Friday, June 30, 2006

Tigers could be political X factor

Here's something that could be interesting this year. The Tigers may affect the election.

From the Lansing State Journal

Tim Skubick: Tigers could be political X factor

You're going to laugh at this, but don't. The Detroit Tigers could affect the race for governor this fall between incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm and Republican challenger Dick DeVos.

After watching another late-inning comeback against St. Louis the other night, a light bulb went off. These guys are for real - and if they still are playing ball in October, they could be an indirect factor in who runs our state after Jan. 1, 2007.

Normally during a race for governor, the general public does not tune in until October, about a month before the November vote.

But if the Tigers are involved in a hot pennant race and the team actually makes it to the World Series, (remember that admonition about laughing), citizens may not tune in at all.

It is guaranteed the media will give the baseball story banner headline treatment day in and day out. If you don't believe that, just look at a week's worth of newspaper headlines and see how many deal with sports and not real news.

As a result, the governor's contest will be shoved from the spotlight. Anybody who wants any news will have to go on a scavenger hunt. The candidates' inability to break through all the chatter about the Tigers will hurt both of them.

Not only will the media tune out, but the general public will, too. Given a choice between hearing about her "Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow" and his "The Michigan Turnaround Plan" or the latest home run by Pudge Rodriguez, you know which one Joe Six Pack will pick.
(SNIP)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day one of the UN gun ban summit

From NRA's Cam Edwards at Townhall.



We need to stay vigilante and make sure that no gun ban is accepted by us.


They’ve gathered in New York City, the best and brightest minds in the global gun ban movement. Oh, they don’t want you to think for a second that they’re actually interested in your guns. Kofi Annan as much as said so yesterday, when he told the attendees of the Small Arms Review Conference, “This Review Conference is not negotiating a ‘global gun ban’, nor do we wish to deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their national laws.” Got it, gun owners? There’s nothing to fear from the UN when it comes to your guns.
It’s too bad for Kofi that many of the countries attending the summit didn’t get his memo. Yesterday’s speeches were full of calls for expanding the current agenda to include the civilian possession of firearms. Hans Winkler, speaking on behalf of the European Union, called the current Program of Action “the key starting point for further action on small arms”. The ambassador from Australia, Robert Hill, spoke glowingly of his country’s gun laws that “require the registration and licensing of all firearms owners, prohibit a range of automatic and semi-automatic long arms and handguns, and mandate minimum firearms safety training and storage requirements.”

The statement from Indonesia’s representative was perhaps the clearest example of what these countries are aiming for.

“We believe that no armed group outside of the State should be allowed to bear weapons. We also believe that regulating civilian possession of Small Arms/Light Weapons will enhance our efforts to prevent its misuse. In our view, the issue of ammunition should also be addressed in the context of the Program of Action because in the absence of ammunition, small arms and light weapons pose no danger.”
(SNIP)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dick DeVos' Michigan Turn Around Plan

DeVos' Plan

This is the DeVos economic plan for Michigan, straight from its primary source. I encourage everyone to read it.

Courts jump into global warming battle

It is going to be illegal to breathe now? From the AP. First it was "global cooling, we're all gonna die!" Now it's "Global warming, we're all gonna die!!"

Supreme Court takes up what could be key case on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court plunged on Monday into the acrimonious debate over global warming and whether the government should regulate "greenhouse" gases, especially carbon dioxide from cars. The ruling could be one of the court's most important ever on the environment.

Spurred by states in a pollution battle with the Bush administration, the court said it would decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency is required under the federal clean air law to treat carbon dioxide from automobiles as a pollutant harmful to health.

The decision could determine how the nation addresses global warming.

President Bush has rejected calls by environmentalists and some lawmakers in Congress to regulate carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping "greenhouse" gas going into the atmosphere. Bush favors voluntary actions and development of new technologies to curtail such emissions.

But a dozen states argued that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping chemicals from automobile tailpipes should be treated as unhealthy pollutants. They filed a lawsuit in an effort to force the EPA to curtail such emissions just as it does cancer-causing lead and chemicals that produce smog and acid rain.

snip

Livingston Taxpayers' Association on Fire Millage

I moved David Hamilton and LTA's analysis on the Brighton Fire Millage to the political analysis section due to the effect on the sidebar and blog layout. It's a good read that I recommend.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

High Noon in Michigan (2008)

There's an interesting article in the
Weekly Standard

It's not a secret that much of the establishment is backing McCain or Romney. However, the Weekly Standard forgot one thing. This might not be a two way race. George Allen, Tom Tancredo, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich may all run. Then there are darkhorses. Governors like Tim Pawlenty and Bill Owens. Maybe Mark Sanford will change his mind. Maybe the draft Mike Pence movement succeeds. Who knows. Governors become presidents - Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush. Bush didn't become a frontrunner until after a big showing in the 1998 gubenatorial race.

Whatever the case is, I don't like coronations in general, and McCain/Romney are certainly no exception. The media and Weekly Standard love McCain, and some party insiders like him since they think he's their best shot to win. I can't back him for dogcatcher. He's a gun grabber, yaps about "chicken little" global warming, opposes tax cuts, opposes the first amendment with his McCain/Feingold law, led the gang of 14 on judges, has an ego the size of Alaska, and always pushes for government to get involved in things it doesn't belong in - such as the UFC and baseball. McCain wouldn't get my vote for dogcatcher.

As for Romney, where does he stand? Being against gay marriage isn't all it takes to be conservative. Massachusetts has government run health care now? On life issues, is his flip from pro-choice to pro-life real or political? Then there's his signing of an ugly gun ban. Romney has a lot to prove to me before I could back him. Being a Michigan native isn't enough.

Between this choice of A or B, I pick C.

Tax hikes, millages clog ballot (9 of them)

Here's one reason to vote this August. There are lots of tax measures on the ballot, and every county resident has at least one. From the Detroit News We should have a big turnout this August.

On the ballot

Millages to be voted upon in August include:

Livingston County to fund 911 Emergency phone and central dispatch

Cohoctah Township 1.5-mill road millage renewal

Green Oak Township 1.5-mill Fire Department millage renewal

Green Oak Township 1.6-mill Police Department millage renewal

Hamburg Township bond proposal for a new fire station

Hartland Township 1.8819-mill Fire Department millage

Howell Township 0.9532-mill road millage renewal

Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority 1-mill millage

Brighton Area Fire Authority 1.25-mill fire millage


(snip)

""""In all, nine millages are on the ballot in various communities this August. They range from renewals of road millages to establishing a parks and recreation tax in the Howell area.

These ballot proposals come in the midst of a tight state economy and on the heels of three out of five budget millages failing in the May election. Those factors caught the attention of the Howell City Council.

The city is the main force behind establishing the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority. The authority, which would serve the city, along with Genoa, Oceola and Marion townships, would take over the city's recreation department.

The authority is asking for a 1-mill tax, the maximum it can request, to maintain recreation facilities and to purchase new parkland. That would give it an annual budget of between $1.3 million and $1.5 million.

To help sell the proposal, the City Council approved lowering the city's millage by 1 mill if the authority's millage passes. They say the cut won't harm city services.

"So our citizens come out even," Howell Mayor pro tem Steve Manor said.

Recreation officials estimate the Howell area will need to purchase at least 325 acres of parkland for recreation to meet demand from the growing population.

Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Dave Hamilton, chairman of the Livingston County Taxpayers Association, said the parks and recreation millage will be an "enormous" tax increase for the area.

Hamilton added that it's not a good idea to raise taxes during tough economic times, like the state is experiencing now.

Hamilton says he believes tax increases, such as the Hamburg Township Fire Department's push for new taxes for a new $3.5-million fire station, should be rejected as just too big.

The "government should really tighten its belt like normal families have to," Hamilton said. "Some of these bonds are just outrageous. It's like their eyeballs are bigger than their pocketbooks.""""

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Argus editorial on judicial candidates

I have to disagree with most of Dan Meisler's editorial on the judicial races.

What does the amount of political contributions to GOP politicians, or past support of socialists or communists, have to do with being a judge?


It shows if they are more into the Alex Kozinski or Maura Corrigan mold - or the Stephen Reinhardt and Ruth Bader Ginsburg mold.

It is not naive, as GOP state Chairman Saul Anuzis suggested in Thursday's story, to demand a judicial system that is independent of partisan influence. In fact, it is a cornerstone of our system of democracy, and the questionnaire was corrosive to that.

And before you condemn this column as the rantings of a liberal, ask yourself how many Republicans would agree with me. It's not liberal to want an independent judiciary — it's American.


I'm not going to condemn this column as a ranting of a liberal, but here's the problem - There is no independent judiciary. There never was, and never will be. Judges aren't robots. They don't remove their politicial affiliations and opinions on issues when they enter a courtroom. Theresa Brennan is the same person as judge as she was when she was just an attorney. As a strict constitutionalist in philosophy, the judiciary is increasingly a partisan issue as well as democrats are more apt to support judicial activism, and republicans are more apt to support strict constitutionalism and original intent. The question we all need to ask is this. Do we want our own Stephen Reinhardt in Livingston County? Do we want to set her on Circut where she would be the first to hear a gun case, abortion case, felony case, major tort case, etc. She ran for circuit once already.

My own goal - as a blogger, a conservative, and 2nd amendment activist is to let the voters know the stances of judicial candidates so they will make an informed choice this August and November. I believe that when the voters find out where Theresa Brennan stands in her philosophy and how dangerous it is, that Livingston County will send her back to being Brighton City Attorney. Today's district court is tomorrow's Appeals Judge.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Granholm vetos repeal of motorcycle helmet law

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Anti-freedom wins...for now. From the AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Friday vetoed a bill that would have allowed adult motorcyclists to ride without helmets.

Granholm said repealing the mandatory helmet law, which dates back to the 1960s, doesn't make sense.

"The social and economic costs of this legislation simply are too high," Granholm wrote in her veto letter to lawmakers.

The veto disappoints American Bikers Aiming Toward Education of Michigan. The group had successfully urged both the House and Senate to pass the bill, getting the mandatory helmet repeal as close to final approval as it has ever been.

ABATE said Granholm succumbed to false claims and insurance industry pressure.

"Her veto isn't about safety but about money," ABATE legislative director Jim Rhoades said in a statement.

Rhoades said the group would hold Granholm accountable for her veto in the November election and will continue to advance its freedom-of-choice and safety education efforts.


The insurance lobbies said "Jump", and Granholm said "How High!."

Sidebar troubles

The table from Dave Hamilton's flyer messed up the sidebar. I'll probably archive and link this in a couple of days after it is read.

Gun Owners of America's take on John McCain - F-



Arizona Senator John McCain is almost certainly running for President again. He has been courting various conservative leaders in his quest to secure the Republican nomination. McCain wants voters to believe that he is a conservative... but his record would certainly suggest otherwise.

Take, for instance, his record on gun rights and political speech affecting Second Amendment activists. Abysmal, wretched, and pathetic are words that come to mind.

GOA on McCain - long list of links

Wendy Day (Howell School Board) joins blogosphere

Livingston GOP activist, LOVE Group member, and Howell School Board member Wendy Day has joined the blogosphere. It's good to see our elected officials get involved in the blogosphere.

For a Better Day Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lawsuit seeks to block affirmative action ballot measure

Here we go again. From the AP

Lawsuit seeks to block affirmative action ballot measure

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Opponents of an anti-affirmative action ballot proposal filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in another attempt to stop the measure from going to voters in November.

The plaintiffs in the suit include Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Operation King's Dream, an affiliate of the pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary.

The suit claims that supporters of the proposal used trickery to qualify for the ballot. Opponents say thousands of voters were deceived into signing the petitions circulated by the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

Judicial Endorsement Questionaire and Controversy

There is some controversy in the paper about the judicial nominees and endorsement processes. These are some facts on the matter.

After the school board endorsements, our committee decided there needs to be a formal process on the matter. The endorsement committee was formed and started a process. A process was approved at an executive committee meeting. The process is in effect. A questionaire was sent out to judicial candidates. I have not seen this yet and I wish I did. However, I trust that the endorsement committee did a good job on this in their questions. I was at two of the meetings (although I'm NOT on the endorsement committee) and saw that there was major discussion about this and all sides had their say. I did see a template based on a different political race and the questions there were fair. The questions were based on national party platform. I took the template test and got 90%. I didn't get 100% as my views aren't with any platform 100%.

The candidates are supposed to fill out the questions and turn them in if they so choose to do so. The results go to the endorsement committee and any final decision will be voted on by the executive committee. Anything said before final results is speculation.

Apparently, one of the biggest controversies is asking the candidates who they supported. This is an extremely valid question as it shows where the judges beliefs are. Anyone who says that personal beliefs are cast aside when they put on a robe is
lying. That's why the democrats are trying to fillibuster President Bush's judges. That's why Michigan's Supreme Court is split the way it is.

Assuming the questions are those in the paper - I don't see anything wrong with them. The endorsement committee did an excellent job here.

""""What would you call your “core beliefs”?
If you could enact any law that would affect decisions made by judges today, what would it be?
What is your party affiliation?
What does it mean to be a Republican?
Do you personally agree with the following Republican values as defined by the Republican Party platform: (Yes or No)
-- The right for the life of an unborn child to be protected from abortion?
-- Defining marriage as being between one man and one woman?
• Americans should be protected from court rulings that limit the display and practices of their religious beliefs?
-- Americans should not be restricted from their right to bear arms?
-- Government has a right to take someone’s property for financial benefit to the community?
How much money have you donated to the Livingston County Republican events and committees in the following calendar years? (2003-2006)
Have you supported or worked on any of the following Republican leaders’ campaigns in the following designated calendar years (2003-2006):
-- U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers?
-- State Sen. Valde Garcia?
-- State Rep. Joe Hune?
-- State Rep. Chris Ward?
In the past 12 years, in any election, have you publicly or privately endorse, supported (either monetarily, offering resources or through volunteer efforts) or voted for a candidate or organization representing the following affiliations:
-- A Democrat?
-- Communist?
-- Socialist?
-- The Democratic Party?
-- An organization with a racist ideology?""""


I don't see anything wrong with those questions.

As for Mr. Carney's comment

"I think Karl Rove's alive and well and he's coaching people in Livingston County," said Joe Carney, chair of the county's Democratic Party. He was referring to President George W. Bush's political guru.


I think our endorsement committee should take that as a compliment.

As for Bill Rogers comments, I like Bill and he's a good guy, but I disagree with him on this. I think the fact that Theresa Brennan bought her judicial seat is tacky.

I happen to agree with Saul's statement. It's a lot similar to what I've been saying.


"If they wanted to (ask about those things), I don't think that's outside the realm of normal procedures," he said.

He also said the state GOP endorses candidates for state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Anuzis added that it was "naive" to think that judges don't hold partisan views, and that it was important to know them because judges tend to move up to higher courts."



Cindy Pine and Allan Filip are saying that candidates should ignore the questionaires. All I have to say is that candidates do so at their own peril as much of the rest of the executive committee is not united on this issue. Many on the committee will not accept that decision. One thing that should be kept in mind is that school board endorsements passed the committee 16-4. Judges are a bigger issue than school boards. All exec committee members as individuals are one person. The committee makes the final decision if any. I do not know what that decision would be. When this issue came up, it should have been discussed with the committee before any statements were made. I should have first heard about this from one of the other officers in the party and not from the Argus. In Cindy and Allan's defense, they were caught offguard, as I was. That said, the process was already approved by the executive committee. We all should have been better prepared in responding.

Lastly, These internal political issues should be kept in-house and these's comments should not be made without executive committee discussion. Cindy had a 1PM deadline to make a comment in the Argus and was caught offguard. I was also caught offguard. That can't happen. Because of this, we have conflicting comments in the party public in the paper. The winners when that happens are Joe Carney and KevinS - not us. We need to be ready as a party for any surprises and take a page out of James Carville and Paul Begala's book - have a warroom ready to go, and respond to anything in an organized matter. Normally I wouldn't make an internal GOP matter public, but when our entire executive committee first finds out about this from the Argus, it's already public.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

No more anonymous

This is something I've considered off and on for the last month, more so since the anonynmous attacks flaring up recently. From now on, everyone who wants to comment needs at least a blogger screenname. They are not hard to get and in the comment section, it is easy to sign up for one in a blogger account (Free).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Former State Rep. Shulman running for Supreme Court

From the Lansing State Journal

Ex- Rep. Shulman to seek court seat

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis announced over the weekend that former state Rep. Marc Shulman will run for the state Supreme Court.

Shulman served in the House from 1999 to 2005, including a stint as chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He's a Cooley Law School graduate.

If Republicans nominate him, he and Justice Maura Corrigan will be the GOP candidates seeking eight-year terms.

Democratic Justice Michael Cavanagh has announced he's running for re-election.


Corrigan's done a good job and will get my vote. I'm undecided on the other race as I don't know who'll be nominated at the convention. I'll back Shulman over Cavanagh though.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Howell High School Flags are coming down

From the Argus

The rainbow-design diversity flag at Howell High School, the source of controversy for more than 18 months, is coming down this summer, according to both the club's faculty advisor and a spokesperson for the LOVE group that opposes the flag because it feels it endorses homosexuality.

A second flag, put up more recently by a traditional values club, will also be coming down.


I wonder if this issue is now over? Only time will tell.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Argus mad at Jay Drick

No shock here. The Argus editorial attacks Jay Drick for politics. They don't like that Jay believes that Brennan does not share the values of Livingston County. I thought that Jay's comments in his literature and website are rather mild, but that's just my own view.

Here's the thing. Politics has been a part of the judiciary for years. It was kept hush-hush instead of out in the open, but it's there. Governors appoint judges when there is a vacancy. How did Brennan get the post? To put it bluntly, she bought it - with $3500 to Granholm's campaign ($100 of it is to a leadership PAC, $3400 to her gubenatorial campaign - so it IS legal and not over the $3400 limit) and over $5000 to extremist Debbie Stabenow. $1500 to MI List - Michigan's version of radical Emily's List, didn't hurt either. Neither did her party donations.

Now right or wrong, a lot of lawyers who have judicial asperations always give money to likely winners or incumbents in gubenatorial and presidential races. It's part of politics. Some republican lawyers donated for Granholm for that reason - consideration for a judgeship. "That's how the game is played." Many longtime members of one party will all of a sudden show up at opposite party fundraisers when it is an election year or close to one - in an attempt to show a "nonpartisan" card. Brennan did that. So did current Judge Dave Reader. It's no secret that Brennan is a democrat. It's no secret that Reader is a republican. I doubt that's changed. That's part of judicial politics, and it happens for district court all the way up to Supreme Court. I'm not saying that I agree with it. I don't. The point I'm making is that judiciary is already extremely political, even if the politics are not out in the open.

The good thing in Michigan as opposed to Federal Court, is that judges have to face the people in elections. If judges were not political, we wouldn't have elections for them in August and November. If legislating from the bench isn't an issue, then judicial confirmations would not be such a major issue in Congress. Back in 2000, we had the "Markman, Taylor, and Young. Oh My!" ads from the MDP (Michigan Democrat Party). The MDP injected partisan politics into a judicial race. The Republicans counters and supported Markman, Taylor, and Young. They also injected partisan politics into a judicial race - at the highest court in the state. I've seen it to a lesser degree in state appeals races. Today's appeals judges and Supreme Court Judges usually start at the district, circuit, or probate level. That's the top reason why judicial activist views are so important even at these "lower" levels.

I disagree with the Argus here on 1/2 of this statement - in bold.
Voters likely want District Court judges who make rulings based on evidence and the law. Those aren't partisan attributes.


I agree about voters supporting judges who make rulings based on law and evidence. That IS increasingly a partisan issue. It's certainly a political issue and conservative issue. Legislating from the bench is one of the biggest complaints by conservatives. I'm sure we all remember when SCOTUS Judges Ginsburg, Breyer, and O'Conner used European law as basis for a US Constitutional issues. Europe should have nothing to do with this. That's legislating from the bench, and it is wrong, and it needs to be eliminated - at all levels of government.

We all have a choice this year. That was Jay's point that started all this controversy. Livingston County did not vote for Granholm or Stabenow. Granholm picked our judge. Now we decide as voters who WE want as our judge. Whatever the case, at least the voters make the final decision this year, not Granholm.

Another tree ordinance? (City of Brighton)

I'll refrain comments of support or opposition on this ordinance until I know what's in the small print. That said, my guard is up here, and I hope that the extremists like Sierra Club do not have their fingerprints on this like the Brighton Township proposed ordinance taken out in a referendum.

From the Argus

Brighton City Council member Jon Stoppels doesn't believe the city has sufficient rules to protect trees and has been pushing hard to get an anti-clear-cutting ordinance on the books as soon as possible.
His fellow council members don't see the rush and held off holding a first reading of a proposed clear-cutting rule. On Thursday, the council voted 5-2 to send the proposed tree ordinance to the Planning Commission for review, which council members said was the standard procedure. Stoppels and council member John Tunis voted against the motion.

"I don't think Brighton has a problem with trees," council member Kate Lawrence said. "I don't think there's been clear-cutting to a catastrophic degree."


Council member Kathy Jones agreed. She said she wasn't comfortable having a first reading of the clear-cutting ordinance until the commission had reviewed it first.
By moving quickly on the matter, she said she feared the city was having a "knee-jerk reaction" to one incident in which a property owner cleared some trees and shrubs from his small parcel on Grand River Avenue.

City resident Elizabeth Walker raised concerns about how the rule might affect her. She owns 7 acres of heavily wooded property in the city and believes the new ordinance targets her.

"I'm going ballistic, listening to this tree ordinance discussion," Walker told the council.

"There are so many questions about it," she added.


The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sources: Right to Life endorses Jay Drick for District Judge

My inside sources tell me that Jay Drick has received the endorsement of Michigan Right to Life for judge.

Assuming this is true, kudos to RTL. I was a critic of them when they made their decision in the US Senate race, but they've earned back some of my respect here for making the right decision.

Jay Drick is pro-life. Theresa Brennan is a multiple time donor to the MI List - the state version of Emily's List. Emily's List supports pro-abortion democrats for elective office. They are pro-abortion. Not pro-choice. Pro-abortion. (Emily's List supporters back partial birth abortion - and refused to endorse even a pro-choice congresswoman who opposes Partial Birth Abortion). Some people say that doesn't matter on the District Court level. I disagree, and the reason is this - Today's District Court judge is tomorrows' Circuit Court, Appeals Court judge or Federal judge. We do not need judicial activists and strongly potential judicial activists gaining experience at the lower courts to pad their resumes for future high level judgeships.

This is another reason to support Jay Drick for Judge.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Insider trading conviction of Leftist Gazillionaire George Soros upheld

From the AP

The highest court in France on Wednesday rejected a bid by George Soros, the billionaire investor, to overturn a conviction for insider trading in a case dating back nearly 20 years, leaving the first blemish on his five-decade investing career.

The panel, the Cour de Cassation, upheld the conviction of Soros, 75, an American citizen, for buying and selling Société Générale shares in 1988 after receiving information about a planned corporate raid on the bank


Soros is the epidomy of everything wrong in politics.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Jay Drick's Judicial Race makes the Argus

From the Argus



Campaign literature from Jay Drick, one of two candidates hoping to unseat incumbent District Judge Theresa Brennan, says Brennan doesn't reflect the community's values, is a liberal, and bases her rulings on ideology.
The handout also points out that Brennan was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and urges voters not to "let the Democrat governor choose your district judge."

But judicial races are designated as nonpartisan by state law, meaning that political parties are not supposed to come into play.

Drick, who is a member of the Livingston County Republicans' Executive Committee, said his goal with the literature was to inform new county residents that Brennan was appointed, not elected.

"We have a lot of newcomers in this county. My literature is essentially pointing out to newcomers that when you go to the polls, do not wrongly think a majority of Livingston County voters some six or eight years ago voted in this judge," he said.


I got the same handout. It was relatively minor when it comes to partisan rhetoric (as least compared to what I've written on this race) It's similar to what is seen at his website. The main point Jay wants to point out about his opponent is that she was appointed by Granholm and was never elected by Livingston County voters. The final decision is made by us, not by somebody from Lansing or Wayne County. I think that's an issue.

As for Jay, he has 30 years of experience in several areas of practice. He's a strict constitutionalist as opposed to a judicial activist. He has one of the calmest temperments of any attorney I know. I've never seen him lose his temper or even become visably agaitated.

Jay would be an excellent judge in Livingston County.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Republican Michigander Interviews our Next Governor Dick DeVos

We have our first blog interview here at the Republican Michigander. We'll hopefully have more of these in the future.

The first interview is with our next Governor, Dick DeVos. There are ten of them along with "subquestions", and all of them were answered. Some were softballs, but some were harder questions as well. Before we get to the questions, I'd like to thank Dick DeVos for the interview, and wish him the best of luck in his campaign. He has my vote.

RM: What is the reaction across the state to your campaign?

DeVos: Since I announced my candidacy more than a year ago, I’ve traveled more than 70,000 miles visiting all 83 counties and am working on my second lap. As I’ve met and talked with residents, I have been forever changed. The people I’ve met with tell me that they are concerned about the future of this state and whether or not their children and grandchildren will be able to find jobs here. They are open to our message of change because they recognize that change is needed.

RM: Two recent polls show the campaign being tied. What is your reaction to the momentum shifting your way? (This was asked before the latest poll showing DeVos 6 points ahead)

DeVos: We are pleased with the progress the campaign for change is making. But it is still early. Everyone needs to remember that the polls will change many more times between now and November.

I judge momentum by the responses I get in my travels around the state – and it’s very positive.

RM: Michigan is one of the only states in the country to lose jobs. Why is that? What can be done to change this?

DeVos: Michigan has one of the worst tax climates in the country because of the job-killing single business tax (SBT). The SBT taxes a company whether they make a profit or not, and it taxes a company each time it expands or hires new employees. In addition, the SBT taxes companies for providing their employees with health care. My plan lays out very specific thing we can do to improve our economy. I will reform Michigan’s business climate so job makers will no longer be harmed for investing and expanding business in this state. In addition, I will lead our state by making the tough decisions which are necessary to stimulate action and get the economy back on track and help families find and keep good paying jobs.

RM: The current governor just vetoed the repeal of the SBT tax. Would you have signed the elimination of the SBT? Would you have replaced the revenue with a different tax, or with budget cuts?

DeVos: As I said, elimination of the SBT is a key to helping turn our struggling economy around, and therefore would have signed the bill. When the SBT is eliminated, there will be a void in the state budget, and the best way to deal with that is through a combination of budget cuts, job growth, and a more fair business tax.

RM: One major issue in Livingston County is guns. Several people have asked me about your stance on our Second Amendment. What is your view on our Second Amendment rights?

DeVos: There have been and will continue to be many debates surrounding the rights given to us in the Second Amendment. Let me be clear: I support the Second Amendment rights granted to us by our Founding Fathers to keep and bear arms.

RM: Just outside of Livingston County is the Ford Wixon plant. Ford Motor Company is closing the Wixom plant. Currently Michigan’s manufacturing jobs are rapidly leaving the state. What would you do as governor to help reduce the job losses here?

DeVos: We need to create a business-friendly environment in the state and the first thing we can do to assist us in reaching that goal is to eliminate the single business tax. We need to do more to diversify Michigan’s economy and we must do more to sell Michigan-made products all over the world.

RM: The Democrats are saying that you have outsourced Michigan jobs to China. Is this true? If this is false, what is the truth?

DeVos: When I was the head of Alticor, we realized that to make sure our business would survive we would have to improve our efforts to sell Michigan-made products around the world. Even though it was a tough call, choosing to expand in China was the right decision for our businesses and for Michigan.

During our expansion, and contrary to the partisan rhetoric that’s being spread, not one Michigan job – not one – was sent to China. In fact, expanding into the Chinese market has created 300 jobs right here in Michigan and helped secure the employment of thousands more Michigan workers. At the same time we invested $200 million in China - as required by their laws - Alticor invested more than $700 million right here in Michigan to support operations.

I’ve learned firsthand that it’s possible to invest in China without eliminating jobs in Michigan. Investment there does in fact lead to growth and prosperity here in our state. In order to remain competitive in this global economy, Michigan needs more companies that are willing to invest and sell Michigan-made products all over the world. In fact, the only way to turn Michigan around is to stop fearing international competition, take on the global marketplace and sell Michigan products everywhere we can. By doing this, we will create jobs.

RM: Why are you running for governor? What do you bring to the governorship of Michigan?

DeVos: I am running for Governor, not because I have anything to gain from becoming Governor, but because I believe that my business background, leadership, and understanding give me a great deal to offer the state of Michigan. Our state is going through an economic crisis. Unemployment is skyrocketing and jobs leave Michigan at an alarming rate. Local communities cannot afford to provide the critical fire and police services we depend on for safety. We need strong, principled leadership in Michigan. We need someone who understands how to turn our state and its struggling economy around. I am that person and I have the experience necessary to make change happen in Michigan.

I am the only candidate running for Governor who has the business background to bring jobs to our state. If there was ever a time to put a job maker in the Governor’s chair, this is that time.

If anyone wants to find out more about how they can be a part of the Team for Change, volunteer, etc., I’d encourage them to visit or Web site at www.DeVosforGovernor.com.

RM: What are your most important issues in this campaign?

DeVos: The number one issue facing this state right now is jobs and the economy. What can we do to put people back to work? As I’ve said, my plan to turn Michigan’s economy around begins with the elimination of the SBT, doing more to diversify our economy and working to ensure that Michigan-made products are sold all around the world.

RM: Gas prices are extremely high here in Michigan. What can be done in this state for us to either increase our supplies, reduce dependency on foreign oil, or both?

DeVos: We can begin by capping the gas tax when gas prices are at or exceed $1.95 per gallon. As gas prices soar, some turn to blaming and complaining. I propose action and results and this is one of those times. Residents should not have to deal with the additional burden of high sales tax on gas. Lansing can do something to help families. I am advocating an end to the windfall tax gouging of Michigan families.

Residents pay 19 cents per gallon in a state gas tax and the federal government collects another 18.4 cents per gallon. In addition, the state also collects 6 percent sales tax on the price of gas.

The state doesn’t need the additional excess; residents should be able to keep their hard-earned money.

Updates

State House District 1-8 finished.

Today, I had about six hours of "fun" called the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) - the Law School version of the ACT/SAT. It's even more fun fighting through a lingering (since Wednesday) bad cold while taking the test. If my roughest section was the ungraded experimental part as I suspect, I think I did alright. Cautiously Optimistic. We'll see.

Last Sunday had a great letter to the editor in the Argus. I don't know Mr Webber, but that was one of the best letters I've seen in a long time.

What’s happening to our county?

Who are these people? And why are they so hell-bent to change the personality of Livingston County?
It was the rural charm and uniqueness that brought most of us to this area in the first place. I hardly recognize downtown Brighton anymore, and I can’t remember when I had an uncluttered view of the Mill Pond.

Who are these people who insist that we need a half-dozen pharmacies when Uber’s Drugs was doing just fine?

They tell us that we need not only one ridiculous roundabout, but that we now need one at each end of town. They form a committee and try to pass off this crap scattered around town as art, and I’m not talking about the mutant with the penis. At least I can tell what that is supposed to be. Everyone is trying to tell me what I want in my town.

And now I have to listen to Rob Britton in the June 6 paper (letter, “We don’t need guns to be safe”) spout off about gun control. I agree that unattended children need to leave guns alone, but just telling them won’t work.

Anyone with children knows that actions sometimes speak louder than words. Organizations like the Howell Gun Club provide a great service in educating children and adults in the proper handling of firearms. They should be commended on the work they are doing.

I don’t know where Mr. Britton gets his impression that the “gun-toting citizenry of Livingston County” are driving around drunk in their SUVs, but I think that he’s been watching a few too many shoot-’em-up movies.

The legal firearm owners of Livingston County include doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and storeowners, to name a few. You must be a well-educated man, Mr. Britton, being a spouse of a teacher, but you and others like you must look toward educating, not abolishing, when it comes to guns in our community.

Livingston County is growing fast and so will the crime rate. It’s only a matter of time. The Constitution gives us the right to own a gun, and the CCW laws in Michigan give us the right to carry one.

So you protect your loved ones with the philosophy of Sober & Unarmed and I’ll protect mine with Smith & Wesson.

Rob Webber
Brighton

AFL-CIO leadership blunders

I got an email with an anti-DeVos attack ad from the AFL-CIO on PDF. Obviously they don't have any history experts on their political staff.

"A tax loophole was signed into law by [b]President Bush in 1997[/b] which primarily benefited Amway and its Asian investments"


Do the idiots in AFL-CIO's so called "leadership" know who was president in 1997? It was their boy, Bill Clinton, signer of NAFTA, GATT, and most favored nation trade status for China.

Friday, June 09, 2006

al-Zarqawi offed, Zandstra Out?, McCotter takes UN to task, Helmet Law and Castle Doctrine to Granholm, local stuff

I don't have time to really go into details on any issue at least till after Monday.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. To quote Lt John McClane - "Yippee Kai Aye M#@%@#%er" I don't dance on many graves. That's an exception.

It looks like Jerry Zandstra is withdrawing for the senate race and will not be contesting in court the decision by the board of canvassers. If Jerry is on the ballot unexpectedly, he has my vote. If not, I'll be voting for the candidate who talks most about economic issues and has the best chance to defeat Stabenow. Jerry gained my support due to economic issues.

Regardless of what happens, Jerry Zandstra added to the debate with his discussion of economic issues, health care, affirmative action, and life issues. While health care costs and economics (outside taxes) don't get the same hype as other issues, they are very important, especially with the more quiet "man on the street" who isn't always in the news. I hope Jerry stays active and considers a run for Vern Ehlers' congressional seat when Ehlers retires.

Castle Doctrine (no duty to retreat) and the Helmet Law (repeal requirements of motorcyclists being forced to wear helmets) on their way to Granholm. I support both of these bills. A man or woman's home is their castle. As for helmets, government doesn't need to be a nanny to please the insurance lobbies. Get rid of the seatbelt law as well(and yes, I wear them).

There's a lot of controversey over the statue of the "naked man" at the Mill Pond down in Brighton. I don't see the big deal. Granted I didn't take a close look at it, but I didn't even notice that it wasn't wearing any clothes until the papers mentioned it. Maybe I need new contacts. I'm more concerned about all the tax measures and judicial races out here instead.

Lastly, Livonia Congressman Thad McCotter wrote a column taking the jokers at the UN to task. Kudo's to McCotter, and I wish more congressman were outspoken about the current joke that is the UN. It's past time for us to get out of the UN.

And speaking of the UN, there's another push for global gun grabs on the way at the end of the month. I'll be "fair and balanced" and let the gun grabbers have their say on this, as well the more mainstram Gun Owners of America.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Update

As I am going back to school and have a major test coming soon, I won't have any new posts here until at least Saturday or Sunday.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

No Gore in 2008

Bad news....for us. Gore probably isn't running.

WASHINGTON - Al Gore, the Democrats' nominee for the White House in 2000, says he has all but ruled out running for president in 2008, saying the best use of his time is to educate people about global warming.

"I haven't made a Sherman statement, but that's not an effort to hold the door open. It's more the internal shifting of gears," said Gore, referring to Civil War-era general William Tecumseh Sherman. "I can't imagine any circumstances in which I would become a candidate again. I've found other ways to serve. I'm enjoying them."

Democrats top state senate targets

They are going after these seats.
6th, 13th, 17th, 32nd, and 34th. I think they are going to take a big shot at the 20th and 29th as well.

It's 22-16 GOP in the Senate and 58-49 GOP currently in the House

The dems need to win three senate seats to tie and six house seats to tie. Three vacant house seats were dem held. Whitmer, Phillips, and Kerhl. The Phillips seat is safe democrat. Whitmer's district strongly leans that way. Kerhl's seat is a tossup.

The senate redistricters were extra nice to the dems. The house less so.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Mike Pence - a sensible immigration policy

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence once again shows why there is a Draft Pence movement among conservatives. He crafted an immigration policy which is a much better alternative to the McCain/Kennedy amnesty package which our joke of a senator Carl Levin supported (And Stabenow tried to have it both ways).

I see the solution as a four-step process. Securing our border is the first step. The second step is to make the decision, once and for all, to deny amnesty to people whose first act in the United States was a violation of the law. The third step is to put in place a guest worker program, without amnesty, that will efficiently provide American employers with willing guest workers who come to America legally. The final step is tough employer sanctions that ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in the enforcement of our laws on immigration and guest workers.


And here's the bottom line about the Pence Bill:

1. The House Bill which passed (And senate opposed) was a good first step. Pence supports removing the felony portion but keeps the rest as is.

2. It adds a security fence.

3. No Amnesty in any form. Any guest worker policy requires an illegal to go home first.

4. Mass deportation isn't fesible, so Pence is encouraging illegals to self-deport. Private businesses (many support amnesty) are enouraged to set up Ellis Island centers to match "guest workers" with jobs unable to be filled with American workers. All workers are required to go through background checks. Visas will be issued outside the US. Pence emphasises that point to illegals who want to become citizens are forced to leave first.

5. Number of guest workers will be limited.

6. After 6 years, guest workers must apply for citizenship or go home. They must learn English to renew their visa.

7. Employment taxes must be paid. Workers will be allowed to change jobs so they aren't trapped.

8. Employers must hire Americans first.

9. There will be strict enforcement of employers.

I could support this.

Bush proposes Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage

From the AP



President Bush will promote a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on Monday, the eve of a scheduled Senate vote on the cause that is dear to his conservative backers.

The amendment would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages. To become law, the proposal would need two-thirds support in the Senate and House, and then be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures.

It stands little chance of passing the 100-member Senate, where proponents are struggling to get even 50 votes. Several Republicans oppose the measure, and so far only one Democrat _ Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska _ says he will vote for it.


I'm no fan of gay marriage, but I can not support this. This is coming from someone who voted for proposition 2 (because of my opposition to taxpayer funded domestic benefits) and supported the Defense of Marriage Act back in the 1990's.

The reason I do not support this is for two reasons.

1. It is not a good reason to amend the constitution. The constitution has only once forbid something. That was during prohibition. This is bad precident. The reason Bush supports the amendment is an attempt to get around activist judges. That's STILL not a good enough reason. I'd rather see activist judges removed from power. Impeach Jack Weinstein. Impeach Stephen Reinhardt. THAT'll send a message and restore the balance of power.

The only Constitutional Amendment I would support is one that allows states not to recognize marriage contracts that are in other states. That still leaves the decision to the states which gets to my next point.

2. Does everything need to be a FEDERAL law? One thing that has been unacceptable by Bush, Schumer, and most of all John McCain (by far the worst offender) - is that they have made a federal case out of everything. (Many) Conservatives had a fit at Mr. Clinton's overzealous gun grabbing ways and his environmental whacko (I'm NOT referring to conservationism which I support) policies from the federal level. By environmental whacko, I'm referring to his policy of re-introducing wolves out west and protecting them from ranchers - who are trying to protect their livestock. Conservatives were right to oppose this. Liberals are going to oppose this bill.

How about let's all be consistant here and have some less government for once.

Coming Soon - SAFR-PAC's Second Amendment Endorsements

The Second Amendment Organization "Shooters Alliance for Firearms Rights" is going to soon release some of their endorsements for 2006. Currently, no final decisions have been made. Surveys, records, and statements are all looked at with the following ratings. Acceptable, Unacceptable, or in rare cases, a "mixed" rating. Endorsements are not easy to get as we are usually tougher than the NRA is. The 2004 endorsements are still on the site.

I have not seen all of the surveys, and I will not speculate anything until decisions are made, as some may come in at the last minute. There is also over 50 pages of voting records that will be gone over as well. I will say that there is one rule for all congressional, state representative, gubenatorial, and state senate races. No survey - No endorsement.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

State Senate Districts Finished

All 38 State Senate Districts are complete.