Jerry Zandstra for US Senate
This announcement may come as a surprise to some, and not so much of a surprise to others. Those who know me know I do not change endorsements very often, and never do so unless a candidate drops out.
At first, I was an early endorser of Keith Butler based on his visit to Livingston County and the early momentum of his campaign, which has largely evaporated. So what has changed and caused me to take his bumper sticker off my truck?
I don't want to go negative here, so I'll just say that those that I've talked to about my switch know the reasons why I decided to switch. Here I'll keep it positive and will mention why I am supporting Jerry Zandstra.
First, I received immediate response back from Jerry Zandstra’s campaign in my
emails. Emails largely get lost in the pile. Jerry and most of his campaign staff do not know me, but still has taken the time to respond to a voter, even one who at the time endorsed another candidate. I have followed his campaign since Mackinac, and they all have shown themselves to be extremely hard workers and sustaining it over time. Anytime Jerry speaks to a crowd or to a party, he will discuss issues with every person in the room. If there is one “weakness” in his campaign, he will even go overtime and discuss issues without the “politicalspeak” for 10 minutes with one person. To many campaign managers, that is a weakness, but to me that is a strength.
A generic Post 9/11 “National Security is everything” republican can not win in Michigan right now for a major statewide office. Granted a generic democrat currently BARELY wins, but the only way a generic 9/11 Republican will beat Stabenow will be if Stabenow beats herself. She is going to run a populist style campaign downplaying her EMILY’S List roots and portraying herself as supporter of working families. Domestic policy almost always trumps foreign policy in the minds of voters, especially in non-presidential races. Sheriff Michael Bouchard has good credentials on security issues, but it will take more than that to win. He is the establishment candidate, and unfortunately, it is showing right now. I have not seen as much fire or excitement from his campaign as I have from Zandstra's. He currently looks like a candidate talked into running. I hope Bouchard emphasizes the economy more in his campaign.
Politics as usual is not popular right now, especially during spurts where emotions are running high among the public. The way to defeat Stabenow is to run on NEW ideas. We can not win with the same old song and dance. Nationalizing this election by tying our candidates to Bush is not going to work in our favor. Neither is “compassionate conservatives” aimed at the soccer moms in Oakland County. We still lost Oakland the last three times(2000, 2002, 2004), and it is easily countered with populism in Michigan, giving us losses or narrow wins in Macomb County, Monroe County, Shiawassee County, the UP, Northeastern Lower Michigan and Downriver Wayne County. The 2002 style national Republican does not work here, and will work less here, as 9/11 becomes a more distant memory.
We keep hitting a 47-48% plateau at the top of the ticket. Every recent statewide race we have lost outside of Levin was a 3-5% loss. Gore, Stabenow, Granholm, Kerry. How are we going to gain that 5%, without losing what we have?
The candidates are all conservative on most issues. There are some differences, but we do not have a RINO case here. Money matters in campaigns, but eventually there are diminishing returns. Outside organizations will be here too. The NRA will be here. Right to Life will be here. All three candidates are pro-2nd amendment and pro-life. On the dems side, Union Leadership and Emily’s List will be here. When it gets to high millions, it loses the same effectiveness – especially in an era of “These ads are all BS anyway.”
The time is right for a true outsider. Jerry Zandstra is that candidate. While he is a social conservative, fiscal issues are top priority in this race. Jerry grew up in NW Indiana watching the collapse of the steel industry and is seeing the same thing happen to our auto industry. He sees how our tax structure (let alone taxes themselves) putting us at a competitive disadvantage with our manufacturing industries. He is a proponent of tort reforms, which are sorely needed both statewide and nationally. The Federal Government is in the way of economic success, especially in Michigan, and that needs to change.
Jerry is a leader, not a follower. He is a leader at the Acton Institute as the director of programs. He does not hide his views or give the usual “politicalspeak” in his answers. His positions are out there on his website for all to see. I do not agree with him on everything, but his views and advocacy on the tax structure, tort reform, and health care reform, as well as his positions on life issues and the 2nd amendment, are enough to gain my endorsement. The way his campaign keeps its word, secures my endorsement. I encourage everyone reading to check out Jerry's stances on his issues. He explains it much better than I can.
My vote this August will be going to Jerry Zandstra.