Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tancredo wins 2008 Presidential Tourney

The results are in:

63% - Tancredo
29% - Bayh
8% - 3rd parties

Tom Tancredo wins the tournament. What will be most interesting is if any of the dark horse outsider candidates catch on in the next two years. If too many Washington Republicans (McCain...) push "big government conservatism" on the base, it could backfire in a big way. The spending needs to cut down as well. Both Tancredo and Mike Pence are members of the Republican Study Committee. Both of them have been good on these spending issues that are plaguing the top leadership.

I'm looking to support a fiscally conservative pro-2nd amendment and pro-life candidate. If SC Governor Mark Sanford changes his mind, he's my first choice. If Pence runs, he's my 2nd pick. I'm also considering Tancredo and George Allen.

State Supremes to determing requiring ID to vote

From the AP/Lansing State Journal

The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether Michigan can require voters to show photo ID, entering a decade-long political fray over issues such as election fraud and voter intimidation.

The court voted 5-2 to issue an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of a 1997 state law requiring voters to show photo identification to get a ballot. A court spokeswoman said the ruling will be binding, though it could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Frank Kelley, a Democrat, ruled nine years ago that the law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees U.S. citizens the right to vote.


There is no reason why ID to vote should not be required. If someone can't afford an id, comp the individual. This can reduce fraud.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Castle Doctrine Passed! (UPDATED)

UPDATE - No votes were as follows. All Democrats.
Cheeks
Hood
Lemmons, Jr.
Murphy
Clack
Hunter
Lipsey (Running for Attorney General)
Smith, Alma
Condino
Kolb
McConico
Tobocman
Cushingberry
Leland
Meisner

Mary Waters voted yes on 5142, no on the rest.

From the Lansing State Journal.

The state House passed bills Tuesday that supporters said would strengthen and clarify self-defense rights in Michigan.

A key provision in the legislation is a presumption that someone who forcibly enters a home or a vehicle intends to harm the occupant. The legislation also would eliminate a requirement that people being attacked must retreat before responding with deadly force.

The bills would allow people who feel threatened, in their homes or in a public area under certain circumstances, to defend themselves and use deadly force without facing criminal or civil liability. The law would cover only people who are not committing crimes and are in a place in which they legally have a right to be.


And from SAFR's email.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2006

Jones seeks to assure victims' rights to self-defense during attack

Law-abiding Michigan residents who actually and reasonably believe
they are facing imminent death, great bodily harm or rape at the
hands of a violent criminal are justified in using force to defend
themselves and their families. They are no longer required to retreat
from a violent attacker in their own home under a package of bills
sponsored and spearheaded by state Rep. Rick Jones. The measures were
approved today by the Michigan House of Representatives.

One of Michigan's most basic values is that a person's home is their
castle,. said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. .This legislation makes it clear
that not only do you have the right to stand your ground and defend
yourself, but you will not be prosecuted or sued for defending
yourself or your family in your own home..

The 'castle doctrine' is enshrined as a sacred right in English
common law. It holds if you're wrongfully threatened or attacked in
your home, you may meet force with force.

One inspiration for this law is the historical account of Dr. Ossian
Sweet's 1925 trial for defending his home against the Ku Klux Klan in
Michigan,. Jones said. His attorney, Clarence Darrow, successfully
used the castle doctrine to defend Dr. Sweet from prosecution for
murder.

House Bills 5142-43 eliminates the duty of law-abiding citizens to
retreat in a home or occupied vehicle and establishes a presumption
that a criminal who forcibly enters intends to cause death, great
bodily harm, or rape. House Bill 5548 would amend current law to make
anyone who lawfully defends themselves immune from civil liability.
House Bill 5153 creates immunity from criminal prosecution.

This will prevent criminals or their families from suing victims for
injury or death, Jones said. It's common sense and good law.

Jones says this law is necessary to protect the law-abiding.

As a former sheriff, I can tell you there are times when action needs
to be taken before it is physically possible for law enforcement to
get there, Jones said. This will give the average resident in
Michigan the confidence to know that they can act to defend their
life and their family without threat of a lawsuit or criminal
prosecution..

The provisions of the legislation do not cover persons engaging in
criminal acts.



The vote for most of them was 91-15. The YEAS and NAYS will be posted here once HJ38 from MichiganLegislature.org is published.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Campaign Finance Proposal by Terri Lynn Land

Secretary of State Terri Land has a comprehensive campaign finance reform plan.

Land’s proposals include:

Requiring real-time online reporting of all contributions, receipts, expenditures and disbursements by every committee filing with the state.


Prohibiting committees from spending contributed funds until the information is posted on the Department of State Web site. As Land says, "Don’t spend a dime until it’s posted online!" The department’s Web site will be redesigned so that citizens can immediately view each committee’s recent transactions and current cash balance, similar to an electronic checkbook register.


I have no problem with that, but unless local races are now covered at the state level by MERTS, this will be a major pain in the arse. I really do not want to have to go to the Clerk's office every time I have a transaction. That's my only objection. That said, I certainly support this in principle. Currently, we only see part of the transactions, and only three to five times a year. January, Pre-primary, post primary, pre-general, and post general election statements. That's not good enough. I need to know what the opponents are doing.

Requiring committees to provide their unique identification number with each contribution made to a candidate committee or another committee. That helps regulators and the public better track contributions.


I'm not sure what this changes offhand. Mertz requires this now.

Requiring that the sponsors and financing sources of "issue" ads be reported.


I have no problem there as long as ads themselves are not restricted 30/60 days before like Mr McCain insists on.

Eliminating confusion by having all Political Action Committees (PACs) file with the Department of State. Some PACs currently register with county clerks.


This affects me, but I have no problem with that. All it changes is who sees them.

Keeping campaign finance laws current by requiring all new political communication mediums – such as the Internet and robotic phone calls – to carry a disclaimer that identifies who is paying for the message.


I hate those robocalls. As for internet, I need to see the specifics first, but I don't think it should be touched.

Closing a special allowance in current law that permits candidates to transfer money raised for their current office to a new committee created for seeking a higher office. Land wants to prohibit those transfers, usually made by incumbents, and require candidates to deposit money raised for their next campaign into a committee formed solely for that purpose.


I support this 100%, but good luck getting this passed.

Providing the Department of State with audit authority and subpoena powers so that it can ensure proper reporting and bring necessary data to compliance hearings. An effective compliance process needs the basic tools to do the job.


I have no problem with that.

The details are here.

I need to see everything in final form, but currently support this as long as the proposals are the same in their final form as they are here. I do get my guard up at anything internet related in regulation. That's my only concern.

Kessel, Tierney have experience, right priorities

This time the Argus backs the same candidates as the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC

The Hartland Consolidated Schools district faces difficult times because of ever-tightening budgets. The challenge is to maintain high-quality education despite those financial hurdles.
So as voters go to the polls May 2 to fill two seats on Hartland's Board of Education, they should select board members with an acumen for finances and the budgetary experience needed to do the job.
Hartland voters are fortunate to have five solid candidates running for the board. Yet two candidates stand out.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Updates in Hartland and Pinckney School races

With all the hype in Howell, we can not forget that two other Livingston County communities have contested elections as well. Hartland and Pinckney.

Hartland Article in the Argus.

The issue most on the minds of residents of the Hartland area will likely be settled by the time the winners of the May 2 election for the Hartland Consolidated Schools Board of Education begin their four-year terms in June.
The privatization of the district's custodial services has been the most hotly debated topic in the district in recent months. The school board will likely decide on whether to take the privatization route just days after the election.


The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney. Cindy Sinelli and Lynn Burril showed their "support" for taxpayers by snubbing the Taxpayers Group.

Article from Pinckney.


The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC did not issue any endorsements for Pinckney. Richard Gass and Marcia Jablonski snubbed the Taxpayers Group. Laura Burwell was not endorsed, but at least took the time to interview and deserves credit for that. The Argus endorsed Jablonski.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

2008 Presidential Tournament Finals

The results of the semifinals are in:
Tom Tancredo edged out my choice for 2008 Mike Pence 51% to 49%. Evan Bayh trounced Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer 75-25.

It's now the finals. Polling will start when the poll is up and will run until Thursday. Representing the republicans in Tom Tancredo. Representing the Democrats Bracket is Evan Bayh. We will also add the Libertarians, US Taxpayers (Constitution Party in Michigan), Greens, and Natural Law Party as they are usually on the ballot in Michigan races.

Argus endorses Jim Pratt and Phil Westmoreland

From the Argus



The Howell Public Schools district needs a strong, well-focused school board to face demanding times and challenging issues. Paramount among those issues are budgets, strong curriculums, controlling the costs of health benefits and opening the new Parker High School under construction south of town.
With that in mind, we endorse JIM PRATT and PHILIP WESTMORELAND for the two four-year board seats that are being contested by six candidates in the May 2 election.


The Argus also has another article on the school race keying mostly on the flag issue, but also to school funding.

This is the current list of Endorsements. My vote is going with the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC first and foremost and will be for John Arthur and Wendy Day.

John Arthur:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)

Wendy Day:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)
Right to Life of Michigan
Michigan Campaign for Families

Dennis McGuire:
No endorsements

Jim Pratt:
Right to Life
Daily Press and Argus

Valerie Webster:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)

Phil Westmoreland:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)
Daily Press and Argus

Also - in Hartland the MEA's Hartland affiliate endorsed Cindy Sinelli and Lynn Burrill. The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney for Hartland Schools. In Pinckney the MEA's affiliate endorsed Laura Burwell. The Concerned Taxpayers Group did not endorse anybody for Pinckney Schools. The candidates who snubbed the Concerned Taxpayers Group were Sinelli, Burrill, Marcia Jablonski, and Richard Gass.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jim Marcinkowski turns in his campaign statement - Here's the lowlights

By law, Jim Marcinkowski is required to turn in his financial statement to the FEC. These are public record, so I decided to take a look at them. Unlike Michigan law, only significant donoations of $200 are required to be reported. Here is a brief summary.

At least $79567 came from outside of the 8th district. Much of that is from left-wing havens like Royal Joke, I mean Oak where Marcinkowski is an attorney. The "working class" havens of Birmingham, Rochester Hills, Huntington Woods, anti-gun Farmington Hills, and the Bloomfields are well represented.

At least $22224.57 came from in the 8th district. Less than 1/4 of the money is 8th district money.

$25,850 came from union leadership.

$500 came from Hollywood Producer Robert Greenwald. He's an extreme leftist on the Michael Moore level - a Communist.

$4200 came from the Gun Lake Indian Tribe and their casino interests.

$6000 came from one Lobbyist firm - The Capitol Advocacy Services Group.

$500 came from extreme leftist and gun grabber John Conyers.

$24525 came from trial lawyers outside of the 8th district.

Do you really think that Jim Marcinkowski would represent the 8th district of Michigan, or would he represent rich leftist trial lawyers, Hollywood, and union leadership?

No thanks Jim, we don't need another Oakland County Democrat. They are the worst kind in the entire state.

2008 Presidential Tournament Semi-finals

The results are in for the 2008 Quarterfinals:

4. Tom Tancredo – 65%
8. Sam Brownback – 35%

6. Mike Pence - 56%
2. George Allen - 44%

9. Brian Schweitzer – 54%
3. Bill Richardson – 46%

3. Evan Bayh – 65%
2. Mark Warner – 35%

The finals are as follows:

In a rematch from Survey St Louis’s final, Tom Tancredo and Mike Pence once again go at it. Pence has a close match with Senator George Allen, while Tom Tancredo easily bested Sam Brownback.

Evan Bayh ran over Mark Warner in a race expected to be much closer. Brian Schweitzer of Montana had a tough match with Bill Richardson in a battle of governors. Montana won over New Mexico. Senator Bayh now faces Governor Schweitzer.

Polls will be open from posting until SUNDAY.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

President Bush backs Joe Schwarz.

I don't agree with this decision from President Bush. From the AP



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush has endorsed Rep. Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek in his Republican primary against a conservative challenger who has questioned the congressman's stances on abortion and taxes.


I know it is always customary to back the incumbent, but I can not get past Schwarz's record from the state senate or his 2002 gubenatorial campaign. In that campaign he supported higher taxes, abortion, and was the most anti-2nd amendment candidate running for office - including the democrats.

Joe Schwarz has been slightly better as a congressman than as a state senator, much of it because he has been forced to look over his right flank. If he no longer has to worry about it, we'll get the state senate version of Schwarz who after 16 years in the legislature, no longer worries about the base.

When it comes to taxes, life issues, and the 2nd amendment, I know that Tim Walberg will be a friend of ours. Schwarz just can't be counted on - no matter what endorsements come flying in. The only endorsements which can change my vote from what they would be previously are from SAFR and the Concerned Taxpayers Group.

The Republican Michigander endorses Tim Walberg for Congress.

MSU's Luke Pelican says it best

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Clawson Taxpayer

For the readers and fiscal conservatives in the Clawson/Troy area, we have counterparts to our own Concerned Taxpayers Group. Taxpayers' Groups around the state need our support, and this one is no different. Paul Garfield founded the Clawson Taxpayer and is good people.


The Clawson Taxpayer

2008 Presidential Tournament - Quarterfinals

It’s now the quarterfinals for our presidential tournament. Our 2nd round results are as follows.

GOP Bracket

8. Sam Brownback – 61%
16. Alan Keyes – 39%

4. Tom Tancredo – 74%
5. Newt Gingrich – 26%

6. Mike Pence – 81%
14. Tim Pawlenty – 19%

2. George Allen – 63%
10. Fred Thompson – 37%

Dem Bracket

9. Brian Schweitzer – 73%
1. Hillary Clinton – 27%

4. Bill Richardson – 65%
12. Tom Vilsack – 35%

3. Evan Bayh – 84%
11. Howard Dean – 16%

2. Mark Warner – 73%
10. John Edwards – 27%

Reps Tancredo and Pence continue their online dominance over other candidates. Immigration and Government spending are major issues among much of the conservative base.

Over on the democrat side, Hillary gets eliminated by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. Is this due to the democrat base turning on her, or to republican cross votes? Schweitzer is seen by some as a model democrat for the future. Hillary is still considered the measuring stick by others. Mark Warner is the favorite among many of the moderate democrats. Russ Feingold is a favorite of the liberals, but was taken out early. One of the Evan Bayh’s supporter blogs linked to our polls here, so that explains the lopsided margin in his race. Indiana is represented well in both parties here.

Things get tougher now. Sam Brownback has a strong following among cultural conservatives, and he faces Tom Tancredo. Mike Pence faces George Allen. Brian Schweitzer faces New Mexico governor Bill Richardson in the battle of the West. Two frontrunners face off in the other bracket with Evan Bayh and Mark Warner going at it.

Polls are open from posting until WEDNESDAY. The top two republicans and top two democrats face each other in the semifinals. The finals will consist of the top republican verses the top democrat and third parties.

Granholm's Detroit Backers calling from 517 area code (Lansing area)

From the Detroit News

WJR-AM 760 radio host and Detroit News columnist Frank Beckmann says the governor's office called his studio Friday morning and asked about the program lineup. On the schedule was Detroit political analyst Adolph Mongo, who is an outspoken critic of the governor.

When Mongo got on the air, the station's telephone lines lit up with calls from young women purporting to live in Detroit and saying they were Granholm supporters. Producer Kevin Collard was suspicious. He did a star 69.

Turns out many of those calls all came from the 517 area code, which covers Lansing.


The closest the 517 area code comes to Detroit is Genoa Township between Howell and Brighton.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Former Senator Mike Gravel declares a run for President

From the Left Wing rag The Nation

The Nation -- In the tradition of the late Paul Tsongas, the former Massachusetts senator who in 1991 launched a decidedly uphill run for the Democratic presidential nomination and succeeded in making his concerns about deficit spending central to the national discourse, another former U.S. senator will launch a presidential campaign Monday that seeks to highlight big ideas -- in this case about the Constitution and direct democracy.

Mike Gravel, who represented Alaska as a maverick Democratic Senate from 1969 to 1981, will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination with a press conference at the National Press Club.


It's always fun to see the Mavericks run. I don't know much about Gravel as he's before my time, but from what I've read about him, he may be more of the Kucinich school of thought giving the establishment democrats a real headache.

Race for Schwarz's seat begins in earnest

From the Lansing State Journal

Tim Walberg finally has the one-on-one matchup against U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz that he wanted two years ago.

Walberg is trekking across Michigan's 7th Congressional District planting seeds that Schwarz is too liberal for Republican voters' tastes. Four months before the GOP primary, he has run radio ads criticizing the incumbent for his positions on abortion, taxes and spending.

"He's done exactly what he said he would do, and that's the reason we campaigned so strongly against him," said Walberg, a former Tipton lawmaker who finished third in a six-person primary in 2004.

"He is far more liberal than the 7th District voters expect of their congressman."


Well, those are are pro-2nd amendment have an obvious choice. That choice is Tim Walberg. Joe Schwarz earned his unacceptable rating from SAFR in grand fashion. Anyone who calls pistol owners "Bubba who straps on a 9mm" needs to get sent back to Battle Creek. Go Walberg!

Endorsements flowing in for school candidates (LOVE PAC and MEA make endorsements)

From the Argus

Endorsements flowing in for school candidates
By Christopher Nagy
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

The list of endorsements for candidates in the race for the Howell Public Schools Board of Education continues to grow, and one official from the state's largest school union said he expects it only to continue to do so — if not this year, then in the coming years.


The endorsements are as follows.
John Arthur:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)

Wendy Day:
Livingston County Republicans
Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County
Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE PAC)
Right to Life of Michigan
Michigan Campaign for Families

Dennis McGuire:
No endorsements

Jim Pratt:
Right to Life

Valerie Webster:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)

Phil Westmoreland:
Howell Education Association (MEA's Howell affiliate)

Over in Hartland the MEA's Hartland affiliate endorsed Cindy Sinelli and Lynn Burrill. The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney for Hartland Schools. In Pinckney the MEA's affiliate endorsed Laura Burwell. The Concerned Taxpayers Group did not endorse anybody for Pinckney Schools. The candidates who snubbed the Concerned Taxpayers Group were Sinelli, Burrill, Marcia Jablonski, and Richard Gass.

I hope these endorsements cause one thing more than anything else. Raise awareness among the voters and causes them to look at all the candidates and find out which candidats share their values. A turnout of informed voters is best for the schools in this county. For years, school boards have been dominated by a "good old boys" club thanks to strange election days and 3-10% turnouts. Starting last year, school elections are always on a set day in May. Last year, the millage increased turnout to 25%. I'd like to see that increase this year, especially in a conservative county such as Livingston. Us voters have a responsibility to learn as many facts as possible about the candidates running, and then show up and make our decisions. For me, the most important endorsement is the Concerned Taxpayers Group endorsement. For others, it may be the GOP, LOVE PAC, MEA, or Right to Life. For others, endorsements don't mean anything.

Education is consistantly ranked as one of the top issues in every election. Nowhere is edcation more affected, than by the people on our local school boards. This is our chance to put our money where our mouths are when it comes to education.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Update on Howell School Board Race

The Argus has us all on the Front Page due to our controversy. I do thank Dan Meisler for quoting me accurately in the article.

A candidate for the Howell Public Schools Board of Education who is also a federal employee said he may have to exit the race because county Republicans gave out endorsements in the contest.
That's just the latest reaction to the county GOP's decision to endorse candidates in two local school board races, in Howell and in Pinckney Community Schools.
Under the Hatch Act, federal employees cannot run in partisan races. Jim Pratt, who works for the Federal Aviation Administration, said he has suspended his campaign while he waits for a ruling from the Office of Special Counsel on whether the GOP endorsements mean the campaign has become partisan and he is no longer eligible to run.

Here is a brief summary of the events so far in the school board race.

First, the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC endorsed John Arthur and Wendy Day due to their fiscal conservatism and answers to the questions. The Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC also endorsed Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney for Hartland Schools. Following that, Right to Life endorsed Wendy Day and Jim Pratt. The Livingston GOP later endorsed John Arthur and Wendy Day, and also endorsed Marcia Jablonski (although Jablonski’s endorsement wasn’t my resolution).

(Full disclosure – I did not vote for Marcia Jablonski’s endorsement and abstained there for conflict of interest reasons, as the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC does not support her – and personally, I would not vote for her because of her lack of support to the taxpayers)

As to this article here, I think Jim Pratt has nothing to worry about ethics wise. All the GOP did was to endorse two of its most active members. His party affiliation will not be on the ballot. He can still run this as a nonpartisan race if he chooses to. The Republicans are not actively opposing any candidates and nobody’s party affiliation is on the ballot itself.

So why did we do it? The reasons stated in the article are two of them. This is a 63% Republican County that usually has high turnout in elections. The main exception to high turnout is in school board races. This is despite polls placing education as a top issue to voters year after year. In most years, people have trouble finding out information about school board candidates. I remember one year when I was living in Brighton where we had a 3% turnout for a contested race. That is sad. Another year we had a 9% turnout. Last year with the enhancement millage, it was 25%. A 25% turnout is usually bad, but for a school election, it was great.

Because of the low turnouts, we want to give the voters more information and give them choices to make. We are giving them a service. The job of the Concerned Taxpayers’ Group is to let voters know who the most fiscally responsible candidates are. The job of the Livingston County Republicans is to let voters who are active Republicans. The job of the MEA is to let voters who support the teachers’ union. The Press and Argus’ job is to give readers information. Combined, these should raise the turnout in school board races.

Lastly, the final judge of all of this is the voters. If the voters support us, it will show in the polls. If they oppose us, it will show in the polls. Voters make the final decision. I just hope we don't have one of these 3% turnout races from the good ole boys clubs like we did in the old days.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Time to Veto Granholm and kick the Single Business Tax to the curb

From the AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday approved the form of a petition that would repeal the Single Business Tax at the end of 2007.

The petition is being pushed by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who wants to gather enough signatures by May 31 to bring the initiative to the Legislature.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm last month vetoed a bill that would have eliminated the state's main corporate tax at the end of 2007, about two years earlier than now scheduled. She said she wanted a plan to replace the nearly $2 billion in lost revenue as part of any deal to kill the tax.


I'm not the biggest Brooks fan, but he and I agree on this one. We need to get rid of this trash as once and help stop the flow of jobs out of this state. I'll sign this petition ASAP.

In related news, Granholm hired one of RINO Bill "Turn out the Lights" Milliken's jokers. Robert Kleine was hired as state treasurer by Granholm. He WROTE the Single Business Tax 30 years ago.

The good news is that we can make a change in November and elect Dick DeVos as our next governor.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Round Two of the 2008 Presidential Tournament Begins!

Round Two Begins. Since the hits were much less, as expected for the democrat vs democrat voting, we are going to start Round 2 about an hour early. Both the democrats and republicans are going to be up at the same time. Polling will be open from the time they appear until SATURDAY, when we will move on to the Quarterfinals.

Round 2 Brackets:

16. Alan Keyes
8. Sam Brownback

5. Newt Gingrich
4. Tom Tancredo

6. Mike Pence
14. Tim Pawlenty

10. Fred Thompson
2. George Allen

1. Hillary Clinton
9. Brian Schweitzer

12. Tom Vilsack
4. Bill Richardson

11. Howard Dean
3. Evan Bayh

10. John Edwards
2. Mark Warner

I am still shocked that Keyes upset Romney after the disaster of a campaign he ran in Illinois. I am not as shocked about Tancredo and Pence with their strong online support. George Allen is the last real “front running” candidate among the Republicans in this tournament.

On the Democrats side, Warner, Bayh, and Richardson all had very strong showings. Hillary won, but by a lesser than expected margin. Part of that may be due to cross votes. I am surprised Obama was upset in the first round since he’s the most famous (and not infamous) senator among democrats outside of Hillary. I thought Feingold would win the first round as well due to his strong following among both the left and some libertarians.


Round 1 part 2 Results

1. Hillary Clinton – 61%
16. Dianne Feinstein – 39%

8. Joe Biden – 42%
9. Brian Schweitzer – 58%

5. Russ Feingold – 37%
12. Tom Vilsack – 63%

4. Bill Richardson – 79%
13. Tom Daschle – 21%

6. Barack Obama – 46%
11. Howard Dean – 54%

3. Evan Bayh – 74%
14. Janet Napoilatano – 26%

7. John Kerry – 20%
10. John Edwards – 80%

2. Mark Warner – 75%
15. Phil Bresden – 25%

Round 1 (GOP) Results are as follows:

1 Mitt Romney – 49%
16 Alan Keyes – 51%

8. Sam Brownback – 53%
9. Tommy Thompson – 47%

5. Newt Gingrich – 64%
12. Mike Huckabee – 36%

4. Tom Tancredo – 70%
13. Chuck Hagel – 30%

6. Mike Pence – 64%
11. Bill Frist – 36%

3. John McCain – 42%
14. Tim Pawlenty – 58%

7. Rudy Giuliani – 39%
10. Fred Thompson – 61%

2. George Allen – 74%
15. George Pataki – 26%

Detroit may stay home in 2006

From the Detroit News' Nolan Finley.

Detroit may stay home

Mongo says the impact won’t necessarily be that hard-core Democrats flock to Republican Dick DeVos this fall. But they may be less likely to write checks and roll up their sleeves on Granholm’s behalf.

Granholm needs a strong showing in Detroit, where she’s been AWOL. Yet Mongo predicts a repeat of the Blanchard-Engler contest in 1990, when disgruntled city voters stayed home in droves to express their disdain for the Democratic incumbent.

It’s a long time until Election Day. Democrats who bellyache about their leader today may be singing her praises from the rooftops by fall, particularly since the alternative is about as Republican a candidate as has ever run in Michigan.

But it’s tough enough to win re-election when the other side is pulling out the big guns. It becomes considerably harder when you have to dodge bullets fired by your own party


I can not blame Detroiters for staying home. Detroit is staunchly democrat, but they support populist democrats with blue collar appeal. They like Coleman Young, John Conyers, and John Dingell. Jennifer Granholm is more of an Ann Arbor style rich leftist attorney who went to UC Berkeley and Harvard, and lives in the McMansion suburbia haven of Northville. As one Detroit Democrat I know says - "She ain't one of us." He's right. She's doing nothing for Detroit or Michigan as a whole, while the jobs are moving South to Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, and elsewhere.

Democrats continue their march away from working families and towards rich leftists in Hollywood and elsewhere. Middle America isn't George Soros, Warren Buffett, Peter Lewis, Hollywood, Andrew McKelvey (Monster.com), Wes Boyd/Joan Blades (Moveon.org founder and dot com zillionaires), Stephen Bing, Frank Lautenberg, Maria Cantwell, and Jon Corzine's Culture of Corrpution.

Let's support Working Families and vote for conservative Republicans.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Saul Anuzis interview with Gun Owners of America

A tip of the hat from Paul Garfield, Michigan GOA leader.

Go to this link to the World Information Center, click on Live Fire, and then click on the 4-8-2006 link. You can link to the interview through Saul's blog

It's a long and good interview. It's good to see that our state party chair is strongly pro-2nd amendment. The party of freedom is the Republican Party, and the democrats are the party of rich leftists like George Soros who hate freedom and gun owners.

The Political Matrix

Interesting political quiz over here.

My results:
Economic score: +5.94
Social score: 0.00

Your score pegs you as economically capitalist and socially centrist.

Capitalists generally support an open free market and lower taxes, but also support government restrictions on blatantly abusive industry. Capitalists also often differ from their more extreme peers in that, while they may support significantly lower taxes, they are less apt to support complete elimination of taxation or near-complete elimination of government.

Social centrists generally believe in a mix of individual liberties and controls, corresponding to what they see as moral or best for society.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Part One of Round one over - Now the democrats are up

It’s now time for Pt 2 of Round One in the Republican Michigander 2008 tournament. The democrats are up as soon as the polls are created. The polls will be open till Tuesday. Starting the 11th, candidates of all parties will be matching up on the same day.

On Tuesday (11th) – We’ll start the 2nd Round of 16.

Next Saturday (15th) – We’ll start the Quarterfinals

Wednesday after that (19th) – Semifinals

Monday after that (23rd) – Finals –

Thursday (27th) – Winner Declared.

Democrats
1. Hillary Clinton - New York Senator and former first lady
16. Dianne Feinstein - California Senator

8. Joe Biden - Delaware Senator
9. Brian Schweitzer - Montana Governor

5. Russ Feingold - Wisconsin Senator
12. Tom Vilsack - Iowa Governor

4. Bill Richardson - New Mexico Governor
13. Tom Daschle - Former Senate Majority/Minority leader

6. Barack Obama - Illinois Senator
11. Howard Dean - DNC Chair

3. Evan Bayh - Indiana Senator
14. Janet Napolitano - Arizona Governor

7. John Kerry - 2004 Democrat Nominee
10. John Edwards - Former North Carolina Senator

2. Mark Warner - Virginia Governor
15. Phil Bresden - Tennessee Governor

Round 1 (GOP) Results are as follows:

1 Mitt Romney – 49%
16 Alan Keyes – 51%

I did not expect this at all. After the disaster from Keyes in 2004, I thought this would be 80-20 Romney. The rest were close to what I expected.

8. Sam Brownback – 53%
9. Tommy Thompson – 47%

5. Newt Gingrich – 64%
12. Mike Huckabee – 36%

4. Tom Tancredo – 70%
13. Chuck Hagel – 30%

6. Mike Pence – 64%
11. Bill Frist – 36%

3. John McCain – 42%
14. Tim Pawlenty – 58%

7. Rudy Giuliani – 39%
10. Fred Thompson – 61%

2. George Allen – 74%
15. George Pataki – 26%

Friday, April 07, 2006

Latest Gubenatorial Poll - TIED!

This deserves a seperate post.

Dick DeVos - 44%
Jennifer Granholm - 44%

Latest Senate Poll - Jerry Zandstra best chance to beat Stabenow

I've long said that Jerry Zandstra is the best chance for us to win. While this is only one poll, this shows who has the most bang for the campaign dollar.


Debbie Stabenow (D) 51%
Michael Bouchard (R) 37%

Debbie Stabenow (D) 50%
Keith Butler (R) 36%

Debbie Stabenow (D) 48%
Jerry Zandstra (R) 37%

11 points down in April isn't that bad when the incumbent is at 50% or less. Spence Abraham has a 20 point lead at Labor Day. Zandstra's principled stances on issues, and his knowledge of the economy is respected and will make the difference this November.

Jerry Zandstra in 2006!!!

Richard Trost joins District Judicial Race

From the Argus



Long-time attorney Richard Trost announced Thursday that he is seeking to replace retiring District Judge A. John Pikkarainen. Vying with Trost for the judgeship is Assistant Prosecutor Bill McCririe, Brighton attorney Carol Sue Reader, and Fowlerville attorney Linda Walker.


I know the name, but that's about it. I don't know anything about him.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Two major votes in Congress today (527 reform, Guest Workers plan), also a budget update

Today, there were two major votes in Congress. One was in the House, and one was in the Senate.

In the House, 527's were much more heavily restricted. The democrats (with seven exceptions like Marty Meehan who are the diehard campaign finance reformers) all voted against regulating 527, which were effective for them in 2004. The McCain/Feingold bill had a loophole that allowed rich leftists like anti-freedom advocate George Soros to dump $15 million in a thinly disguised campaign donation for John Kerry. Since the republicans were hurt by this, the democrats opposed this. Since the democrats supported McCain/Feingold, this showed their extreme hypocracy. Unfortunately, most republicans let their anger at Soros get the best of them. It's no secret that Soros was the main target here.

Even though this hits Soros, I'm going to be consistant and as such, oppose this bill. 527s were not the problem. Inane government regulations are the problem, and this was a symptom. Lawyers, campaign treasurers, and campaigners are all going to look for loopholes and will eventually find them. The ones I respect here are people like Mike Pence who are consistently against new government regulations over campaign finance matters. Mike Pence and John Shadegg said it best:

Pence - “Some in Washington want to rein in 527’s with greater government control and regulation, and that is certainly their right and a path that is consistent with the letter and spirit of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act,” Pence said after the vote. “However, I believe instead of greater government control of political speech, more freedom is the answer and that is why I could not support this bill.”

Shadegg - "Once again, Congress has decided to protect itself by subverting the American people's right to free expression. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was wrong, and this bill is wrong. I know that a handful of wealthy liberals are taking advantage of the current law, but more regulation is not the answer. This bill is a wrong-headed, short-term response that will only drive political spending further into the shadows. We need sunshine and openness for groups involved in the political process -- not new bureaucratic rules that infringe on our First Amendment rights."

Over in the Senate, a compromise Guest Workers bill passed. It was a partial amnesty plan.

Under the accord, as many as 8 million undocumented workers who can prove they have been in the country for five years or more would be granted work visas, after they pay a $2,000 penalty and any back taxes and undergo a criminal background check. After five years, they could apply for citizenship, provided they remain employed, learn English and do not commit crimes.

About 2.8 million illegal immigrants who have been in the country for more than two years and less than five would have three years to return to a land port of entry, such as El Paso, Texas, cross the border and apply for one of 450,000 green cards - IDs for permanent residents who do not have U.S. citizenship - that will be available each year. Kennedy said the whole process could take less than a day, and the immigrants could then return to their U.S. homes. But Republican aides warned that there would be no guarantees and that some of those immigrants could be stuck across the border.

Of the 450,000 green cards that would be available every year, as many as 300,000 would go to low-skilled workers, Senate aides say. With a green card, those workers also would be eligible to apply for citizenship but would not have a guaranteed path to becoming Americans.

Illegal immigrants who have been in the country for two years or less would have to return to their home countries.

In addition, foreign workers seeking access to the U.S. labor market would be eligible for 325,000 new guest worker visas annually.


I'll take this bill over nothing, but I do not support this. That's not good enough. I only support a guest workers bill where ILLEGAL immigrants must return to their home country before applying for citizenship. We can not reward illegal immigration, and we need to stop the political correctness that goes along with this debate. I don't care if the illegals are from Canada, Mexico, Central/South America, Africa, Britain, or even my ancestors' Ireland. Illegal is illegal, and until we get tough on this issue and most of all those who hire illegals - it will continue to be a problem.

Lastly, the House of Representatives is at a budget standoff. If it's not a balanced budget, I can't support it.

Livingston County Republicans endorse John Arthur and Wendy Day for Howell School Board

Tonight at the Livingston County Republican meeting, Howell School Board candidates John Arthur and Wendy Day were endorsed by the party's executive committee. They are active members of the committee and party, and share the principles and values of our party. Good luck to them.

John and Wendy are also endorsed by the Concerned Taxpayers' Group. LOVE PAC has not endorsed anyone yet. I am uncertain if the MEA or local affiliates have endorsed anyone.

Tentative Schedule for Presidential Tournament

Saturday - Democrats' First Round Begins

Tuesday - 2nd Round of 16 (all)

Saturday - Quarterfinals

Wednesday - Semifinals

Monday - Final (GOP winner vs Democrat Winner vs Green/Libertarians/Constitution/Natural Law Parties)

Thursday - Winner decided.

So far, we have a possible upset in the making. Alan Keyes, who I actually threw in as a joke due to his disaster campaign in Illinois, is actually leading Mitt Romney in the polls here. I gave Mitt a 1 seed since he's a native Michigander and the winner of the Livingston County Straw Poll. There must be a "Stop Mitt" movement right now somewhere.

UPDATE - Mitt has gained the lead, but it is still close.

Concerned Taxpayers Group endorses candidates

The Concerned Taxpayers’ Group PAC of Livingston County has made their endorsements. Overall, four people were endorsed.

For Howell Schools, we endorse John Arthur and Wendy Day.

For Hartland Schools, we endorse Nora Kessel and Dennis Tierney

The Concerned Taxpayers Group’ extended invitations to all of the candidates of contested school board races. Of the fourteen candidates who received questionnaires, ten candidates chose to be interviewed. Every candidate in Howell chose to be interviewed and I tip my hat to all of them for that.

We used a math system in our endorsements. Our five PAC members all graded the choices individually. All the scores were averaged out, and the two highest acceptable scores in the district received our endorsement. Our grades were based on eight core questions, with a couple of extra core questions depending on the school district.

Our PAC board was majority independent, and one of our active republicans, Bill Johnston, was by his own choice not a voting member on our PAC board. I was a voting PAC member, but I did not grade on partisanship as both Republicans and Democrats got us into the schools’ mess, and I am looking for fiscally responsible candidates to get us out of this mess. I am a Conservative first, Concerned Taxpayer Second, and Republican third.

Speaking for myself and not the Taxpayers’ Group - John and Wendy will have my vote. Jim Pratt is my third choice, and while I will not speak for others, one question made the difference among those in my own scorecard. It was close. Of those three, it is a case of good vs. best. Phil Westmoreland, Valerie Webster, and Dennis McGuire all seem like nice people, and all of these people I think will be an improvement over at least one, if not two of the incumbents at Howell who are stepping down. I did not see an arrogance factor in any of those six candidates. Howell schools will see an improvement in its board, no matter who wins election this May.

UPDATED - I added a School Board Poll as well.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Penn and Teller on Gun Control

This is a funny video from Showtime's Penn and Teller (Libertarian Comedians) on Gun Control. WARNING - The Video has Strong Language (including a couple of f'bombs) and isn't for young kids. In fact the title of the video is - Gun Control is Bull#@^%!!!

Republican Michigander's Presidential Tournament

After the March Madness tournament with Survey St Louis, the Republican Michigander has decided to post a tournament of our own here, although with a different twist. Half of the possible candidates are going to be democrats. We're going to have a Republican Bracket and Democrat bracket with a Republican vs Democrat bracket in the final round.

Since this is Michigan, it's well known that parties have orchastrated shenanigans when it comes to primaries. Democrats have voted for McCain, and Republicans have voted for Fieger. I'd like to see the democrats vote in the democrat bracket, and republicans vote in the republican bracket, but just like Michigan's primaries - that may not happen. Because I can't screen everyone, this is going to be by a "general election format" where tickets can be split.

Since this is going to be a tournament of 32 and Pollhost is limiting me to 15 polls (30 candidates), we're going to have two seperate round one polls for each party, with the remaining rounds combining all candidates. The brackets are as follows.

Republicans

1. Mitt Romney - Massachusetts Governor, Michigan Native
16. Alan Keyes - Former Ambassador, frequent candidate

8. Sam Brownback - Kansas Senator, attended Mackinac Conference
9. Tommy Thompson - Former Wisconsin Governor, known for Welfare Reform, attended Mackinac Conference

5. Newt Gingrich - Former Speaker of the House
12. Mike Huckabee - Arkansas Governor

4. Tom Tancredo - Colorado Congressman and Immigration Reformer
13. Chuck Hagel - Nebraska Senator

6. Mike Pence - Indiana Congressman and Fiscal leader
11. Bill Frist - Senate Majority Leader

3. John McCain - 2000 candidate and Arizona Senator
14. Tim Pawlenty - Minnesota Governor

7. Rudy Giuliani - Former NYC Mayor
10. Fred Thompson - Former Tennessee Senator and actor.

2. George Allen - Virginia senator and former governor
15. George Pataki - New York Governor

Democrats
1. Hillary Clinton - New York Senator and former first lady
16. Dianne Feinstein - California Senator

8. Joe Biden - Delaware Senator
9. Brian Schweitzer - Montana Governor

5. Russ Feingold - Wisconsin Senator
12. Tom Vilsack - Iowa Governor

4. Bill Richardson - New Mexico Governor
13. Tom Daschle - Former Senate Majority/Minority leader

6. Barack Obama - Illinois Senator
11. Howard Dean - DNC Chair

3. Evan Bayh - Indiana Senator
14. Janet Napolitano - Arizona Governor

7. John Kerry - 2004 Democrat Nominee
10. John Edwards - Former North Carolina Senator

2. Mark Warner - Virginia Governor
15. Phil Bresden - Tennessee Governor

I did not include Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush or Mark Sanford as they said they were not running. I did not include Al Gore on the democrats side as he said he was not running.

Tancredo Wins March Madness 2006

Survey Saint Louis' March Madness 2008 is all over, and it wasn't even close. Tom Tancredo's online brigade ran through everybody, including Mike Pence, who I supported.

Several interesting developments have come from this.

1. There's a significant Stop McCain movement. I've said on several occasions that I can not support him under any circumstance. Many others I'm sure feel the same way. He lost to Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorn.

2. The only first tier candidate to get to the final four was George Allen. Rudy lost in the Sweet 16. Romney in the elite 8 (Both to Pence). McCain lost in the first round. Other rumored candidates Newt Gingrich lost in the elite 8 to Tancredo. Brownback lost to Fred Thompson in the Sweet 16. Tommy Thompson lost in the 2nd Round to Mike Pence. Mike Huckabee lost in the 2nd Round to Tom Coburn. Chuck Hagel lost in the 1st round to Lindsay Graham. Bill Frist lost to Mike Pence in the first round.

3. The top two finishers had hot button issues among President Bush and Congress' weak points among the right flank of the party. Tancredo is known for immigration reform. Pence is known for spending reform. Both are also conservatives on other issues, such as life and the 2nd amendment. These issues will be major in 2008.

I'd like to see Mike Pence run. I'd also like to see Tom Tancredo run. If nothing else, these two candidates will bring issues to the debate that need to be addressed. It took Ross Perot's candidacy to bring a balanced budget to Washington thanks to the Class of 1994 Congress who got Mr. Clinton to sign it kicking and screaming (Although he signed it - give credit where it's due).

The Republicans need to remember their base. The move to the left on fiscal issues and immigration is dangerous if we want to keep the house, senate, and presidency.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

March Madness Championship Game

While the Florida Gators are the NCAA national champions this year, we have another national championship game from Survey St Louis. Tom Tancredo vs Mike Pence.

It's currently not looking good for Pence, as the Tom Tancredo supporters are out in force. While Tom Tancredo's a good guy who brings many issues the establishment hates to the GOP debate, Mike Pence is the leading voice of fiscal conservatism in Washington.

We need to support fiscal conservatism and send a small, but important message to the party. Vote for Mike Pence!

Granholm selling Judicial appointments???

Saul Anuzis lets the cat out of the bag.


Granholm selling Judicial appointments???
MIRS Capitol Capsule, Monday, April 3, 2006

QUOTE OF THE DAY
"If this is the case, then the Governor should simply list these judicial positions on eBay and let the highest bidder be appointed.”

— Former State Supreme Court Justice candidate Martin BRENNAN on his belief that Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM hands out appointments based on political contributions.

Brennan: Granholm For Sale
A former Democratic-nominated Supreme Court justice candidate, J. Martin BRENNAN said Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM is living in a "parallel universe inhabited by moneyed sycophants," that she's so obsessed with money and competing with Dick DeVOS that it's guiding her decision-making.

Brennan said he believes he has been a team player for the state Democratic Party, but when he ran for the Court of Appeals in 2002, he asked for a Granholm endorsement and the request was denied.

When he secured the party's nod for the State Supreme Court in 2002, he complained he and Judge Maggie DRAKE "were treated like the proverbial red-headed step-children by the governor and her entourage."

More recently, this year, he applied for a vacancy to replace Judge Hilda GAGE, but, despite an endorsement from the Justice Caucus of the State Democratic Party and the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, he was rejected.

Brennan concluded Granholm and her husband are "nothing but Harvard elitists who profess to support the working class, but are truly clueless as they continue to pursue those with deep pockets to support another campaign."

He said there are rumors that "people who either heavily contributed to the governor's campaign or would contribute significantly to the upcoming campaign would be provided with the appointment."

"If this is the case," he went on, "Then the governor should simply list these judicial positions on eBay and let the highest bidder be appointed."

Brennan described the governor as being "self-centered, mercenary and hypocritical."

The reference appeared to be toward Granholm's alleged consideration of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Deborah TYNER for the Gage position. Tyner had given Granholm and her leadership fund $2,000 over the past two years. The Tyner family has been active in campaign fundraising circles. Tyner didn't get the position after a TV reporter found that Tyner spent her afternoons at the spa, the mall or the gym, as opposed to the courthouse.

The governor's office said it bases its judicial appointments on the recommendations from the State Bar of Michigan Judicial Qualifications Panel, which evaluates the fitness of candidates to serve and "We have not appointed anyone who hasn't met those qualifications."

Which, of course, is a polite way of saying Mr. Brennan did not measure up.

As for the allegation about buying nominations, the governor's office said, "That is absolutely not true."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tom Delay drops out of his race and takes one for the team.

From RedState



Just breaking on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country".
Tom DeLay just phoned Chris Matthews to give him the scoop that DeLay will be announcing tomorrow that he's dropping out of his Texas congressional race and will be leaving Congress.

Apparently, Rep. DeLay felt that he couldn't overcome the downward trends in the polls, his numbers weren't improving and likely wouldn't improve with the various scandals surrounding him, and he felt his chance of winning was no better than 50/50.

DeLay also felt another Republican candidate would walk into the job, and so he fell on his sword.

Pretty stunning news. And I'm assuming this isn't some delayed April Fools Day news story.


It's a smart move considering the black cloud around him. If he's guilty nail him. If he's innocent, he could make a comeback at some point.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

State Senate District Profiles

I've started profiling the State Senate districts of Michigan. They aren't as hyped up as Congress, but there are several competitive and potentially competitive races here.

The first eight are completed. These are all in Wayne County.