Friday, March 31, 2006
From the Argus
Flags at school draw differing views — Community members, educators contend diversity, values banners symbolize something other than clubs
By Christopher Nagy
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Some teachers at Howell High School are raising the same questions over the interpretation of the flag for the school's Traditional Values Club that community members have raised over the interpretation of the flag used by the school's Diversity Club.
Roughly 40 staff members at Howell High School met with Principal Margaret Hamill Thursday to air concerns over the recent decision to display the Traditional Values Club flag, which some see as a representation of the Christian faith.
The white flag sports a red, lower-case "t" set in a blue field in the upper left-hand corner of the flag. The teachers say the lower case "t" is really a cross. The flag is commonly identified as a Christian flag used in some churches.
"There are concerns about that Christian flag they might put up, and there are questions to whether it violates the separation of church and state," said teacher Doug Norton, president of the teachers' union.
Norton said teachers are also upset that they learned of the approval to display the flag of the Traditional Values Club through media reports.
Andrew Cureton, the student who started the TVC, could not be reached for comment, but Livingston Organization for Values in Education member Jason Woolford, who has helped the club get off the ground, said there's no question that the club's flag is a Christian flag.
"Absolutely. It's a cross there, no denying that," Woolford said. "What's cool about it is that it's a cross, but it also looks like a 't' for 'traditional values,' but these kids are not going to lie and say the flag is something other than it is. They know what the flag is. They're not trying to hide that it's a Christian flag."
Possible (we hope) darkhorse candidate and Congressman Mike Pence (who finished 4th in the Livingston County Straw Poll) upset well known Governor Mitt Romney in the Elite Eight. Hopefully this sends a message to the big spenders in Washington that government needs to live within its means like all of us have to do.
The final four contests are between Pence and Former Congressman JC Watts on one side, and between Congressman Tom Tancredo and Senator George Allen on the other.
Let's get Mike Pence the victory.
Update from Survey St Louis -
What does Indiana, Virginia, Colorado and Oklahoma all have in common? Yes, they are all red states. But now, they each sent one of their favorite sons to the Final Four of the Presidential March Madness II tournament.
Cinderella story continues for George Mason, I mean Mike Pence. Conseravtives from Washington, DC, to Florida, through the heartland and across the country to California have rallied to support Mike Pence. Mr. President? If the shoe fits...
Tom Tancredo who made immigration his bread and butter issue, certainly picked the right time to make it a national debate. Tom rolled to an easy victory over Newt Gingrich. We don't know if anyone can stop Tom Tancredo and his juggernaut of online grassroots support.
J.C Watts made it to the Final Four for the second consecutive year. Last year Survey Saint Louis commented that J.C. Watts will definitely be on the short list for Vice President. Forget that, he has his eyes set on the big prize, President.
But the battle between Fred Thompson and George Allen was a masterpiece. George Allen started with a lead, fell behind for most of the voting, but surged in the last few hours. It was a textbook political comeback. If George Allen continues to build his political grassroots operation he will be the one to watch in 07's March Madness.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Brighton attorney William T. Russell announced Wednesday that he will challenge Circuit Judge Stanley J. Latreille for his seat on the November ballot.
"I think I'm at a point in my career where I'd like to do that," Russell said when asked why he is running for judgeship. "I think the citizens of the county deserve a choice, and we shouldn't assume the incumbent will be re-elected."
Every judicial seat in the county will now be contested.
I don't know anything at all about Russell. I do think LaTreille is a stand up guy who deserves re-election.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Likely Competitive Districts:
Arizona’s 8th District: (Vacated by Jim Kolbe)
This district covers Southeastern Arizona. Bush received 53% of the vote in 2004 and 50% in 2000. Tuscon is not nearly as conservative as the Phoenix area. Overall Pima County went 52.64% for Kerry. Conchise County went 59.70% for Bush. Santa Cruz County went 59.21% for Kerry.
It doesn’t contain most of the democrat areas of Pima or Santa Cruz County (which is in Grijalva’s District), but this seat is still not a gimme for Republicans, especially if there is major infighting. Over 21 possible major party candidates are listed, so expect a major battle here on both sides.
California’s 50th District (Vacated by Duke Cunningham)
Duke Cunningham’s forced resignation due to criminal convictions gives us two races here. A special election in June, as well as the regular November election. Bush won 54% in 2000 and 55% in 2004 here, which were lower than most California Bush districts. This is tied with David Drier’s seat for the sixth closest district partisan wise in the state, behind districts held by Democrat Dennis Cardoza (50% Bush), Democrat Loretta Sanchez (50% Bush), Democrat Jim Costa (51% Kerry), Democrat Bob Filner (53% Kerry), and Republican Richard Pombo (54% Bush).
This district covers much of the City of San Diego and its Northern Suburbs. This is a sleeper race that leans Republican, but the special election aspect to it always makes things interesting. Fourteen Republicans and Two democrats are battling it out here. As a whole San Diego County went 52.52% for Bush, but the most democrat areas are in Susan Davis’ and Bob Filner’s districts.
Colorado’s 7th District (Vacated by Bob Beauprez)
Bob Beauprez had two tough races in this district. He won the first time by 121 votes and the second time by 12%. He is stepping down to run for governor. This was created as a 50/50 district and it is close to that. Kerry won with 51% here. Gore won with 50% here. Beauprez won twice. This district is in suburban Denver and contains most of Adams County, part of Jefferson County, and Aurora in Araphoe County. Most of the land is in Adams, but most voters are in Jefferson. Adams County is traditionally democrat, but new residents may change that. Arapahoe County was Republican but is changing to Democrat. Jefferson County swings, and narrowly gave Beauprez his first win. In 2004, Kerry won Adams County as a whole with 50.57%, while Bush won Araphoe County as a whole with 51.42% and Jefferson County as a whole with 51.75%. Three democrats are battling out in the primary, while Republicans rally behind Rick O’Donnell. This is a true toss-up race.
Florida’s 9th District (Vacated by Michael Bilirakis)
This Tampa Bay area district with Clearwater and some suburban areas leans Republican, but not overwhelmingly so. This covers parts of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties, although it does not contain St Petersburg, Bradenton, or Tampa itself. Bush won 57% in the district. There are contested primaries in both parties for this seat. It should stay Republican, but may be a sleeper.
Florida’s 13th District (Vacated by Katherine Harris)
This district contains all of Sarasota, DeSoto, and Hardee Counties. It also has most of Manitee County and part of Charlotte County. Katherine Harris is a two term rep here stepping down to run for senate. She’s hated by democrats and had two competitive races here, but winning both times with 55%. Bush received 54% of the vote here in 2000 and 56% in 2004. This district has been Republican for 14 years, and will probably continue to be. Bush won Sarasota with 53.51%, DeSoto with 58.09%, Hardy with 69.65%, Manatee with 56.62%, and Charlotte County with 55.68%. Open seats may make this a sleeper however. There are contested primaries in both parties.
Illinois 6th District (Vacated by Henry Hyde)
After 32 years, Henry Hyde is retiring. The Chicago Suburbs used to be staunchly Republican, but are becoming more and more democrat. Bush carried this district twice, but with only 53% of the vote. Henry Hyde’s winning percentage dropped to 56% in 2004. Part of that is demographics, but part of that is also due to Bush writing off Illinois twice, and the current shambles (Thanks to corrupt RINO governor George Ryan) of the state party there. This district covers part of the Cook County burbs which are more democrat, and the now marginally republican DuPage County burbs. As a whole DuPage County went 54.39% for Bush. The Cook County burbs went for John Kerry. This race will probably be a very close contest in 2006.
Illinois 17th District: (Vacated by Lane Evens)
This is a gerrymandered lean-democrat open seat, but winnable with the right candidate. Kerry won 51% here. Gore got 54% in 2000. Evans won easily in 2002 and 2004, but had tough races here in 1996 and 1998 with 52% wins. This area is mostly rural, but covers the Illinois part of the Quad Cities area (Rock Island - where my gun was made, and Moline) which are heavily union. The rural areas are more democrat than most rural areas as well. The gerrymander gave it part of Springfield and Decatur which are democrat, while leaving out the rest of Sangamon and Macon Counties which went slightly Republican. This could be a sleeper race however with a good populist candidate.
Iowa’s 1st District: (Vacated by Jim Nussle)
Nothing comes easy in Iowa for either party, and this is going to be one of the toughest open seats to defend. Jim Nussle won in a 53% Kerry and 52% Gore district. He always had tough races, but found a way to win due to his cross party appeal. Only two small rural counties here with for Bush. Kerry won the rest, including Dubuque County with 56.46%, and Scott County (Davenport) with 50.92%. Scott County is the largest county in the district, and if we are going to save this seat, it has to start there. Seven major candidates are vying for this seat. This is a tossup, but I suspect may go democrat. That said, Iowa has a LOT of ticket splitters.
Minnesota’s 6th District: (Vacated by Mark Kennedy)
Nothing really comes easy in Minnesota either. This is a suburban and exurban Twin Cities areadistrict. This was Bush’s best district in 2004. Bush did well in this district with 52% in 2000 and 57% in 2004. That said, democrats are still competitive here. Mark Kennedy had three tough races, beating incumbent David Minge in 2000 with 48%, Janet Robert with 57% in 02, and Patty Wetterling with 54% in 2004. This district is treading more Republican, but Wetterling’s taking another shot here and got 46% in 2004. So are several republicans and one other democrat.
New York’s 24th District (Vacated by Sherwood Boehlert)
Upstate New York is nowhere near as Republican as it used to be. New York State is more old-style New England “Rockefeller” Republicanism than Livingston County Republicanism. This district is a rural district spread across 11 counties in upstate New York. Sherwood Boehlert is a “Rockefeller Republican” who is retiring after 24 years. President Bush narrowly won this district twice, with 48% in 2000 and 53% in 2004. Several candidates in both parties are running for this open seat.
Ohio’s 6th District (Vacated by Ted Strickland)
The 6th District is a mostly rural district in eastern Ohio. This district was taylormade for Democrat Ted Strickland who was a natural fit for its populism. Strickland was a critic of NAFTA and gun control. He won narrowly in 1992, lost in 1994, won in 1996, and won easily since. President Bush won this district narrowly with 49% in 2000 and 51% in 2004. This district’s politics is similar to Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Eight people are running for this district. Five of the counties went for Kerry. The rest for Bush. This should be a tossup, and the Steubenville area will probably decide the winner.
Wisconsin’s 8th District (Vacated by Mark Green)
Nothing comes easy in Wisconsin either. The 8th District of Wisconsin covers Northeastern Wisconsin, including Green Bay and much of the border along the UP. President Bush won this district with 52% and 55% of the vote. Bush won every county except Menominee, which is a small Indian Reservation and went 82% for John Kerry. However, most of his wins were about 53%, so this is not a gimme. Seven candidates are taking a shot at representing the heart of Packers’ Country.
Less likely to be competitive districts:
Colorado’s 5th District (Vacated by Joel Hefley) – 63% and 66% for Bush – Based in Colorado Springs
Minnesota’s 5th District (Vacated by Martin Sabo) – 63% Gore and 71% Kerry – Based in Minneapolis
California’s 22nd District (Vacated by Bill Thomas) – 64% and 68% Bush – Based in Bakersfield and part of Lancaster
Florida’s 11th District (Vacated by Jim Davis) – 61% Gore and 58% Kerry – Based in Tampa and part of St Petersburg
Hawaii’s 2nd District (Vacated by Ed Case) – 56% for both Gore and Kerry – Based in Honolulu
Idaho’s 1st Distrct (Vacated by Butch Otter) – 68% and 69% Bush – Based in Western Idaho
Maryland’s 3rd District (Vacated by Ben Cardin) – 55% Gore and 54% Kerry – Based in Baltimore (although this may be a sleeper and less democrat than it used to be)
Nebraska’s 3rd District (Vacated by Tom Osborne) – 71% and 75% Bush – Based in Western Nebraska
Nevada’s 2nd District (Vacated by Jim Gibbons) – 57% Bush twice – Based in Rural Nevada and Reno
New York’s 11th District (Vacated by Major Owens) – 83% Gore and 86% Kerry – Based in Brooklyn NY,
Ohio’s 4th District (Vacated by Mike Oxley) – 62% and 65% Bush - Based in Lima and Findlay
Ohio’s 13th District (Vacated by Sherrod Brown) – 53% Gore and 56% Kerry – Based in Lorain, Elyria, Western Akron/Suburbs, and West Cleveland Suburbs
Oklahoma’s 5th District (Vacated by Ernest Istook) – 62% and 64% Bush – Based in Okalahoma City
Tennessee’s 1st District (Vacated by Bill Jenkins) - 61% and 68% Bush – Based in Northeastern Tennessee and Kingsport
Tennessee’s 9th District (Vacated by Harold Ford Jr) – 63% Gore and 70% Kerry - Based in Memphis
Vermont’s Statewide District (Vacated by Bernie Sanders) – 51% Gore and 59% Kerry
In the senate, Paul Sarbanes is retiring as Maryland Senator. Mark Dayton is retiring as Minnesota Senator. Bill Frist is retiring as Tennessee Senator, Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords is retiring as Vermont Senator.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Michigan wants 2008 GOP primary same day as South Carolina
3/27/2006, 5:20 p.m. ET
By JIM DAVENPORT
The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Michigan's Republican Party wants to reshape the 2008 GOP presidential primary map by sending voters to the polls the same day as South Carolina.
But Katon Dawson, the South Carolina Republican Party chairman, said Monday that the state doesn't want to share its early primary date with Michigan.
Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis said he'd like to hold Michigan's election the first week of February, making it the third or fourth in the country, and to hold both the state's GOP primary and the Democratic presidential selection process on the same day.
The earlier the better. The other key thing is for the GOP and dems to have the primary on the same day to prevent jokers crossvoting in our presidential primary.
Let's send Mike Pence into the Elite 8. He's up against liberal Rudy Giuliani. I like Rudy as a person, but on the issues he's everything that Mike Pence is not.
Let's also send NRSC joker Liddy Dole home for her negative ads against Steve Laffey in the Rhode Island Senate primary. She squeaked through twice, but has met her match in Newt Gingrich.
Let's back Tom Coburn as well, one of the few voices of sanity in the US Senate.
It looks like Pat Buchanan has his worst matchup. Most of his voters in the past rounds were Tancredo voters and now he's up against Tancredo. This one's over.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
From the Argus
Another group has taken the unusual step of forming a political action committee that will, in part, try to influence the May 2 school elections.
The Concerned Taxpayers Group — which last year spoke out against a proposed property tax that officials in the county's five school districts called a "survival millage" — has registered as an official PAC that will concentrate on several races this year, including the races for school boards, according to PAC Chairman Bill Johnston.
First up on the group's agenda is holding 20-minute interviews with candidates running for the school boards in Hartland, Brighton, Pinckney and Howell.
The group plans on announcing its endorsed candidates April 6.
"We feel (with) the school board candidates, this endorsement process has just been forgotten about in the county and voters are really looking for assistance from groups like ours," said Johnston, a Cohoctah Township resident. "What we're really after is finding candidates who are fiscally responsible that wouldn't support unnecessary taxation."
This PAC is sorely needed. While the countywide enhancement millage failed 2-1, that did not end the problem. It was the fiscal irresponsibility that put the schools into the situation iin the first place. All of us in the Concerned Taxpayers' Group understand this, so we formed a PAC about two weeks ago.
Being a Republican is not an advantage and being a Democrat is not a disadvantage to getting the Concerned Taxpayers' Group endorsement. We don't ask party affiliation in our interviews, and our PAC committee is multipartisan. That's not to mention that several Republican school board members pushed for the millage last year, and at least one democrat letter to the editor writer opposed it.
We will conduct our interviews, ask our questions, look at statements and any voting records if applicable. From there, we will make our endorsement decisions.
The Concerned Taxpayers' Group is not going to limit this to schools. All levels of government need to have taxpayers' groups as watchdogs. Fiscal responsibility at all levels needs to be praised. Fiscal mismanagement at all levels needs to be discouraged. I'd like to see our group become a force every May, August, and November.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Jay R Drick, Attorney
Contact: Jay R Drick
528 West Grand River Avenue
Howell Michigan 48843
PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
(HOWELL) Jay Drick is declaring his judicial candidacy for the 53rd District Court seat in Brighton, formerly held by Judge Michael Hegarty
• Jay Drick
• Age 55
• Born East Aurora, New York, son of two high school teachers
• Resides in the City of Howell
• Married to Debi Drick, Executive Director of Ingham East Habitat for Humanity and Director of National Service Programs at Habitat for Humanity of Michigan
• 3 Children: Tanya – 26, Corey – 23, Lee - 21
• 2 Grandchildren: Jacob – 3, Isabella – 22 months
• Political science and history major at Alma College, 1973
• Juris Doctor with honors from Thomas Cooley Law School, 1976
• Attorney of 30 years
• Chairman of Livingston Panel Attorney Discipline Board
• Arbitrator and certified mediator
• Case evaluator for both Circuit and District courts
• Past chair of the Consumer Law Committee
• Lecturer at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education
• Member executive committee of Livingston County Republican Party
• Member, past president and Paul Harris Fellow of Howell Rotary since 1979
• Co-founder of Real Estate Investors Association of Livingston
• Member of both Howell and Brighton Chambers of Commerce
• Member of First United Methodist Church of Howell
• Member Howell Lodge #38, F&AM
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Values in foreground for school vote
By Christopher Nagy
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Frustrated that the Howell Public Schools district has not addressed their issues, a group of parents want to push traditional values to center stage in the upcoming May 2 school board election.
This week, they announced the formation of a political action committee to do that pushing.
Paperwork was filed last week for the formation of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education Political Action Committee by members of the LOVE traditional values group.
LOVE sprang to life last spring, emerging in opposition to the rainbow diversity flag put on display in Howell High School in late 2004, which its members see as a promotion and endorsement of homosexuality.
"You can't have something hanging on the wall as controversial as that flag has been and not have a dialogue with the people who are angry about it," said Vicki Fyke, LOVE member. "That's been going on for over a year now. If they won't run (the district) the way we want it run, then we're going to put some people in there who will."
I expect a high turnout in this election. The current Howell School Board is very hostile to the LOVE (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) organization, and many of its members are unhappy to say the least with the board. It's mutual. There is going to have a social issues controversy related to the schools, so it is going to be interesting to say the least. I have not attended any of the LOVE group's meetings, so I am unaware at the specifics they are looking for in school candidates.
Stay tuned for another MAJOR schools related announcement very soon. Thing are going to heat up even more this Spring. I'll just say that a winning organization from the past is going to make a comeback in a very big way.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Michigan House approves bill to lower hunting age
3/21/2006, 7:24 p.m. ET
The Associated Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state House approved a bill Tuesday that would lower the legal age to hunt deer, elk and bear with firearms in Michigan.
The bill would lower the age requirement from 14 to 12, and require the state Natural Resources Commission to create an apprentice hunting license program.
The bill specifies that a 12- or 13-year-old would have to be accompanied by a parent and could only hunt on private property.
Joe Hune and Chris Ward both supported this. Kudos to them. Below are the turkeys who opposed it. All are Democrats.
Frank Accavitti of Eastpointe, Steve Bieda of Warren, Marsha Cheeks of Detroit, Brenda Clack of Flint, Paul Condino of Southfield, Marie Donigan of Royal Oak, Morris Hood III of Detroit, Tupac Hunter of Detroit, Chris Kolb of Ann Arbor, Kathleen Law of Gibraltar, Alexander Lipsey of Kalamazoo, Jim Plakas of Garden City, Alma Wheeler Smith of Ypsilanti, Virgil Smith III of Detroit, Steve Tobocman of Detroit, Aldo Vagnozzi of Farmington Hills and Lisa Wojno of Warren.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Attorney joins field vying for Probate Court bench
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Brighton attorney Suzanne Dugas has joined the ever-expanding list of hopefuls to replace retiring Probate Judge Susan Reck.
Dugas joins Hamburg Township Treasurer Roberta Valon-Baughn, Juvenile Court Referee Kathleen M. Oemke, and Carol Hackett Garagiola, legal and policy director of the Michigan's Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. The field might also include Howell attorney Robert "Bob" Parker, although he has not made a formal announcement.
Dugas believes her experience teaching with the National Judicial College distinguishes her from her competition.
53 Senators vote to raid the Social Security trust fund
Mar 17 2006 09:12 AM
Yesterday, Senators Jim DeMint and Mike Crapo introduced an amendment to prevent the current Social Security Surplus from continuing to be spent. 53 Senators voted against it.
After the vote, DeMint issued the following statement:
“Sadly, fifty-three senators turned their backs on America’s seniors,” Senator DeMint said. “There is simply no way to save Social Security if we don’t have the courage stop using the surplus as a secret slush fund. I’m thankful there were forty-six senators who stood with America’s seniors to end the raid. We will not be deterred by cynics who offer no solutions.”
“Those who voted against this amendment voted to raid Social Security,” said Senator DeMint. “Now, every senator will be on record whether they oppose or support the raid. This said absolutely nothing about personal accounts, it was about whether you believe Social Security should be saved or allowed to wither on the vine.”
Details about the amendment via a DeMint press release are in the extended section.
UPDATE: Pasted below are the 53 Senators who voted to raid the fund -- Republicans who should know better are in bold. Click here to see the whole breakdown.
Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Bayh (D-IN) Biden (D-DE) Bingaman (D-NM) Boxer (D-CA) Burns (R-MT) Byrd (D-WV) Cantwell (D-WA) Carper (D-DE) Chafee (R-RI) Clinton (D-NY) Collins (R-ME) Conrad (D-ND) Dayton (D-MN) Dodd (D-CT) Domenici (R-NM) Dorgan (D-ND) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Feinstein (D-CA) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Jeffords (I-VT) Johnson (D-SD) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Kohl (D-WI) Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (D-CT) Lincoln (D-AR) Lugar (R-IN) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Obama (D-IL) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Salazar (D-CO) Sarbanes (D-MD) Schumer (D-NY) Smith (R-OR) Snowe (R-ME) Stabenow (D-MI) Talent (R-MO) Wyden (D-OR)
The current Social Security system allows Congress to spend the Social Security surplus on other government programs. Including interest, Congress has raided $1.7 trillion from Social Security since 1985. The surplus now only consists of IOU’s stacked in a vault in West Virginia that can only be paid back by raising taxes or cutting spending.
The DeMint-Crapo Amendment to Stop the Raid on Social Security would have allowed the Senate to pass legislation with the following requirements:
· Social Security surpluses must be used to help pay for future benefits
· That it make no changes to the benefits of those Americans born before January 1, 1950
· That it provide a voluntary option for younger Americans to obtain legally binding ownership of a portion of their benefits.
Time to show the "dangerously incompetent" Stabenow the door.
From the AP/Lansing State Journal
Campaigns clash outside DeVos' office
Police called when chairman of Dems refuses to leave site
By Kathy Barks Hoffman
A news conference Monday in front of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos' campaign headquarters turned into a shouting match between the state Democratic chairman and a DeVos campaign spokesman.
Even before Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer could begin talking to reporters, DeVos campaign spokesman John Truscott came outside and told him he was on private property and would have to leave. Brewer refused, saying he was exercising his First Amendment rights.
"You do not have First Amendment rights on private property," Truscott said, standing in front of about 15 DeVos campaign staffers holding handwritten cardboard signs that read, "Stop the Granholm lies."
This was a cheap publicity stunt by Brewer. For those who don't know, DeVos HQ is located in an office park in Delta Twp in Eaton County near Lansing. It is all private property there, and the roads there are also private. The public right of ways there are on the nearby main streets - Creyts Rd and Michigan Ave. Brewer legally had to be there for his press conference. That's why Truscott shut him down.
The first amendment doesn't apply to private property. That's not the capitol building.
Monday, March 20, 2006
The 67th District covers most of rural Ingham County and also Williamston, Mason, Delhi Twp (Holt), and part of South Lansing. It is literally a 50/50 district. Bush and Granholm both won it.
I've known Don since 2002. He's a good guy who deserves our support.
Today's a good day for RINO hunting. John "No Free Speech" McCain, Liddy "Wastes NRSC money on attacking Republicans" Dole, and gun grabber John Danforth are up for defeat. Currently, McCain and Danforth are on pace to lose, but Dole's still leading. That needs to change.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions are parting ways with Joey Harrington after four turbulent seasons in which the former third overall draft pick went from franchise savior to fans' scourge.
Good. Now if Millen can join him.....
Sunday, March 19, 2006
One thing that has been amazing is the coverage of the Livingston County GOP's straw poll. I wasn't surprised that it made the Argus, but I didn't expect it to be page 2.
Argus. Thanks to Dan Meisler for reporting the entire results of that poll. While the winner always is mentioned, it is also interesting to see who is in the middle of the pack.
While I conducted the poll, this was a team effort, and about half of the people at the event voted, so there was a large enough sample to make things interesting where two votes wasn't 40%, skewing the results. This was intented mostly as a fun event, but for all we know, this may actually be a small factor in the 2008 momentum. Rudy Giuliani had a relatively poor showing. Allen polled in the top 3 outside of the South. Lesser known Mike Pence finished fourth.
This poll has taken off in the blogosphere. I posted it here and at Redstate, where I am a frequent poster. Saul Anuzis reported it and send it out in his email. MSNBC reported it in a small blurb with their report of the Memphis poll. Several bloggers supporting Mitt Romney and Mike Pence were also reporting the results of this poll using it to rally their supporters.
How this will factor in the next couple of years is unknown, but I have to say that I didn't expect a poll in one county in Michigan to have the amount of coverage it has received.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
On the heels of Chief Circuit Judge Stanley J. Latreille's announcement Monday that he will seek a fifth term on the Livingston County bench, two local attorneys solidified their decisions to seek other judicial seats.
Assistant Prosecutor William McCririe III will seek District Judge A. John Pikkarainen's seat while Carol Hackett Garagiola, a Genoa Township resident and former assistant Oakland County prosecutor, is running for Probate Court Judge Susan Reck's seat.
The Argus has a list of candidates so have so far declared, and for which judgeships in Livingston County they are running. The Howell District and Probate seats are open.
* 53rd District Court in Howell: Carol Sue Reader, Brighton attorney; Linda Walker, Fowlerville attorney; William McCririe III, Livingston County assistant prosecutor
* 53rd District Court in Brighton: Judge Theresa Brennan, incumbent; Christina Heikkinen, Howell attorney
* 44th Circuit Court: Stanley J. Latreille, incumbent
* Probate Court: Roberta Balon-Vaughn, Hamburg Township treasurer, attorney; Kathleen M. Oemke, Juvenile Court referee; Carol Hackett Garagiola, former Oakland County assistant prosecutor
Some other potential candidates were waiting for LaTreille's decision before running. There may be others who are running. With LaTreille staying, I expect the two open seats to become even more crowded.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
The Livingston County Republicans held a 2008 poll for President at our Lincoln Day Dinner. Each attendant at the Lincoln Day Dinner had the option to vote. We had 97 voters, which was approximately half of the attendants. Each person voted once. The results are as follows:
1. Governor Mitt Romney – 24.74%
2. Senator John McCain – 18.56%
3. Senator George Allen – 17.53%
4. Congressman Mike Pence – 14.43%
5. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich – 11.34%
6. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani – 10.30%
7. Congressman Tom Tancredo – 1.03%
Secretary Condoleezza Rice – 1.03%
Senator Sam Brownback – 1.03%
I expected Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to win. Romney is a Michigan native who spoke at the Mackinac Leadership Conference and neighboring Oakland County’s Lincoln Day dinner. His dad is former Governor George Romney. He is running as a conservative. Those are all factors in his popularity and high name recognition. He is the frontrunner in Michigan.
Senator John McCain finished better than I expected. I expected him to trade places with Giuliani because of the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Law and his Second Amendment stance. His military background was a major factor in his 2nd place showing as Livingston County is a very pro-military county. (This was also one of Bob Dole's best counties - as beat Clinton by 13% despite Ross Perot in a state he won by 13%)
Virginia Senator George Allen I expected to finish in the top three. He recently spoke at a FreedomWorks event in Michigan that drew 150 people. He voted against that infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” He is running as a center-right conservative.
Indiana Congressman Mike Pence was a major surprise. There is a significant Pence 2008 movement, but it is nearly exclusively in the blogging world. The most common question asked about him was "Who’s Mike Pence?" However, those that knew him, liked him. He is the chair of the Republican Study Committee in the house, which is the conservative caucus. The Republican Study Committee last week introduced a balanced budget based on the 1995 Contract With America. If the bloggers are successful in drafting him for president, he could be a strong dark horse candidate with the current overspending in Washington.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is going to be a wildcard in 2008. He placed fifth, which is not that surprising considering he is just getting back into the news again after being six years removed from being Speaker of the House. He could be moving up once again as many republicans have moved away from the Contract with America.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani I expected to be in McCain’s place. “Mayor 9/11” still could be formidable candidate. I expected him to do better since a lot of conservatives I know give him a pass on his social issues and Second Amendment stance due to 9/11. That might not be the case anymore.
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo only received one vote, which surprised me since he has some support in Michigan. His main issue is illegal immigration. Immigration is not as big of an issue among the dinner attendees as it is elsewhere.
Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was included, but surprisingly did not receive a vote. There were limited options, and those who stated they were not running in 2008 were excluded from the poll - Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, and Mark Sanford (my first choice for president) were not included. Others not included, but may be included in future polls are Sam Brownback, Bill Owens, Fred Thompson, Tim Pawlenty, Bill Frist, and Mike Huckabee. The next poll will probably switch Thompson and Brownback.
Full Disclosure – I voted for Mike Pence.
This was an interesting poll. While it is not scientific, it still gives a general synopsis of the current situation for president in Livingston County. Livingston County is a very key county for Republicans in Michigan primary races, and those who attend a Lincoln Day Dinners are most apt to be primary election voters.
The 2008 race will be followed extensively at the Republican Michigander. We will update you all as more information develops.
Friday, March 10, 2006
I don't know anything about her. We'll keep you all updated on the judicial races here as there are developments. They are of high priority at the Republican Michigander.
Attorney bids to replace retiring judge
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Fowlerville attorney Linda Walker announced Wednesday she is seeking retiring District Judge A. John Pikkarainen's seat in the November election.
She joins Brighton attorney Carol Sue Reader in the race.
Walker, of Unadilla Township, hung out her shingle in Fowlerville after graduating from the Thomas Cooley Law School in 1982.
The University of Michigan graduate has also participated in many community endeavors. However, she says, she "did not keep track of the exact dates of participation as she had not contemplated running for judge" until Pikkarainen decided to retire.
"I thought it would be good for me to run," she said. "(Pikkarainen) had strong ties to the western side of the county. I do, too. I think it's important for all sides of the county to be represented on the bench."
The other reason Walker is running?
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The group released its "Contract with America Renewed" yesterday. It recommends 150 cuts, including some to programs that the group claims are outdated or that duplicate state and local efforts.
? Elementary and high schools for children on military bases, saving $375 million.
? Radio Free Europe, saving $395 million.
? The "Moon to Mars" science program, saving $9.8 billion.
? Watershed and flood-prevention programs, saving $375 billion.
? Corporation for Public Broadcasting, saving $1.5 billion.
The proposal also "substantially" reduces the funding level of three Cabinet agencies - Education, Energy and Commerce, said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, the study-panel member in charge of budget issues.
Townhall - The Contract with America: Renewed
Limited-government conservatism is back. You know what I mean: the kind of conservatism espoused by Barry Goldwater and then championed by President Ronald Reagan – the kind of conservatism that the revolutionary congressional class of 1994 brought to the American people in the form of the Contract with America.
It is this brand of conservatism – a brand dedicated to limiting the size and scope of the federal government, a brand that recognizes that big government is not good government just because it is our government – that has sadly been missing of late. But no longer.
On Wednesday, members of the conservative Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives took it upon themselves to single-handedly resurrect the philosophical heart and soul of the Republican Party.
CNSNEWS - GOP Plan to Balance Budget Called 'Huge Step Forward
(CNSNews.com) - A group of U.S. House Republicans will unveil a plan Wednesday that they say will balance the federal budget in the next five years. One conservative leader calls it "a huge step forward."
"This Republican Congress should return to our roots of fiscal discipline and reform," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), chairman of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC), while giving a preview of the group's new plan on Tuesday.
The Hill - Gregg produces ‘vanilla’ budget, in contrast to RSC
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) unveiled a milquetoast budget proposal yesterday as the House’s most conservative members ratcheted up their call for massive cuts to federal programs, illustrating the divisions among Republicans over election-year fiscal policy and the difficulties the party faces in enacting a budget.
Human Events - Contract' Promises to Balance Budget Again
The Republican Study Committee released its budget for FY 2007 "Contract with America: Renewed" this morning amidst a crowd of supporters and reporters.
Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), RSC chairman, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R.-Texas), RSC Budget & Spending Task Force chairman were backed by 18 other members of the RSC as they publicly introduced the bill during a press conference.
"The time has come to level with the American people -- we are not, as a nation, living within our means," Pence said.
Washington Times - GOP evokes budget promise
House conservatives yesterday accused their own party of betraying voters by not keeping promises made more than a decade ago to limit the size of the federal government and cut spending.
"The time for serious change was 10 years ago and Congress has failed to act," said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia Republican. "Congress has failed to change, Congress has failed to make tough choices, Congress has failed to lead. In short, Congress has failed the America people."
Since Republicans took over both houses of Congress, spending has increased nearly 50 percent, conservatives said, and the deficit is projected to reach more than $400 billion. Mr. Westmoreland called the situation "a crime against future generations of American taxpayers."
The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of about 106 Republican members, have introduced a balanced budget based on the 1995 Contract with America. Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana), who many bloggers are trying to draft for a presidential run (He'd have my vote if Mark Sanford doesn't run), is the chairman of this caucus.
The motto of FreedomWorks (Some may remember them as Citizens for a Sound Economy) is simple. Lower taxes, Less Government, More Freedom. Freedomworks is, like many conservative less government organizations, sick and tired of the spending by Washington. FreedomWorks is founded by former Congressman Dick Armey and is a grass roots organization which is part-think tank, and part activist group. In Michigan, FreedomWorks opposed and demonstrated against Howard Dean for his comments on tax cuts, and Senators Levin and Stabenow for using the blue slips against Michigan judges.
About ten of us from Michigan, along with members from North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and Wisconsin, were flown in to Washington from FreedomWorks. The highlight for me there was being a part of the RSC's press conference. There Congressmen Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) held a press conference introducing a budget based on the 1995 Contract With America. The RSC's Budget is posted online here. There was a core group of Republican congressmen and congresswomen there supporting the budget. Reps Pence, Hensarling, Trent Franks, Jeff Flake, Marlilyn Musgrave, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, Marsha Blackburn, Paul Ryan, Steve King, John Shadegg, Scott Garrett, John Campbell, and Patrick McHenry all spoke in support of the budget at the conference.
These congressmen and congresswomen understand what most government officials today do not. Washington needs to live with their means just as the rest of us need to do.
This budget will return us Republicans to our roots. With todays spending, I have to always clarify that I'm a "1994 Republican" as opposed to todays "big government conservatism." We did not, and do not need "No Child Left Behind", McCain/Feingold, the Perscription Drugs plan, and massive porks and earmarks like the Bridge to Nowhere. Overall, with the exception of a few individuals, both parties have failed us on these measures.
I have no use whatsoever for the massive spending going on by both parties. That needs to change, and if the RSC's budget passes, it will change. I call on Congress and the Senate to pass this the RSC's budget, and for President Bush to sign it. This is a good first step at a balanced budget. We all have to live within our means. It's time for government to do so.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
House Conservatives Prepare Austere Alternative Budget
By CARL HULSE
Published: March 7, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 6 — With Congress heading into a politically perilous budget season, influential House conservatives plan this week to propose an austere alternative spending plan that would pare more than $650 billion over five years, balance the budget and drastically shrink three cabinet agencies.
Skip to next paragraph
Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Bush in Washington Monday with Edward P. Lazear, who was sworn in as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
The legislation, part of a push by some Republicans to re-establish themselves as champions of fiscal restraint, was taking shape as President Bush struck a similar theme on Monday by asking Congress to grant him line-item veto power to eliminate federal spending that he might judge wasteful.
"We can't be all things to all people when it comes to spending the taxpayers' money," Mr. Bush said at a ceremony installing a new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
But House conservative leaders would go far beyond the president's own budget proposal, illustrating the difficulty the White House and the Republican leadership have had in persuading the caucus to speak with one voice on the matter.
Senior aides say the conservatives' plan would wring about $350 billion from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs and save $300 billion partly through a major reorganization of the Education, Commerce and Energy Departments.
"We are putting our money where our mouth is," said one of the officials, who would discuss the proposal only without being identified because it was still being prepared for release Wednesday by leaders of the Republican Study Committee.
There's no excuse for defecit spending on this level. None. Kudos to Mike Pence and the rest of them for stepping up to the plate. As for President Bush's comments, I'll believe it when I see it. He has a veto pen, and it's time for him to use it if a spending bill is unacceptable.
There will be more on this soon. Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
That said, it's time once again for March Madness!!! For Spartan political fans, it's great twice over. For basketball, watch CBS(About the only time I'll say that).
However for political junkies, click on this link and go to Survey St Louis. There is a field of 64 notable republicans running for the "presidency" using the NCAA bracket format. Voting is done everyday until the finals, much like the NCAA's. You need an account to vote in this.
The brackets are as follows.
1. JC Watts
16. Jim Gilmore
8. Norm Coleman
9. Tommmy Franks
5. Dick Cheney
12. Mike Huckabee
4. Tom Coburn
13. J. Kenneth Blackwell
I wish they didn't match up Coburn and Blackwell since they are two of my favorites. Coburn is one of my favorite senators and has a real independent conservative streak there. Blackwell is the only republican standing up to RINO Taft's establishment in Ohio. Taft's so bad, that'd I'd vote for Granholm over him.
6. George Pataki
11. Craig Benson
3. Rick Santorum
14. Steve Forbes
7. Tim Pawlenty
10. John Roberts
2. Jeb Bush
15. John Kasich
Steve Forbes would have been my primary choice in 2000 if he ran. Tim Pawlenty is a good governor out in Minnesota. Kasich's economic leadership in Congress is sorely missed.
1. Bill Frist
16. Mike Pence
8. Tommy Thompson
9. Arnold Schwarzenegger
5. Rudy Giuliani
12. Kay Bailey Hutchinson
4. Tom Ridge
13. George Voinovich
Pence is the leading fiscal conservative in congress. Thompson did wonders with Wisconsin's welfare system.
6. Mitt Romney
11. John Kyl
3. John Thune
14. Christi Todd Whitman
7. Sean Hannity
10. Gary Bauer
2. Condi Rice
15. Mike Rounds
Over on the EAST
1. Newt Gingrich
16. John Danforth
8. Mitch Daniels
9. Alberto Gonzales
5. John McCain
12. Dirk Kempthorne
4. Elizabeth Dole
13. John Boehner
Go Dirk! Go Boehner!
6. Pat Buchanan
11. Gordon Smith
3. Mark Racicot
13. Bob Ehrlich
7. Jack Kemp
10. Dan Quayle
2. Tom Tancredo
15. Rick Perry
I'm tempted to vote for Buchanan and Tancredo just to be a smart alec.
Finally, The South
1. Haley Barbour
16. Chris Cox
8. Chuck Grassley
9. John Sununu
5. George Allen
12. Judd Gregg
4. Bill Owens
13. Joe Scarborough
Barbour disapointed a lot of people when he said he wasn't running for president. Allen did well in his speech in Michigan. He also oppposed the bridge to nowhere. Bill Owens flew off the radar screen for 2008 after a lot of early hype. I wonder what happened there.
6. Lindsey Graham
11. Chuck Hagel
3. Sam Brownback
14. Mark Sanford
7. Colin Powell
11. John Ashcroft
2. Dennis Hastert
15. Fred Thompson
Sam Brownback is a good guy, but Sanford's my first choice for president due to his economic conservatism. Vetoing a pork bill from one's own political party is gutsy and shows backbone. Ashcroft disapointed me bigtime as AG. He was a good senator, but went out and became a big government AG much like his predecessor in Janet Reno. I expected much better from him.
Last year's final 4 were Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, and J.C. Watts. The winner was Haley Barbour over J.C. Watts. You need to create an account to vote.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
From the Club for Growth
Q: When is a picket line not a picket line? A: When AFL-CIO officials cross it!
The Center for Union Facts Finds AFL-CIO Union Execs Living Large on Members’ Dime
SAN DIEGO, CA -- Under a gentle breeze on a sunny afternoon, Pacific Ocean waves quietly crested and crashed onto the soft sandy beaches at the foot of the exclusive Hotel del Coronado, which played host to the AFL-CIO executive council annual meeting this week. But while the Center for Union Facts followed the luminaries of labor out here fully expecting to find members' dues funding this lavish lifestyle, even we weren't ready for the union execs' shocking hypocrisy: the hotel where labor leaders are spending their members' money is currently being picketed by a union in a labor dispute!
As shown in our photo album, a Carpenters local isn't happy that the hotel uses a contractor that has remained union-free. But the AFL-CIO hotshots apparently don't believe in solidarity when it gets in the way of a good vacation on their members' dime.
And that dime turns into real money pretty quickly. The hotel itself is as expensive as it is beautiful, and rooms can easily run $600 per night or more. The spa is extra, and so is the food. But the hefty price tag didn't seem to slow the labor officials we saw, one of whom clocked more than 5 hours doing the members' work at a seaside bar, alternating between $3.25 bottles of San Pellegrino and highballs of whiskey on the rocks. For an idea of what the final tab could be, we checked the AFL-CIO's bill for its 2004 meeting at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. There they racked up a bill of $224,000 -- categorized as "union administration." That's a big party for a small group. With only 53 council members, that’s more than $4,000 a head.
The Center for Union Facts thinks it's important to highlight the hypocritical and selfish use of dues by union officials. So, we've put together another ad summing up the AFL-CIO's great boondoggle junket of '06 in the form of a postcard from labor leaders to their members. And just to make sure they got the point, we hand-delivered a few of our post cards to the AFL-CIO's top brass.
There are pictures at the site.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Retirement adds fuel to judicial races — County will get at least two new judges in fall election
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
After 18 years on the bench, Livingston County District Judge A. John Pikkarainen announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in November.
The announcement means at least two open judgeships will be up for grabs this fall, and since judicial seats are among the most contested in Livingston County elections, interested attorneys are expected to line up to take a shot at the bench.
This makes things interesting with the open seat. Susan Reck is retiring. Theresa Brennan is running for election after being appointed by Granholm last year. Circuit Judge Stan Latreille will decide by March 15th. That's the most important judgeship in the county for those concerned about "Judicial activism." District Judges (in Livingston County) have more limited power, but circuit judges have a wide range of power.
The paper lists some of the possible candidates.
Speculation of those interested in the seats include attorneys Carol Sue Reader and Jay Drick, the latter of whom ran for district judge in 2004 but lost in the primary to District Judge L. Suzanne Geddis and Magistrate Brian Brown. Brown said he will not run for election this year.
However, Reader is running for Pikkarainen's seat. Reader, a distant cousin of Circuit Judge David Reader, was Pikkarainen's first law clerk when he took the bench in 1989.
Drick, who has said he is "interested in becoming a judge," did not return phone calls Wednesday.
Assistant Prosecutor William McCririe III said he, too, will run for judge this year, but he declined to say which judgeship he will seek.
"In a few weeks, I will announce which position," said McCririe, who is married to Geddis.
Howell attorney Robert "Bob" Parker has expressed interest in Reck's seat while Hamburg Township attorney Roberta Balon-Vaughn and Juvenile Court Referee Kathleen M. Oemke have both announced their candidacy for Reck's seat.
Genoa Township resident Carol Hackett Garagiola, a former Oakland County prosecuting attorney, has expressed interest in Latreille's seat if the judge decides not to run for re-election.
Howell defense attorney James Buttrey, who applied for Hegarty's seat, said he is not interested in running for election.
We'll post more on the judicial races as developments occur. These will be closely followed until the August and November elections.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
NRA Sues Mayor Ray Nagin
Fairfax, VA-The National Rifle Association (NRA ) has filed a motion for contempt against the City of New Orleans, the mayor and the acting chief of police for failure to comply with a temporary restraining order, handed down September 12, 2005, ordering an end to all illegal gun confiscations.
"With looters, rapists and other thugs running rampant in New Orleans, Ray Nagin issued an order to disarm all law-abiding citizens," declared Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president. "With no law enforcement and 911 available, he left the victims vulnerable by stripping away their only means of defending themselves and their loved ones. Now Ray Nagin thinks he's above the law, and that's just wrong."
Attorneys for NRA have exhausted all efforts to cooperate with the defendants, Mayor Nagin and Chief Riley, who repeatedly ignored the court's permanent restraining order against their illegal gun confiscations.
"Ray Nagin is a colossal disappointment," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "During a federally declared emergency, he abused his power and abandoned the very people he was sworn to protect. He took away the victims' freedom and their basic means of self-defense during an ill-fated and perilous time."
The motion also includes an order that all seized firearms must be returned to their rightful owners.
These will be updated as candidates declare, or as significant developments occur. So far, districts 1-5 are posted.
Voters say no to gas station — Businessman might sue township
By Kristofer Karol
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Voters have struck down a rezoning request that would have paved the way for a gas station at a major intersection in Cohoctah Township, although the fight might be long from over.
Fifty-six percent of residents in Tuesday's referendum voted "no" on whether the township should rezone some land from rural residential to neighborhood services commercial off Oak Grove Road, just south of the Oak Grove United Methodist Church.
The final tally was 371 no, 291, yes with 28% turnout. This case is now probably going to court.