Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Big government conservatism"

I saw this quote on the Michigan Gun Owners website. It bears repeating.

"Big government by its very nature is government that intrudes in people's lives, usurps their rights and responsibilities and confiscates their money. There is nothing conservative about any of this. Regardless of how benevolent and well-meaning its intentions are, government expands almost entirely for the purpose of controlling and regulating the lives of its citizens. Each act of government, each law passed, each regulation written is a step toward limiting the freedom of some one or some group or some organization or some business or industry. Granted, some of these steps may be necessary but most of them are not. So let's not kid ourselves. If conservatives are people who put freedom ahead of security and individual rights ahead of government control, then it must follow that they are opposed to big government. This being the case, a policy of 'big government conservatism' is merely an excuse for wayward conservatives to justify moving leftward and anyone who denies this is an ignoramus, a fool or a hypocrite." - Lyn Nofziger

ANOTHER Roundabout?

Unbelievable....with a $500,000 price tag


What's better, waiting two minutes at a stop sign while traffic blocks your way, or negotiating a traffic roundabout?
The Livingston County Road Commission is betting that people will prefer the latter, and are planning the county's sixth roundabout — projected to cost $500,000 — for the intersection of Winans Lake and Hamburg roads in Hamburg Township.

Drivers going westbound on Winans Lake Road face an average wait of more than two minutes at the stop sign with Hamburg Road, said Mike Craine, the commission's managing director.

The other option, he said, was a three-way stop-sign setup, which wouldn't work for very long considering the amount of traffic at the intersection. The intersection doesn't qualify for a traffic signal under state rules, Craine said.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2008 - Former Governor Jim Gilmore is in

I missed this from back during exams. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore is in for 08.

From CBS
Jim Gilmore, a tax-slashing former Virginia governor, announced he will explore a presidential bid in 2008.

(snip)
"I am not someone who has to evolve as a conservative. I don't have to evolve my position," he said.

Gilmore was easily elected governor in 1997 on a promise to cut the despised property tax local governments assess on personal cars and pickup trucks. He served one term and could not seek re-election because Virginia uniquely bars successive terms for its governors.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hold on to your wallet!

From the AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Thursday picked outgoing state Sen. Bob Emerson of Flint to be her new budget director.

Emerson would replace Mary Lannoye, who is becoming Granholm's chief of staff. The effective date of Emerson's appointment would be Jan. 3.

"Bob has earned not only my respect but the respect of those on both sides of the aisle as a fair and honest individual with a passion for making Michigan a better place for everyone," Granholm said in a statement. "I am honored that Bob will continue his service to the citizens of Michigan."



Bob Emerson was one of the most left wing of all of Michigan's state senators. His budgets, combined with the constitution convention project from Phil Power/Joe Schwarz, should scare all Michiganders.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Ford - 1913-2006

Michigan's own.

No one could have foreseen that the lessons of integrity Gerald R. Ford learned while growing up in Grand Rapids would carry him to the pinnacle of power, help him restore dignity to the White House and heal the wounds of Watergate and Vietnam.

But that is the word -- integrity -- most often used to describe Mr. Ford, who died late Tuesday at the age of 93.

"He certainly was a man of integrity, but also a man of courage," said U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, who occupies the congressional seat Mr. Ford held for 26 years. "He had the courage to do what was necessary. He healed the political wounds and got the nation onto what I call political stability."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pelosi spits on the First Amendment

Just like a typical rich leftist from San Francisco. One thing that is common. With few exceptions (Sometimes Feingold, but he can't be counted on), the democrats (as well as John McCain) can always be counted on when it comes to putting the iron heel down against grassroots efforts from we the people.

Remember McCain and the dems yapping about "lobbying reform"? Well guess what, it's not K street that they have in mind. It is telling us grass roots activists to sit down and shut up.

Human Events gives us the devil, which is in the details

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) has pledged to take up a lobbying reform proposal that would impose new regulations on speech by grassroots organizations, while providing a loophole in the rules for large corporations and labor unions.

The legislation would make changes to the legal definition of “grassroots lobbying” and require any organization that encourages 500 or more members of the general public to contact their elected representatives to file a report with detailed information about their organization to the government on a quarterly basis.

The report would include identifying the organization’s expenditures, the issues focused on and the members of Congress and other federal officials who are the subject of the advocacy efforts. A separate report would be required for each policy issue the group is active on.

“Right now, grassroots groups don’t have to report at all if they are communicating with the public,” said Dick Dingman of the Free Speech Coalition, Inc. “This is an effort that would become a major attack on the 1st Amendment.”

Under the bill, communications aimed at an organization’s members, employees, officers or shareholders would be exempt from the reporting requirement. That would effectively exempt most corporations, trade associations and unions from the reporting requirements—but not most conservative grassroots groups, which frequently are less formally organized.

Larger, well-funded organizations are also currently eligible for a “low-dollar lobbyist exemption” that Pelosi’s bill does not give to grassroots organizations. If an organization retains a lobbyist to contact lawmakers directly at a cost of $2,500 per quarter or less, or employs a full-time lobbyist at a cost of $10,000 per quarter or less, the organization does not have to report to the government.

(snip)



Under this scenario, unless you're a beltway man, you're nothing. This piece of leftist big government trash needs to be smashed into pieces.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Court OK's Issue Ads, eases part of McCain/Feingold

Big win for the 1st amendment. We'll see if SCOTUS has their head where it belongs.

From the AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal court on Thursday loosened restrictions on corporations, unions and other special interest groups that run political advertising in peak election season.

The 2-1 ruling said groups may mention candidates by name in commercials as long as they are trying to influence public policy, rather than sway an election.

The ruling came in a challenge to the so-called McCain-Feingold law designed to reduce the influence of big money in political campaigns. The law banned groups from using unrestricted money to run advertisements that name candidates two months before a general election or one month before a primary.



The king of censorship, John McCain, is deeply saddened.....

2008 updates - Edwards running again, Hunter in Iowa

Edwards is running on socialized medicine

Edwards Offers Progressive Agenda

12/16/2006, 2:04 p.m. ET
By MIKE BAKER
The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The crowd packed every pew, every doorway and nearly every foot of floor space inside the little chapel to hear from John Edwards, and it seemed like the perfect place for the former senator and one-time presidential candidate to address his faithful.

Because these days, the North Carolina Democrat is not so much on the stump talking as he is in the pulpit preaching.

"It is not too much to say that the future of the planet is at stake," Edwards told the crowd spilling out of Rutledge Chapel during a recent speech at the University of South Carolina.


Duncan Hunter is running on border security, defense, and fair trade.

BAXTER, Iowa (AP) — California Congressman Duncan Hunter, among the least-known Republican presidential candidates, touted border security and national defense during a visit to Iowa.

Hunter, outgoing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, spent Saturday morning pheasant hunting with some veterans and active military members after mixing in some politics at a pancake breakfast.

"I believe in a strong national defense, a strong and enforceable border, a two-way street on trade," said Hunter, who was making his first visit to Iowa since announcing his presidential bid in October.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hey Granholm! NO tax increases.

It looks like we have a major push from the left and establishment RINOS for tax increases. First, the Constitutional change proposals from Joe Schwarz, Phil Power, and that gang, now this from the Matt Millen of governors herself, Jennifer Granholm.

From Booth News Service (AANEWS owners)


(Snip)
Her November replacement to the state's Single Business Tax, scheduled to expire in 12 months, raised the same $1.9 billion as the SBT. With Republican lawmakers and business groups clamoring for a net tax cut, Granholm said she may instead pursue an increase in net business tax revenue if the size and scope of the budget problem "changes significantly" when new fiscal estimates are reached in January.

"You have to have a competitive tax climate, but you also have to have an educated workforce," Granholm said.

After touting the new Michigan Promise $4,000 college scholarship to high school students on Tuesday, Granholm said she wants to avoid cuts in higher education and to boost spending for community colleges and universities in the 2008 budget, which she'll present in early February.

She said avoiding budget cuts in education, health care and public safety during a budget crisis requires "looking at things differently." Despite repeated prodding from reporters, Granholm declined to say whether that meant lobbying the public for a tax increase that she and lawmakers largely avoided in her first term.

One of the ideas kicking around Lansing, if not in her administration, is cutting the 6-percent rate of the Michigan's sales tax, but extending the tax to consumer services ranging from hair styling to sports tickets to the labor on a home roof replacement.

Economists say taxing services -- excluding health, education and those purchased by business -- could net the state $1.3 billion in new net tax, even with a cut in the sales tax rate.

Granholm's business tax strategy has been to capture tax revenue from areas of the economy projected to grow in the future. The same principle applies to the sales tax. And the growth potential for sales tax revenue is in consumer services, not goods, said said State Treasurer Robert Kleine.(snip)


So Jenny is going to push to tax one of the growing segments of the economy so it gets slowed down. That's really stupid. Why not send more jobs out of state and to Mexico/China.

It's about time we take a close look with a scalple at all the money that goes to health, education, and public safety (and everything else for that matter) - and see where the money there really goes, and why it costs what it costs. How much of the cost is OVERHEAD/Administrative? In the education field, much of the money goes to pensions, retirements, and that 800lb gorilla known as MESSA (with high administrative costs - 20% if I remember right although I need to look that up). As far as health care goes, according to Jerry Zandstra in the senate debates, 31% of the health care cost is overhead and 5% of the cases are 50% of the cost - Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease. As far as public safety goes, I'm less familiar on those issues, but I think we need to look at who we throw in jail, whether jail is the appropiate place for them, and what are good alternatives to jail for nonviolent offenders or stupid decisions which break the law. While we need to toss the real bad guys away, should someone be locked up for smoking a joint? (And before anyone asks - no, I don't do that stuff)

I'm waiting to see what Granholm's plan is and any plans from the GOP (And we better have a good one) before any final decision, but I don't like what I'm reading so far from Granholm here. If this stuff increases, I may have to move once I finish my 2nd degree.

MCRI - A WINNING issue

From Investors Business Daily

Winning Strategy For Republicans: Getting Rid Of Racial Preferences
BY THOMAS KRANNAWITTER

Posted 12/18/2006

While many Republicans are still reeling from November's election, one important conservative victory has received less attention than it deserves: Michigan's vote to end racial preferences and discrimination. Republicans should pay attention because ending racist "affirmative action" policies could be part of a winning strategy in the future.

I lived in California in 1996 when the California Civil Rights Initiative was approved by 54% of voters in that November's election. The measure prohibited the state from discriminating against and granting preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity and national origin in public employment, public education and public contracting.

That same year, incumbent President Bill Clinton was being challenged by Republican Bob Dole. Dole consciously distanced himself from the CCRI throughout most of his campaign, at one point praising Colin Powell — who Dole hoped would join him on the Republican ticket — for a speech in which Powell defended racial preferences and denounced the CCRI. Dole lost California by a massive margin as President Clinton won re-election.


Let's stop being afraid of what the New York Times types think. We're mainstream, they're not.

Updates

Finally. The adventure known as law school exams - OVER - and there was a lot I missed.

First off - The Washington Times may be jumping on the Draft Mark Sanford bandwagon. I'd love to see either him or Mike Pence run. With the piss poor (execuse the language, but that's what it is) fiscal record over the past five years costing us control of congress, a Sanford presidency would be a dream to fiscal conservatives. He's also for the most part in line with my stance on social issues. Center-right, pro-life, and pro-2a.

But if Republican primary voters decide that the 2008 standard-bearer needs to bring the party back to its Reagan roots, Mr. Sanford could be the dark horse to watch. The recently re-elected governor could capture conservatives' imagination with his unrelenting adherence to core principles. Unlike most Republican governors who either pushed their state parties to the left or simply acquiesced to tax or spending increases passed by legislatures of either party, Mr. Sanford has battled profligate Republicans at every turn.
When the state House overrode all but one of his 106 spending line-item vetoes in 2004, Mr. Sanford stormed the Capitol the next morning with a piglet under each arm. Red-faced Republicans squealed, but voters loved the bold move. Realizing they couldn't be quite as wasteful as their counterparts, the Senate sustained seven of the vetoes — but still overrode 99.


In other news - Evan Bayh is out of the 2008 sweepstakes. Giuliani is in. Bayh's a flat out weasel who talks conservative to win in Indiana, but votes to ban .30-30 ammunitation to lick the boots of his Sorosian masters. As for Rudy, I personally like him, but have problems with his Second Amendment stances.

Also, remember when it was strongly speculated that the fight over the Michigan State Party chairmanship was about McCain putting his guy in charge? Well......


For Immediate Release

Contact: Craig Goldman

(Snipped phone number)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
ALEXANDRIA, VA – U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential exploratory committee announced today that Michigan Third District GOP Chairman Dave Dishaw will serve as the state grassroots chairman, leading McCain’s team of supporters in Michigan should he decide to pursue the Republican nomination


Dave's a good guy, but sorry, I can't let McCain have a coronation here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Heads up! Property Tax Raisers want to change Michigan's Constitution and eliminate safeguards

Not all of this is bad, but most of it certainly is. The stuff is supposed to be on the Citizens for Michigan website, but the details nor board of directors there could come up.


From MIRS via Saul Anuzis

Term Limits Among Constitutional Changes Pitched
With Michigan voters facing a choice in 2010 on whether to call for a Constitutional Convention, a group of private citizens and public officials have come out with a bi-partisan series of recommendations on how the state's existing constitution could be improved upon.

The most controversial of the recommendations is a suggestion to change the state's 1992 voter-approved term limits to apply a 12-year limit to the House, Senate and the Governor as well as the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.

"Let's talk about the real world," said John HERTEL. "I cannot imagine Mike ILLITCH, after the third Stanley Cup, walking into the locker room and saying 'Well, you're all out of here.'"


I am against term limits in general for one major reason. It ends 2 and 4 year lame ducks. We can thank lame duck cavers for the "fee" increases at the end of 2004. They no longer had to face the people.

The group also argued that it's far too easy for outside groups to try out new ideas in Michigan because the petition signature threshold for constitutional amendments is too low. They noted that Michigan is one of three states with large populations (more than 7.5 million) that allow a constitutional amendment to be placed before voters with a 5 percent signature requirement.

The net result — well-funded groups come in from out-of-state and try to implement government changes. An example was this year's Stop Overspending (SOS) campaign.

One possible solution is requiring voter-initiated constitutional amendments to be approved in back-to-back general elections, which is something the state of Massachusetts has done.

Former Attorney General Frank KELLEY noted that some of the motives behind some suggested amendments and initiated laws aren't pure.

"A lot of these politically noble ideas are thought up by scumbags," Kelley remarked.


I'm still waiting for the solution plan here. The cure can't be worse than the disease. If Frank Kelley's name is on it, I'm watching my back.


Other recommendations include:

- Eliminating the state Natural Resources and the Agriculture commissions and allowing the governor to appoint her entire cabinet


There needs to be checks and balances.


- Allowing the governor to appoint members of the State Board of Education and the governing boards of the state's three largest universities, subject to advice and consent of the State Senate and a partisan balance. Currently, members of the State Board of Education, regents of the University of Michigan, trustees of Michigan State University and governors of Wayne State University are elected.


One of the main problems with these boards is the nomination process. Conventions pick the nominees, not primaries. That eliminates the choices (with some exceptions like outgoing trustee Porteous - a bad loss to MSU) to political hacks with famous names. We got George Perles replacing Porteous - and he helped put MSU on probation.

One thing that could happen with a primary race - is that these trustees can become more active. I'd like to see (MSU mostly since I'm alum) the plans of our trustees for the school - something besides generalities.

- Allow the governor to appoint Supreme Court Justices to a single 10-year term with partisan balance on the high court


No way. With the way judges affect our lives nowadays, taking away the people's say in the matter is not an acceptable option. There's no recourse for the Stephen Reinhardts of the world on the federal level outside of impeachment.

- Levy an additional statewide mill to fund school district building programs that over time would reduce bonding mills at the local level


WTF? No way. I'd like to see some fiscal responsibility first instead of the continous buck passing that goes on in these school districts.

- Eliminate super-majority voting requirements spelled out in the constitution. Banking code amendments were one example of voting requirements.


Why were they there in the first place?

- Eliminate restrictions on local taxation, particularly for transportation


Mo money. How about some fiscal responsibility so we don't have the runaway millages like we did before Headlee and before Prop A?

- Eliminate the Headlee rollback provision in Article IX, Section 31


Now HERE'S the meat and potatoes of the matter. This is what they are after.

§31 Levying tax or increasing rate of existing tax; maximum tax rate on new
base; increase in assessed valuation of property; exceptions to limitations.
Sec. 31. Units of Local Government are hereby prohibited from levying any tax not
authorized by law or charter when this section is ratified or from increasing the rate of an existing tax above that rate authorized by law or charter when this section is ratified, without the approval of a majority of the qualified electors of that unit of Local Government voting thereon. If the definition of the base of an existing tax is broadened, the maximum authorized rate of taxation on the new base in each unit of Local Government shall be reduced to yield the same estimated gross revenue as on the prior base. If the assessed valuation of property as finally equalized, excluding the value of new construction and improvements, increases by a
larger percentage than the increase in the General Price Level from the previous year, the maximum authorized rate applied thereto in each unit of Local Government shall be reduced to yield the same gross revenue from existing property, adjusted for changes in the General Price Level, as could have been collected at the existing authorized rate on the prior assessed value. The limitations of this section shall not apply to taxes imposed for the payment of principal and interest on bonds or other evidence of indebtedness or for the payment of assessments on contract obligations in anticipation of which bonds are issued which were authorized prior to
the effective date of this amendment. History: Add. Init., approved Nov. 7, 1978, Eff. Dec. 23, 1978.


They want to raise our property taxes.


- Eliminate the ability of non-Michiganders to gather signatures to amend Michigan's constitution, or at least require back-to-back general election voter approval in order to amend the state constitute as is required in other states


I'd rather eliminate out of state money.

- Alter language regarding local elected official recalls so that the only reason for recall would be malfeasance or misfeasance


Is the recall system broke? How often are there successful recalls anyway?

- Allow the governor the option of a "pocket-veto"


We don't need to give the executive more powers. We have the veto system and override. That's good enough.

Rick SIMONSON, who served as secretary for the group, said that twice Michigan voters have been faced with the ballot question of whether to hold a constitutional convention without any information.

"Michigan voters have been faced with this question twice before without any real information," Simonson said. "Our goal was to prepare a set of potential issues, possible solutions, and then to get out of the way and let the people and their elected officials decide what to do."


There's a reason why we do not have a lot of constitutional conventions. People are rightly suspicious when it comes to changing it. I really would not want to see the elimination of Headlee or the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, ex post facto laws, or tax safeguards in this state. They were enacted for a reason.


Some of the names whose input into the recommendations put forward by Citizens for Michigan read much like a who's who among Michigan political circles. Advisors included: John AXE, an expert in municipal finance and an instructor at Wayne State University School of Law; Madge BERMAN; former Sen. Dan DeGROW; David DIEGEL; Debbie DINGELL; Robert ELEVELD; former Sen. Harry GAST; Hertel; former House Speaker Paul HILLEGONDS; former Rep. Mick MIDDAUGH; Shelley PADNOS; Harriet ROTTER; Harold SCHUITMAKER; U.S. Rep. Joe SCHWARZ (R-Battle Creek); Phil POWER and former U.S. Rep. Paul TODD.


It looks like a list of liberal republicans (Schwarz, Gast) and democrats. Anyone in Livingston County is well aware of Phil Power (former Argus owner) and his economic liberalism. Joe Schwarz ran on raising taxes in his gubenatorial race in 2002. The 7th District had enough of him and showed him the door. Gast was a longtime Schwarz ally in the state senate. DeGrow was always a little squishy. Hertel, Power, and Dingell are long time democrats.

Overall, I see a lot of pro-tax measures in this plan, as well as safeguards for incumbents who raise taxes as protection. I think it's a shot at getting rid of Headlee and the other safeguards against runaway spending and tax increases. This is what I suspected would happen after seeing the long list of establishment types like Hertel, Schwarz, and Power leading the pack.

I dread what the rest of the committee's recommended changes are. We all need to keep an eye on this one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Constitution changes? Heads up!

This was from MIRS and sent out from Saul Anuzis.


Group Proposing Constitutional Changes
A band of 20 Lansing long-timers will suggest changes to the state's term limit law and the selection process for the Supreme Court, university trustees and State Board of Education at a press conference Tuesday morning.

Citizens for Michigan, headed by former bond attorney John AXE, former Attorney General Frank KELLEY, longtime Macomb County Commission Chair John HERTEL and Oakland County Executive Brooks PATTERSON are scheduled to roll out 63 recommended changes to the state's 43-year-old Constitution.

Group Spokesman Rick SIMONSON, a 40-year-veteran of the Lansing government scene, said Citizens for Michigan is not ballot proposal committee and will not be asking voters to make any changes. However, the report will go to policymakers as a way to strengthen the impact of the document.

Among the changes will be proposals to make it easier for local governments and schools to obtain infrastructure money, as well as proposed ways the state can avoid becoming a lightening rod for out-of-state ideological ballot proposals like the Stop Overspending initiative that nearly missed the ballot this year.

The group started meeting three and a half years ago (See "Study Group Adopts Historic Name: 'Citizens For Michigan,'" 7/29/03).

Some notable group members include U.S. Rep. Joe SCHWARZ (R-Battle Creek), former Sen. Harry GAST, Debbie DINGELL, former Senate Majority Leader Dan DeGROW and former House Speaker Paul HILLEGONDS. The group received legal input from around 25 experts in their field, include Lucille TAYLOR, Mike HODGE, Doug DRAKE and Bob LaBRANT, among others.

Every 16 years, Michigan voters are asked if a new constitutional convention is needed. The people will be asked again in 2010. The bi-partisan group wanted to provide some suggestions to current and future decision makers.

Simonson said the most attention was focused on local financing issues and how to make infrastructure money available to locals, schools and counties. It also discussed the need for a governor to appoint their entire cabinet. Currently the directors of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Education are chosen by separate commissions or boards.

Citizens for Michigan isn't focused much on the 25 constitutional amendments or the 70-some proposals that have been offered since the 1963 state convention, Simonson said.


My guard is automaticaly up after seeing some establishment names like Frank Kelley, Joe Schwarz, Harry Gast, John Hertel, Brooks Patterson and the like. Power is tough to give up with these career politicians. Bob LaBrant is one guy I have a lot of respect for however.

63 constitutional changes? That's a substansial change. I won't comment on the plans until I see them, but my guard is certainly up - doubly so when I see Joe Schwarz and that crowd leading the way.

2008 - Kuncinich is in, Hillary talks about it

From the Detroit News

Kucinich planning 2nd run

CLEVELAND -- Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, said Monday he is planning another bid because his party isn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war. He plans to formally announce his candidacy today.


Kucinich's chances of winning are slim to none, but he'll be running to push the issue. It's similar to Steve Forbes and the flat tax back in 96. If nothing else, Kucinich will affect the debate.

Clinton: No decision yet

ROME, N.Y. -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she won't make a decision about running for president until after the first of the year.


This is BS. She's running. She's just talking about running right now to keep her name in the paper and the rest of the field out of the paper, lowering her name recognition.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Exams

It's that time of year - law school exams. As my time belongs elsewhere right now, I probably won't post much until after December 21st

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Interesting column in Human Events

From Human Events
The dispute that pundits and pols in Michigan forecast would bring three months of internecine warfare over who would run the state Republican Party has ended peacefully. Four days before Thanksgiving, 3rd District Republican Chairman Dave Dishaw called off his bid for state chairmanship. Barring anything unexpected, incumbent Chairman Saul Anuzis should be re-elected at the state Republican convention in February


(snip)

Brownback is in

Hat tip to Saul Anuzis.

Sam Brownback is in for 2008. So far we have McCain, Rudy, Brownback, Hunter, Tommy Thompson and probably Romney, Newt, and Tancredo. Here's his announcement.

Dear Friend,

I have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency.

I am running to spread hope and ideas. We are a blessed nation at an important crossroads. War, corruption, disintegrating families, and for some, hopelessness, tear at the American Dream. We need hope and ideas.

I am running for America…to be of service in a crucial time of trial.

Ours is an exceptional nation. A nation between two oceans made up of people from every nation on earth. A great nation united by our ideals. But we are a great nation because of our goodness. If we ever lose our goodness, we will surely lose our greatness.

We believe in a culture of life—that every human life is a beautiful, sacred, unique child of a loving God.

We believe in justice for all—at all times.

We believe in liberty.

But the central institutions that best transmit these values—the family and the culture—are under withering attack.

We must renew our families and rebuild our culture!

We need to revitalize marriage, support the formation of families, and encourage a culture of commitment.

We need a culture that encourages what is right and discourages what is wrong—and has the wisdom to understand the difference.

Each generation of Americans is called upon to carry the torch of virtue during its brief season. If one generation lets the torch fall, its light is extinguished for all future generations. That’s a big responsibility, but we can achieve it if we pick up the torch with courage, generosity, and realism. We must meet and fulfill the job we are called to accomplish in our day. The time to act to insure our future as a nation is now.

Problems abound. The federal government wastes and spends too much. We lack compassionate yet practical programs to help the poor here and around the world. We need energy independence and alternative, clean-burning, domestic-grown fuels. The scourge of cancer has killed too many and must be stopped. We need term limits for judges and members of Congress like we have for the President. We need a flat tax instead of the dreadful, incomprehensible tax code we now have.

And we need humility.

While I am proud to be an American, when I consider my citizenship and the responsibilities it carries today in the light of eternity, I am more humbled by it. We have been given much and will be held to account for what we have been given.

I ask mostly for your prayers. Pray for America, that our division as a people might end and that our land be healed.

Thank you for your interest and support. Thank you for your prayers. Please join our campaign of national renewal and hope for the future!

God Bless you, and God Bless this nation we love so dearly,

Sam Brownback

McCain Democrats influencing GOP leadership

From the Sonoran Allance. This is disturbing. We don't need democrats picking our leadership. This is yet another reason for me to oppose Mr. McCain.

Greg Wendt and Lisa Wendt of San Francisco, CA (generous benefactors of the Democrat Party and its candidates) gave over 40% of the funds for Grassroots Arizona; a PAC set up to target the Republican chairman of legislative district 11. The details are chronicled below.

(snip)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Carl Levin running for re-election

From the AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Carl Levin said Monday he will seek re-election in 2008, citing the need to help shape the course in Iraq and press the White House to support manufacturers.

The 72-year-old Michigan lawmaker was widely expected to seek a sixth term and will enter the race a heavy favorite. With Democrats winning control of the Senate, Levin will take the helm of the Armed Services panel, giving him a major role in Congress' shaping of Iraq policy.



Someone needs to let Michiganders know just how bad this guy's record is. He abandoned working families just to become another DC hack.

Argus interview with new chair

Allan Fillip was elected as the new chair of the county party. I think this is a good pick. He is a hard worker and doesn't play a lot of the office politics games (which was our party's biggest weakness the last two years) and always worked to build a consensus among the party. While more often than I not I agree with him, even when I don't agree, all disagreements I have with him are in a respectful fashion.

The Argus has an interview with him here

Ronald Reagan's Morning in America also marked the awakening of Allan Filip's political consciousness.
Filip, 35, was just a boy growing up in Paw Paw during Reagan's 1980s heyday, but he felt a strong attraction to the president's message of optimism and hope.

He's been hooked on politics ever since, and now Filip is the new chairman of the Livingston County Republican Party, having been elected on Thursday.

"There was kind of a defeatist attitude" in the country before Reagan came on the scene, Filip recalled. "He made me feel more secure, and he got me thinking more about being an American."


The Argus as expected brought up the infamous judicial questionaire. Allan handled that well here.

Within the county party, Filip said he wants to organize and plan meetings and events so that episodes like the controversy over GOP endorsement questionnaires in the supposedly nonpartisan judicial races can be avoided. But he added that the divisions that episode revealed — with some Republicans saying it was OK to ask partisan questions, and others disagreeing — were based on strategy, not positions on issues.

"More often than not, we agree on the issues," he said. "It was more about tactics."

He said the entire controversy had "mixed results, at best," for the party


I hope we have endorsements in the future, but with a much more solid process. I won't go into details, but the process last time was unacceptable - especially how I found out about the copy of the first questionaire from Maria Stuart. A good model of endorsements would be on the same process as the Concerned Taxpayers Group's PAC.

Allan has a tough job ahead of him. We wern't immune to the hit the GOP took in the last election. The question is how we recover from it. If we get back to basics and run on competence (highlighting the locals and Congress from 94-00 where Republicans balanced the budget), small government, and issues that resonate here at home - We'll be fine. We just can't run on how bad the other guy sucks. That isn't a good enough message.

I'm taking a break from the committee due to other committments - most notably law school - but I'll still be active to some degree.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

First "Power Rankings" after the election

The Political Derby released their first ratings after the November 06 elections. It's a site I keep up with.

According to them, McCain and Hillary still lead. Romney and Pence gain momentum, as do Richardson, Gore, Edwards, and Dean. George Allen and John Kerry took nosedives in momentum, and there is some skepicism there over "The next big thing" Barack Obama. Howard Dean was the next big thing too....

Mike Pence is up to 6th. Maybe the Draft Pence movement here can gain some momentum, especially if the Washington leadership listen to the Beltway consultants and not Middle America when it comes to their spending habits. They mention Pence as a VP candidate. Pence as VP candidate could be enough for me to cave and vote for someone I couldn't otherwise vote for (McCain).

We'll see. It'll be an interesting two years.

Tom Vilsack is in for 2008

This is some bad news from a Republican Standpoint. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is running for president in 2008. He's an underdog, especialy if Hillary, Obama, or Bill Richardson. I do think that he'd be much stronger in a national race than any of the senators (including the overrated Obama).

I saw him this morning in an interview on ABC. Nothing spectacular, but straight forward midwestern style of speaking, which I think makes him stronger. After sixteen years of either Slick Willie glitz or over the top "Bush cowboy" style of speaking, I think a straight forward Midwesterner or Mountain State Westerner has an advantage.

From the Boston Globe

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa -- Governor Tom Vilsack announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday, positioning himself as a Washington outsider with Heartland appeal.

Vilsack emphasized the nexus between oil dependence, national security, and the economy, saying he would give high priority to weaning the nation off foreign oil and promoting alternative energy sources.

"Energy security will revitalize rural America," Vilsack told the more than 500 cheering backers in the small town where be began his political career, as mayor. "Energy security will allow us once and for all to remove and reduce our dependency on foreign oil from foreign countries that do not like us."


I'm not going to count this guy out for a few reasons. First off, governors win elections. Senators haven't won since Nixon. Sitting senators haven't won since Kennedy. Much of that is due to the always enduring popularity (or lack of) of Washington. Iowa is also a key swing state in the elections narrowing going for Bush and Gore. Nothing comes easy there, and Vilsack has been an underdog in every or almost every race he's been in. A rural candidate would be tough to beat. The GOP lost a lot of ground in rural America during the last election after winning big here thanks to people like Kerry, Gore, Feinstein, Schumer, and Hillary being the face of the party.

Lastly, Iowa has always been known for ethanol. With our current situation on energy, Vilsack could bring some strong credibility on energy if it is framed right. I encourage Republican Leaders to go out and take this issue away from all of the democrats. If it does not happen, it will make things much harder in 2008, especially against someone like Vilsack who is a Washington outsider.

Of the names mentioned or rumored- Vilsack, Richardson, Edwards, Kerry, Clinton, Obama, Mike Gravel, and Biden - I think Vilsack is the 2nd best shot to win with Bill Richardson as their strongest choice. (outside Mark Warner who said he's not in)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tancredo visits MSU, Leftist go insane

From the Snooze

A campus discussion about illegal immigration turned violent Thursday evening, when protesters clashed with the MSU College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, who sponsored the event.

Kyle Bristow, chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom, or YAF, said he was kicked and spat upon by some of the protesters when he was outside the MSU College of Law, where the discussion was being held.

"It saddens me that my fellow Spartans would display this type of behavior," he said. "They are racist. It's sad we need police to come to control these radical leftists."


Some of those leftists pulled fire alarms too. Wow, that's cool man - just like Junior High or Middle School.