.

County Commissioner:
I don't see Steve Williams losing his primary. The Doug Helzerman v Ron Van Houten race will be close. Both of them are elected officials. I think turnout will determine that, and possibly geography as well. Helzerman is from Fowlerville and Van Houten is from Iosco Twp.

Prop 1. I'm a having a tough time with my decision here.It will probably be a last minute decision. If I had to vote today, I'd be a very reluctant yes. I do think whoever drafted this should be fired. While I support repeal of the personal property tax, I do not support earmarking more money from the general budget. The authority apparently has existed since the 70's, so it's already there. I think.

APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF AMENDATORY ACT TO REDUCE STATE USE TAX AND REPLACE WITH A LOCAL COMMUNITY STABILIZATION SHARE TO MODERNIZE THE TAX SYSTEM TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GROW AND CREATE JOBS
 
The amendatory act adopted by the Legislature would:
 
1. Reduce the state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share of the tax for the purpose of modernizing the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Michigan.
 
2. Require Local Community Stabilization Authority to provide revenue to local governments dedicated for local purposes, including police safety, fire protection, and ambulance emergency services.
 
3. Increase portion of state use tax dedicated for aid to local school districts.
 
4. Prohibit Authority from increasing taxes.
 
5. Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation.
 
Should this law be approved?
 
 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Those "Draft Dr Ben Carson emails?" Don't waste money donating to them.


Found this on yahoo news:

A super PAC that aims to persuade famed neurosurgeon and conservative political activist Dr. Ben Carson to run for president has raised more than $7.2 million since its formation last year, according to documents the group filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.
While much of the funds spent by the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee have been used to build a contact list, for direct-mail fundraising and to buy ad space, there’s one expense that stands out: book purchases.
Over the course of 2014, the group spent about $150,000 buying two of Carson’s most recent books, "America the Beautiful" and "One Nation," which it offers to supporters as gifts to encourage donations, committee co-founder Vernon Robinson told Yahoo News.
Between February and April, the committee paid $105,761.78 to HarperCollins, the publisher of Carson’s 2013 book "America the Beautiful." In May and June, the group spent another $44,453.35 on Carson’s more recently published book at Joseph Fox Bookshop in Philadelphia, FEC documents show.
While the group’s purchases only account for a fraction of Carson’s total book sales, each book has spent several weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. ("America the Beautiful" landed there in 2013, long before the group was formed.) Carson’s latest book, "One Nation." topped the best-seller list in June and nearly outsold former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memoir, "Hard Choices," multiple news outlets reported last week. Publishers and advocacy organizations have used bulk purchases to boost the standing of books on best-seller lists in the past.
Carson, a retired doctor known for his work in pediatric neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Hospital, skyrocketed to prominence in conservative political circles in February 2013 after he delivered a diatribe against President Obama’s health insurance law during a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast while the president sat just a few feet away. Carson’s address was followed by a bombardment of requests for him to speak at conservative conferences and a chorus of activists urging him to run for president. In August 2013, Robinson and John Philip Sousa IV — the great-grandson of the "Stars and Stripes Forever” composer — launched the super PAC urging him to run.

Here some of the problems. 

1. There is NO indication that Dr Carson is going to run for president. This money is raised for a "might" not a "will." 
2. This is a Superpac. Superpacs are not allowed to coordinate with candidates. They can only run independent expenditures. 
3.  According to the FEC, this Superpac spent 6 million of that 7 million that was raised. What the hell are these guys doing? If these guys want to draft Carson, they better run ads for him if he does run (which I doubt). At the last filing (April), there was less than a million in the bank.

At best, this is a bad use of political funds. At worst, it's a scam. This reminds me of these national "Tea Party" or "conservative" groups that don't do a thing to help candidates outside of run their mouths or hold a press conference.  They raise money to pay their consultants....themselves.