Monday, November 30, 2009

Independent files in Hamburg

This is going to be interesting. There's now a 3-way race. Normally, I think that would favor a democrat, but I think it favored the Republicans in 2008 in Hamburg.

From WHMI

11/30/09 - A new candidate has emerged in the Hamburg Township Clerk race. The seat is up for grabs following the successful recall of Clerk Matt Skiba from office and last week was the filing deadline for all candidates to appear on the February ballot in a special election. 28 year old Geoff Boltach has filed as an independent candidate and will join Annette Koeble and current interim Clerk Jim Neilson on the ballot. The Livingston County Democratic Party is supporting Koeble, an office manager who has lived in Hamburg for more than 25 years while the Livingston County Republican Party is backing Neilson. Boltach is a married father of two who owns a small business in the township. The lifelong Hamburg resident tells WHMI the recall of the previous clerk that inspired him to get involved and residents deserve better of their elected representatives. Boltach says he wants to unite the community and restore trust in the clerk's office while recognizing that financial hardships lie ahead for the municipality. The three candidates will appear on the February 23rd ballot. (JM)

I don't know anything about Boltach, but considering all that's happened in Hamburg, along with the fact that February is not a traditional election time, anything could happen. Some may discount his age, but Joe Hune won a state rep seat at 21, and Chris Ward won his first race at 18.

Will the independent pull off the upset? I think the chances will directly correlate with the job done by the Hamburg board and Jim Neilson in the next three months. How will they get along. If things run well, he'll win. If not, he'll probably lose. The question would be to who.

Ball's in the board's court.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Republican comeback in the Northeast?

While the big story for 2009 was the takeover of the governor's mansion in New Jersey and Virginia, there's more good news for the GOP, and the disasters of 06 and 08.

2006 and 2008 was a disaster for the GOP. Republicans were wiped out in much of the country during those two election cycles with unpopular incumbents and struggling state and local parties. It was very tough in the Northeast and Midwest, for different reasons. In Ohio, you had Taft. Here in Michigan, it was the economy and "outsourcing" tag. Indiana had their own issues. Illinois is Obama's home state. Minnesota and Wisconsin have long held democrat leanings.

Michigan's State Senate District 19 is a bellwether district covering Calhoun and most of Jackson Counties. It voted for Granholm twice, Bush twice, and Obama.

I found this interesting National Review article by Jim Geraghty.. They looked at some of the recent results in suburban northeastern counties. Keep in mind that most of those are much more liberal than the two big suburban counties here (Oakland and Macomb).

Consider these six numbers: 62, 53, 54, 60, 60, 53.

Those numbers are the percentage of voters who supported Barack Obama last year in Westchester and Nassau Counties in New York, Bergen and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey, Fairfax County in Virginia, and Bucks County in Pennsylvania, respectively.

Now, here are the percentages of the vote that the top-of-the-ticket Democratic candidates got in each of those counties this year: 43, 48, 48, 44, 49, 45.

.........

But as the stack of 2009’s defeated Democrats piles up to include Westchester county executive Andrew Spano, Nassau county executive Tom Suozzi (probably), and state supreme court nominee Jack Panella in Pennsylvania, with a roughly proportional slide in the Democrats’ share of the vote, perhaps that party’s problems go well beyond the flaws of any individual candidate. Perhaps the suburbs of the northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are looking at the party and concluding, to adapt a recurring phrase from Obama’s days as a candidate, “This is not the Democratic party I knew.”


Westchester County? Ouch. Nassau? Ouch. Bucks County? Ouch. Those have recently been almost base counties at the top of the ticket. Westchester and Nassau are base counties across the board. Bucks will swing at times, but still has dem leanings.

After 2008, the declarations were blunt: Obama won 50 percent of suburban voters, the most by a Democrat since exit polling began in 1972. Democrats benefited from increased turnout among young voters and African-Americans, but the suburban shift from Kerry’s modest 47 percent was the real sign that they were winning over skeptics.

Kerry ran better than Gore in SOME suburbs (Fairfax, Bucks), and the same or worse than Gore in others (NYC suburbs, Oakland, Macomb). Obama ran better than both Gore and Kerry there. The article then mentions a poll with some of the shift since 08 election, as the memory of Bush goes back into the distance.

Page two of the article though really says something. Keep in mind, this is the Northeast, and not the Midwest here.

What is crystallizing in the northeast is voters’ incredulity that government at every level should be demanding more while delivering less at a time when people feel strapped and anxious about their futures. Almost all voters feel an ever-sharper pinch from the economic downturn, but they look at government, from their county seat to Washington, and find little or no sign of frugality or careful budgeting. There was also a time when conventional wisdom dictated that a pro-life Republican could not win a race in the northeast. Here are three candidates who suggest a lot of what we know about politics in the northeast is wrong:

The northeast is the most pro-government area of the country outside of California. It is the home of the rich white regressive (so called progressive) democrat. They have a lot of influence up that way. However, the swing voters are not buying what is sold anymore. I think there's several reasons for that, most importantly is Bush gone and Obama being just another politician not living to the hype.

Nassau County:
Republican challenger Ed Mangano is, as of this writing, not quite the next Nassau county executive. But he leads Tom Suozzi by 353 votes after a weekend of absentee and affidavit ballot counting, a process of counting that is expected to extend past the Thanksgiving holiday.

A county-executive race doesn’t dominate the headlines the way a presidential race does, but Suozzi entered this race the heavy favorite. In a county with more registered Democrats than Republicans, in a state where the GOP is supposed to be dead, an incumbent with a huge fundraising advantage ought to be able to win in his sleep. Perhaps that is a good way of describing what Suozzi attempted; he finished the race with perhaps $2 million in his campaign war chest unspent.

Nassau County is one of the two Long Island NY Counties. It's the more democrat of the two (Suffolk is the other). It went 53.84% for Obama, 52.25% for Kerry, 57.93% for Gore, 55.7% for Clinton 96, 46.4% for Clinton in 92.

Senate:
Hillary Clinton 06 - 60.47%
Charles Schumer 04 - 66.45%
Hillary Clinton 00 - 45.15% (Rick Lazio was from Long Island and won there, and Hillary carpetbagged)
Charles Schumer 98 - 46.5% (Al D'Amato was from Long Island and won there)

Governor:
Elliot Spitzer 06 - 64.88%

Nassau can sometimes be competitive though. The GOP has a congressional district still based in Nassau (Peter King), although the democrats have two districts there, one of which is winnable in a very good year. Part of the problems on Long Island were local scandals and a sweep of the county offices. If that's straightened out, there is a good chance for a comeback, at least of competitiveness.

Westchester County is much more democrat, and this was the real big upset. Westchester County is just north of the Bronx. Yonkers, White Plains, and Chappaqua, where the Clintons now live.

Rob Astorino is supposed to be the kind of Republican candidate who can’t win in the northeast anymore. He ran a fairly explicit campaign emphasizing fiscal conservatism, depicting the county’s management as wasteful, bureaucratic, inefficient, corrupt, and out of touch. He hammered his rival, telling voters that the incumbent county executive, Andy Spano, “raised your taxes almost 60 percent in the last seven years alone. Mr. Spano has ballooned the annual budget by $1 billion in the past 12 years, from $800 million to $1.8 billion per year. He spends more than 87 nations do, and you pay for it.” Intriguingly, while the pro-life Astorino didn’t put his faith or social views front and center, his conservative bona fides are impeccable: He is a radio host and program director for the Catholic Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio and hosts a Thursday-night program with Cardinal Edward Egan, the former archbishop of New York.

Astorino shellacked the three-term Democrat, 57 percent to 43 percent, in a county where Democrats have nearly a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration. This is a county where Al Gore and John Kerry carried 58 percent of the vote, the county Bill and Hillary Clinton call home. It may be a bit self-serving, but Spano contends that his defeat reflects voters’ anger at Democrats at the state and national level. “It has nothing to do with me, as far as I’m concerned,” he told the New York Times. “They’re mad at Albany, and Washington.”

Westchester went 63.36% for Obama, 58.1% for Kerry, 58.63% for Gore, 56.9% for Clinton 96, and 48.6% for Clinton in 92.

Senate:
Hillary Clinton 06 - 66.50%
Charles Schumer 04 - 70.48%
Hillary Clinton 00 - 51.09%
Charles Schumer 98 - 54.5%

Governor:
Elliot Spitzer 06 - 69%

The two districts that cover Westchester are both democrat (one based, one partial), although one of them had been republican until 2006 due to other counties in that district. The other has been democrat since 1988. Westchester is about as Democrat as Ingham County (Lansing) here at home. It's not a county that republicans are supposed to win.

Pennsylvania is a more competitive state than New York, but has gone democrat recently, largely in part to the Philly Suburbs swinging left and having more population than the Pittsburgh suburbs which have swung independent. It was close in 04, but not in 02, 06 and 08 with Ed Rendell and the Philly area machine. Some good news came in a Supreme Court race. Supreme Court is a partisan race in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s supreme court race pitting Republican Joan Orie Melvin against Democrat Jack Panella didn’t attract much national attention; while there was plenty of television advertising, it had two relatively unknown candidates, and the dominant issues of Washington were largely non-factors. The Democrat began with significant advantages: The state currently has 1.2 million more registered Democrats than Republicans, and Panella’s campaign raised $2.35 million, outdoing Melvin’s by almost 3-1, according to statistics compiled by an advocacy group, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts.

Instead, Melvin won 53 percent to 46 percent, and won every suburban county around Philadelphia except Montgomery, which the Democrat carried by 1.4 percent. While the Democrat Panella garnered 70 percent of the vote in Philadelphia, traditionally the engine that drives Democratic wins in statewide races, the city had a miserable turnout of 12 percent.

That says something. Right now, the GOP only has one and 3/4 districts there. Jim Gerlach has a 50/50 district based in Chester County (and has part of Berks, Leigh, and Montgomery County where he loses). Charlie Dent has a Leigh valley based district that has a small part of Montgomery County. Joe Pitts has a heavy GOP leaning district with Lancaster County and part of Berks and Chester Counties.

2008:
Montgomery County - 60% Obama
Delaware County - 60% Obama
Bucks County - 53.74% Obama
Chester County - 54% Obama
Berks County - 53.76% Obama
Lancaster County - 55.21% McCain

2004:
Montgomery County - 55.57% Kerry
Delaware County - 57.15% Kerry
Bucks County - 51.10% Kerry
Chester County - 52% Bush
Berks County - 52.97% Bush
Lancaster County - 65.80% Bush

2000:
Montgomery County - 53.54% Gore
Delaware County - 54.36% Gore
Bucks County - 50.46% Gore
Chester County - 53.33% Bush
Berks County - 52.68% Bush
Lancaster County - 66.09% Bush

For President, the GOP last won Bucks in 1992, and last won Montgomery and Delaware Counties in 1988. The irony is that Dukakis almost won Pennsylvania in 1988 due to winning big in Western PA. Most of those counties for Dukakis went for McCain and GW Bush.

Geraghty makes his point here.

While these six counties have their differences, they are all classically suburban and among the wealthiest in the nation. There are 3,141 counties in the United States; ranked by median household income, Nassau ranks 12th highest nationally, Westchester ranks 47th, Bucks ranks 76th. Of the other counties mentioned earlier, Fairfax County ranks 2nd; Bergen ranks 28th, Middlesex ranks 68th. A wholesale rejection in the varied races of 2009 suggests that voters in these places are changing what they think when they hear the word “Democrat.” A year ago, it represented change from a wearying and disappointing Bush presidency; today it represents runaway spending, an arrogant dismissal of cries of over-taxation, and a fundamental disconnect from the daily life and problems of constituents.

After the 2008 election, Robert Lang, a demographer at Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute in Alexandria, scoffed to the Washington Post, “The Obama campaign clearly understands where the battleground of this election was. Do [the Republicans] have the basic math skills to sit with an Excel spreadsheet and figure out where the growth is, or are they out of their minds?”

The good thing about 09 is that the talking heads who say the GOP is just a southern party can sit down and shut up. I said a few years back about the special elections where the GOP lost three in a row (either 05 or 07). One doesn't mean much. Two has my guard up. Losing three in row is a real problem.

Here's the opposite. Winning Virginia is important, especially Fairfax County which is a "non-Southern" part of Virginia at least in culture. That stopped the bleeding. Winning in New Jersey shows some offense. Winning the Philly burbs and some of the New York suburbs now is sending a message. Add the 19th district here at home for another swing district with a much different cultural area. Several distinct areas went GOP.

That doesn't mean that we're back. We're not. What it does mean is that the bleeding has largely been stopped for now. There's still a lot of work to be done with 2010. Most important in 2010 is the gubenatorial races and state legislatures. Why? They draw the boundaries in most states. While I don't care for the redistricting decision making process, it is what it is, and knowing the rules of the game is most important. Needless to say, for that reason alone, three republicans will automatically get my vote. The nominees for governor, state senate, and state rep.

The 09 elections were hopefully the beginning or a nationwide comeback against the radical leftist policies of Mr. Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, Mr. Reid, and Ms Pelosi.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jim Neilson picked as Republican nominee for Hamburg Township Clerk

This is interesting to see and somewhat surprising to me. I did not expect the township committee to select the same candidate who was hired as interim clerk by the board.

I don't know much about Neilson or the other nominee, so I don't have any strong opinions about this outside of elections related issues. I hope it is the right decision. We'll find that out over the next three months.

I consider the Hamburg clerk position a swing race. Hamburg was always a bit less republican leaning than most of the county. It is the fifth or sixth most democrat area in the county behind Brighton City (not the township which is among the most republican), Howell City (both of which have nonpartisan city governments), Putnam township, Unadilla Township, and maybe Green Oak. Matt Skiba won with less than 50% in 2008, and was just recalled in a landslide election.

It is imperative that the board wakes up and gives Neilson the freedom and leeway to do his job. With the Republicans picking Neilson, they are betting on that happening. Now there are still two days to see if the other individual considered would run as an independent. That could happen. If the other person was picked, Neilson might have run as an independent with a 3 month incumbency (which in Hamburg could be good or bad). Any decision by the committee is a big risk.

Now Neilson has three months to prove himself. I'm more concerned with the board members than I am Neilson. Will they do their job, or be drama kings? We'll see.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hamburg Clerk Replacement Race

This February, there will be a new elected Hamburg Township Clerk to replace Matt Skiba, who was recalled.

The township committee decides the candidates. They are members of the executive committee who live in the township. They must be a minimum of two and no more than five. Most of the county executive committee is not on the committee and do not decide this.

There will be an election between the candidate picked by the township committees of the Republicans and Democrats, as well as independents who wish to file. The democrats have their candidate. Annette Greve-Koeble (or sometimes listed as Annette Koeble). I've heard the name, but I don't know her. She's the county democrats treasurer. She and her husband donated to the county democrats, Mary Andersson's campaign, and Granholm's campaign. That's the limit of my knowledge Nothing really sticks out, although I wonder about someone who thinks Granholm is a good governor.

The Republicans township committee had a meeting last night. I was not there, as I'm not on that committee living in Greek Oak. There are five people on the committee. The rumor is that they trimmed their list to three people for interviews.

On a similar note, the Hamburg Township board of trustees hired Jim Neilson today to take the spot of Skiba. He will be clerk till February when there is an election. Right now it is up to the township committee to decided if Neilson is their person, or somebody else is their person. It's going to be an interesting decision. The deadline is 4PM Monday.

A lot of ramifications will happen depending on the decision. I just hope whichever decision it is will be the right one.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama lecturing about debt is like the Detroit Lions talking about winning

Who the hell is Mr. Obama to say anything about debt? He makes Bush look like a moderate spender. From Reuters

BEIJING, Nov 18 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.

With the U.S. unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, Obama told Fox News his administration faces a delicate balance of trying to boost the economy and spur job creation while putting the economy on a path toward long-term deficit reduction.

This is from the guy who voted for the bank bailouts and Bush's bad spending as a senator. He was even worse as the punk-in-chief, as he bankrupted GM and Chrysler after bailing them out, pushed through nearly a trillion in the stimulus failure, and he just got his trillion dollar plus healthcare takeover through the house. That's all in addition to the regular record deficit budget.

Son, when you correct those problems, then you can say something about the debt. Until then, you can sit down and shut your mouth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The rise of the Open Carry of firearms

I caught this in the Argus today. Open Carry made the news today.

From the Argus

An Ohio man was ordered at gunpoint to lie on the ground in July after someone called 911 to report that he was walking down the street with a handgun, which was holstered. One of the responding officers told him, "You cannot just walk down the street with a weapon."

The Constitution says otherwise.

"If one chooses to carry a weapon in Michigan, one can do so without a license," Brian Jeffs, president of Michigan Open Carry Inc., said. "There's no law that says it's illegal."

Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse agreed, saying, "You're granted the right through the Constitution."

Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit organization that promotes the lawful carrying of a handgun, recently participated in a luncheon sponsored by the Christian motorcycle club In God We Trust M/C in the hopes of educating the public about openly carrying handguns. It's a movement that has grown nationwide since 2004, Jeffs said.

However, there are numerous incidents — some of which have led to lawsuits — in which police officers and the general public misunderstand or just plain don't know about the right to carry a weapon openly.

Any law-abiding citizen of Michigan who can legally possess a firearm may openly carry that firearm in a holster in all places not explicitly exempt by law without a concealed pistol license. Those exempt places — where weapons cannot be carried — include banks, churches, courts, theaters, sports arenas, day-care centers, hospitals and establishments under the Liquor Control Act, which would include bars and stores that sell alcohol.

A person may not, however, brandish the weapon. A Michigan attorney general opinion from 2002 states that to brandish is to "waive or flourish menacingly" or "to display ostentatiously." A person also may not openly carry a weapon in a vehicle unless that individual has a concealed pistol license.

Personally, I don't care to participate in open carry, although I understand it. I don't want the attention on me. I prefer concealed carry. I can understand why someone would open carry. It does not have the same restrictions as concealed carry.

County GOP chair and Undersheriff Mike Murphy's comments here made the paper.

Murphy said as an officer he has no problem with individuals exercising their right to openly carry a gun. However, he believes doing so should be a concern for everyone in the community.

"Everyone should be concerned for reasons such as, you don't know if they are mental or have ill intent," he explained.

Murph and I briefly discussed this issue before. He's supports concealed carry, but isn't a fan of open carry. That aside, everyone who buys a firearm from a dealer has to go through the background check. All pistol buyers also need to get registration. He knows that. I think the big reason is that his department gets a few calls over it, and that becomes a hassle. There aren't calls over concealed carry. To use an old CPL saying, concealed means concealed.

The calls to the police over this are from ignorance and uninformed citizens. That's expected. Most people don't know that open carry is legal. Many cops don't know it is legal. Many attorneys don't know that it is legal. Even I did not know until last year that it was legal. I thought it was considered brandishing. It's not, and an AG opinion clarified that.

I wrote about Open Carry last year. The open carry movement has come a long way since that time with their activism. That's not bad. Right now, open carry does not look like it will be a test case in court. That's a good thing.

However while I support it as a right, you won't see me open carry. I don't like drawing attention to myself, especially if I'm armed. I don't want the bad guys to know I'm armed. I don't have a problem with those who do open carry. I assume, as I do of most people until proven otherwise, that those who open carry are law abiding citizens. That's their decision, and I support that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Five years in prison for not buying government approved insurance

Forget tea parties, I want a pitchfork party. THIS is what I hate about big government most of all. It always comes with a gun pointed at you, handcuffs, and prisons. We put too many people in jail to begin with in this country, and this will only add more.

From Ed Morrisey - There's a youtube clip too.

It’s very fair to send people who disregard the federal mandate to buy health insurance to prison, Nancy Pelosi says, because otherwise they’ll assault citizens … with a bill for medical services … or something.

Stone: Do you think it’s fair to send people to jail who don’t buy health insurance?

Pelosi: … The legislation is very fair in this respect.

Morrisey comments

Of course, the other option is to make people responsible for paying their own bills. Nothing requires us to pick up the tab for people in clinics or emergency rooms, especially those who can afford to pay their way. This is the point that Pelosi and her statist colleagues seem to forget

This most of all is why I oppose the so called reform. This is why I oppose insurance requirements by law of any sort whatsoever, including auto insurance. At least no auto insurance is only a ticket if you drive. If you don't do things the government way here, you get a gun pointed at your head, handcuffed, and sent to club fed.

If you don't like Morrisey's source, The Hill reports the same thing.

he nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the House version of the healthcare bill specifies that those who don’t buy health insurance and do not pay the fine of about 2.5 percent of their income for failing to do so can face a penalty of up to five years in prison!

The bill describes the penalties as follows:

• Section 7203 — misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 — felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

That anyone should face prison for not buying health insurance is simply incredible.

And how much will the stay-out-of-jail insurance cost? The Joint Committee noted that “according to a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the lowest-cost family non-group plan under HR 3862 [the Pelosi bill] would cost $15,000 by 2016.”

Obama’s bill only provides subsidies to help pay this enormous sum after families making about $45,000 have paid 8 percent of their income for insurance and after those earning a household income of about $65,000 have kicked in 12 percent.

Five years in prison by the feds. Five years for not complying with this. People who don't pay for the stay out of jail insurance are so much of a threat to society that they need to be locked up for five years in club fed next to murderers, rapists, and child molesters. What the hell is going on here? I can shoot someone in the leg and get far less jailtime than that. Felonious assault is 4 years. I know of rapists who get less than 5 years.

The only winners from this piece of trash house bill is the insurance industry whose coffers swell, government for their ability to increase control, and the prison building industry, to deal with all the new threats to society. We already have over 7 million people in the corrections systems of this country, why not add more? I'm sure the democrats AG candidate Gretchen Whitmer who is a Blue Cross heir, loves this legislation.

This bill needs to die, fast.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

You got to be kidding me

This is a joke. Charlie Crist, the establishment supported (NRSC) economic liberal governor of Florida and senate candidate now wants us to buy this.

From The Hill



Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is now denying that he endorsed the stimulus package, the same package he promoted at a rally with President Obama in February.
......
"Well, I didn't endorse it," he said.  "You know, I didn't even have a vote on the darned thing. But I understood that it was going to pass and I wanted to be able to utilize it for the benefit of my fellow Floridians."
It's true that as governor Crist didn't have a vote on the package, but he has reportedly said that he would have voted for it if he were in the Senate.

What the hell? He may not have "endorsed" it, but he certainly supported it, and in political terms, they mean essentially the same thing. In fact, Crist supported it so much that he campaigned with Mr. Obama in support of the stimulus bill, which has been an absolute failure and waste of almost 1 trillion dollars.

Here's Charlie Crist in May of 2009. From the Orlando Sentinel.



Gov. Charlie Crist, now a U.S. Senate candidate, said Tuesday he would have made the “pragmatic” decision to vote for the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, differentiating himself from fellow-Republican opponent Marco Rubio and the man he is trying to replace — Mel Martinez.
Speaking to a politically mixed crowd in Daytona Beach, Crist emphasized his support for the bill as practical and pragmatic, though it would have meant crossing party lines. Only three Republican senators backed the stimulus bill, and Martinez wasn’t one of them.
Now Florida stands to get about $15 billion over the next two years through different stimulus grants.
“A lot of that $15 billion dollars you sent to Washington, D.C., and my view is we ought to get it back," Crist told his audience. "Florida deserves her fair share.”

15 Billion back out of 700billion+ spent, much of that by Floridians. That doesn't even make sense. The bottom line is that money should not have been spent in the first place. Pragmatism and Practicality is not spending money that is not there. Decisions like this are reasons why the GOP lost bad in 2006 and 2008, and in the case of NY-23, the GOP only got 5% of the vote because there wasn't a dimes worth of difference between DeDe Scozzafava and Bill Owens. It was so bad there that the so called republican Scozzafava endorsed the democrat.

Now Charlie Crist isn't quite as bad as Scozzafava, but he's not what is needed in DC. We do not need big spending economic liberals and big government - from either party. The NRSC, once again, has ignored the people outside the beltway with its recruitment AND primary endorsement of Crist. Nothing new for them. They endorsed Arlen Specter for re-election and got all the establishment behind him. Then Specter switched parties when the people of Pennsylvania had enough of him and the polls showed him getting sent home in the primary. Sounds similar to the 5'er in Scozzafava who was thoroughly rejected by the people of the 23rd district in New York.

There is a choice in Florida, unlike New York-23rd's special election. Marco Rubio, a recent state rep from democrat leaning Miami-Dade county Florida. Rubio would help bring fiscal conservatism back to Washington. His win would also send a strong message to party leadership on what is expected of them. Change or cronyism? That's the choice.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The races outside of Michigan

Outside of Michigan, we had several races out there.

Virginia was a blowout. Straight down the line.

Bob McDonnell is a strong conservative. He's no liberal, not even a moderate. However, he won 59%-41% in a state that has two democrat senators, went for Obama, and twice for democrat governors. The GOP needs to study how he won. It could be a very good template for running elections.

It wasn't just conservatives areas McDonnell won. McDonnell won almost all areas in liberal Northern Virginia. He lost Arlington and Alexandria which is the most liberal part of the state, but he won Fairfax County, which voted for John Kerry. He won the outer suburban and competitive counties of Loudoun and Prince William. In central Virginia, he even won Albemarle county which surrounds Charlottesville, which is the Ann Arbor of Virginia. (Cities are like their own counties in Virginia)

The Lt Governor, Bolling, won 56%-44%. He didn't win Fairfax County, but it was still a solid win. He got 48% in Fairfax which is more than good enough to win statewide.

The Attorney General candidate, Cuccinelli, was arguably the most conservative. He won 57-42%  He ran even with Bolling in Northern Virginia and did well downstate as well.

I don't know how many incumbent delegates lost, but barring recounts the GOP took races by 2% in Va Beach,1% in Lynchburg, 1% in Fairfax County, 1% in Prince William, 5% in Fairfax and Loudoun. There was probably some coattails there. Some were saved from defeat, or picked up democrat seats due to that. They didn't get all the close ones, but they got a lot of them.

For the state house/senate special elections, I don't know much about most of the districts.

Alabama had a special election for their state house. The last democrat won with 60%. The open seat went 53% democrat.

Georgia races:
State Senate 1 - Republican unopposed except by another Republican (They use the Southern runoff system)
State House 75 - Dems 60%, GOP 40%  - Clayton County, which is 70%+ democrat
State House 139 - All GOP running
State House 141 - Independent and Democrat will run off. Two Republicans split vote. One dem ran.
State House 159 - All GOP running

Missouri House 73 - Went Democrat. 60%
New Jersey was the big exclaimation point. Chris Christie, a moderate (true moderate, not liberal) Republican defeated incumbent limosine leftist and Goldman Sachs slappy Jon Corzine in a close election. 49% for Christie, and 45% for incumbent Corzine. I didn't see a lot of incuumbents defeated there for state assembly, but some open seats went GOP as well.

Couldn't find anything in New Hampshire 11th.

South Carolina 48th - 72% Republican win.

Washington State Races
9th District - 55%-45% Republican  (Eastern Washington)
15th District (Yakima) - 69%-30% Republican
16th District (Walla Walla) - 58%-42% Republican
California's 10th District stayed democrat. 15% lead or so last I saw. John Kerry and Obama both won the district by 20%

And then there's the aberration and major defeat. New York 23.

First off, whoever the GOP county chairs are that picked the 5%'er. DeDe Scozzafava, need to be relieved of their duty. They FUBARED.  Job number one for special elections that should be won is this. Pick a candidate that fits the district. What is worst of all about this is that the blueprint was there for a winner. He won several times there. His name is John McHugh. Someone who was cut from similar cloth of McHugh is the ideal candidate for this independent district.

They picked a RINO. A RINO who was supported by the NRCC with $900,000, who dropped out when the district polls sagged, and endorsed the democrat Bill Owens. This RINO did not fit the district. There was a Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman (who is a Republican), and he got a lot of the support from those who refused to back the RINO. Hoffman also had a major flaw. He doesn't live in the district. Hoffman was relatively unknown and got his name out by taking this campaign and nationalizing it. That's a big risk and it did not pay off. It normally does not in special elections. In New York, this led the ballot. No governor race. No senate race. Just this race in this rural New England like district. People, especially in rural areas, tend to be resentful of outsiders coming to their district and telling them who to vote for. This district, also has strong dairy interests and a military base. McHugh took care of that, and ran 20%+ ahead of McCain and Bush. Hoffman's a good guy, but he did not fit the district either. He didn't live there.

There was no primary. Scozzafava would never have won a primary. Hoffman (who ran as the Conservative party) might have won it one on one, but in a primary, there probably would have been other candidates who would have beaten Owens. One that fits the district. Picking candidates when there is no primary is a great responsibility in special elections. Blowing this embarrased the party. 5%. Ouch. That hurts. That's bad even in Detroit. Lesson 1. Pick a candidate for your district. Lesson 2, be very cautious about nationalizing elections and running against a candidate who emphasises local issues. Local usually wins.Bill Owens was smart and downplayed Obama and the national issues. It's rather easy to double down on that when the main threat does not live in the district.

Is all this a referendum on Obama? No. I think it is a referendum to a degree on big government statism and the left wing push by the incumbents and a referendum on national politics to an extent, but the local matters still rule the day.

Virginia had 8 years of democrat rule. It had enough in spades.
New Jersey has been dominated by democrats. They had enough of Corzine.
Rural New York didn't like outsiders pushing them, nor candidates which were not a dimes worth of difference between the republican and democrat. Two rebellions there.
Michigan 19th had enough of Granholm lackeys and also really liked Nofs.
Hamburg had enough of the drama.

Livingston Results (UPDATED) - Skiba was destroyed, Anderson and Vieau projected winners in Brighton Schools

Hamburg Township sent a message with an exclaimation point. I predicted Skiba would be gone by a 60-40 percentage. I was way off.

Hamburg's precincts are in, and the result is clear. With all precincts in, the numbers are this.

Skiba Recall:
Yes - 4227 - 79.21%
No - 1104 - 20.71%

I don't think this changes much of what goes on with that board. I think several people need the heave ho, and getting rid of one person isn't going to do it. It does send a message, and while I think Pat Hohl and Phil Semprevino love the result, they need to watch it themselves, as I think they too would have been recalled if they were all. ANYONE would have been recalled in Hamburg if they were on the ballot. The best thing the board can do now is man up, keep their traps shut, work together and do their jobs.

The next step if things go like I think they will, is for the Livingston County Republican and Democrat parties to pick candidates to run in a special election. I am not on the county executive committee (I'm on district instead), so I have no official say in the decision. I will make my calls and use the limited influence that I have to hopefully persuade the committee to not take this race for granted, and pick someone who will do a good job and do his or her part to make the township no longer the embarassment of the state. I'll also add that right now, I'd pick the democrat to at least cover the spread in Hamburg, because the board has left a big opening.

In other races, the Brighton School Board race is very close. Barring recounts, Bill Anderson and Miles Vieau win. Joe Carney has been defeated as an incumbent.

So Far:
1. Bill Anderson - 1650
2. Miles Vieau - 1173
3. Randy Swain - 1115
4. Joe Carney - 923
5. Muriel Kaier - 776
6. Keith Van Hentenryk - 480
7. Frank Lucas - 190


Pinckney Bond outside of Hamburg
Yes - 676
No - 796

In Hamburg
Yes - 2286
No - 2315

Total:
Yes - 2962
No - 3111

Pinckney Millage outside Hamburg
Yes - 948
No - 526

In Hamburg
Yes - 3060
No = 1553

Hamburg Police Millage
Yes - 3217
No - 2278

Hamburg Parks Millage
Yes - 3528
No - 1955

Brighton Schools is too close to call. I think a possible recount may happen for the bonds. Other than that, it's fairly clear who wins/loses today in Livingston County.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nofs blows out Griffin

This is a blowout in the 19th district.

Calhoun County Results - 100% in.
Mike Nofs - 10919
Marty Griffin - 5184
Other - 998

Jackson County Results  - 89% in
Mike Nofs - 8041
Marty Griffin - 5690
Other - 472

This one is over.

It's a blowout in Virginia for the GOP. Jersey is too close to call with Christie (R) having a slight lead. NY-23 is also too close to call with Owens (D) having a slight lead.

Nothing yet on Hamburg. I'm still predicting 60/40 recall.

Update

VERY LOW turnout in Green Oak. I was number 34 at about 1PM. There were about 250 if you count all the absentees. That's still not much.

I took a drive around. Hamburg turnout seemed low (although higher than Green Oak) in all but one station where there was a lot of cars. Genoa Twp has low turnout (similar to Green Oak) as well. If that continues to be the case - Advantage Joe Carney.

I did see two very interesting signs related to Matt Skiba's recall election. It simply said "No Recall...Joanna Hardesty." Someone was highly offended by one of the signs and put up something about "Illegal sign, not authorized."

Good old Hamburg. It's always interesting if nothing else.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Biased tripe in the 3rd most leftist media outlet

If I want to find a good left wing biased media source, I can always count on MSNBC with that little wuss Keith Olberman, The New York Slimes, or the standard setters in the media, the AP/Associated Press. Those three set the standards of leftism.

Normally, I don't even comment on it anymore because it is what it is. They don't even pretend to hide it anymore. It's like reading the original Kevins aka "Communications Guru" stories.

Liz Sidoti and the AP already prepared the spin in case of Republican win tomorrow. I don't count chickens before they hatch, so we'll wait and see what actually does happen.AP article



WASHINGTON – For Republicans, an election win of any size Tuesday would be a blessing. But victories in Virginia, New Jersey or elsewhere won't erase enormous obstacles the party faces heading into a 2010 midterm election year when control of Congress and statehouses from coast to coast will be up for grabs.
It's been a tough few years for the GOP. The party lost control of Congress in 2006 and then lost the White House in 2008 with three traditional Republican states — Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia — abandoning the party.
So even if political winds start blowing harder behind them and even if they can capitalize on Democratic missteps, Republicans still will have a long way to go over the next year because of their party's own fundamental problems — divisions over the path forward, the lack of a national leader and a shrinking base in a changing nation.
The GOP would overcome none of those hurdles should Republican Bob McDonnell win the Virginia governor's race, Chris Christie emerge victorious in the New Jersey governor's contest, or conservative Doug Hoffman triumph in a hotly contested special congressional election in upstate New York.

That's a crock of Bullshit.Wins there, the 19th senate district here at home, and the other special elections would be a check on Obama's power, Granholm's power, or the other state districts. It also is something the GOP could brag about.Virginia and New Jersey are NOT republican states. Virginia, despite its reputation for being Republican, has long been competitive. Chuck Robb was a senator there in the 80's long before Jim Webb and Mark Warner. Doug Wilder won there long before Mark Warner. New Jersey has long been democrat, but has a few republicans in power like Tom Kean and Christie Whitman. Winning in those states is a big deal, as was losing them. The 23rd district is a swing district, but and the GOP may "win" (Hoffman is a Republican) despite the clustermuck and bone headed decisions of leadership.

Wins there wouldn't mean we're back, but it is a start. A good start and something to build on, and a starting point of what kind of candidates that should run depending on the districts.

There's more.



"It's going to be a difficult road to walk, to work with relatively new entrants into the political system and to work with them to show them that, by and large, we are the party who represents their interests," House Republican leader John Boehner told CNN on Sunday, arguing that there's "a political rebellion" taking place in the country.
Others are more blunt.
"Right now there's no central Republican leader to turn to, and there's no central Republican message," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh told Fox News on Sunday. "The Republican message is sort of muddied. What do they stand for? Right now it's opposition to Obama."
A debate is waging over whether that's enough — or whether the party has to be for something, anything really, to be able to claw its way back to the top. Similar hand-wringing happened in the GOP ahead of the 1994 midterms. Just weeks before those elections, Republicans came up with the Contract with America — and ended up taking control of Congress.

Boehner was one of the screw-ups when he backed the bailout. Remember his talk about the "crap sandwich?" This political rebellion that he talked about is against crap sandwiches like that which you supported, and which Obama is pushing right now with 1800 page (anything 1800 pages is bad) health care bills that the Congressional Budget Office is estimating at a trillion bucks. If the bailout was a crap sandwich, which it was, why vote for it? This is why so many conservatives have become independents and have no loyalty to the GOP. They've had enough with both parties and are dropping out, which showed in the 2008 massacre.

There does need to be a return to the Contract with America. I've been saying that for years. That aside, Rush's quote about no central leader sounds like a complaint, but I don't see it as a bad thing. The problem with most people is that we look for leaders. Don't look for leaders. Be the leader. Conservatives and their close libertarian cousins are independent thinkers and that is a big reason why there's always infighting of some sort. The premise at the core of the matter is generally less government and more freedom. Nobody likes to be dictated too, and that will initiate a conflict.

Here's some major league bullshit.



Heading into the 2010 elections, the GOP also faces a very real split between conservatives who want to focus on social issues — which tend to work best during peaceful, prosperous times — and the rest of the party, which generally wants a broader vision, particularly given recession.
Proof of a divide is in the special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District. Potential 2012 presidential hopefuls trying to solidify their conservative credentials, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, endorsed Hoffman, a conservative third-party upstart, over the GOP-chosen candidate, moderate Dierdre Scozzafava. Badly trailing in polls, she ended up dropping out and — in a slap at the GOP — endorsing Democrat Bill Owens

First off, Scozzafava is no moderate. John McHugh, who vacated the seat was more of a moderate (Socially conservative, economics in the middle). Scozzafava is a leftist. She's tied to Acorn through one of the third parties in New York, the "Working Families" Party. She's supportive of card checks, eliminating secret ballots with unions. She was endorsed by the teacher's union and the leader of Daily Kos, an extremely far leftist. In addition, she supported the stimulus packages. Now, I didn't even get to the social issues. Pro-abortion (dealbreaker) and supportive of gay marriage (don't agree with it, but not a dealbreaker issue with me). She is pro-gun, so there's one issue where she's mainstream. Take all of that combined, and you have a "Republican" to the left of most democrats, and not a dimes worth of difference between her and Bill Owens. She even endorsed Owens after dropping out of the race, which she had no reason to do outside of the fact that her own district rejected her.


Secondly, social issues aren't the big issue here. The AP has their head up their arses with this line of thought. The big issue is Obama's health care plan, the stimulus package, card check, ACORN, and fiscal leftism. Too much spending. More taxes. Small government. That's the big issue. The same thing is going on in the Florida primary between grass roots conservative Marco Rubio and establishment supported and stimulus package supporting Charlie Crist.



Adding to the party's woes: No one — or rather everyone — is speaking for the GOP.
Fiery talk show hosts like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have become the angry white face of the party, filling a vacuum created by Bush's departure as the its standard-bearer and the lack of one single person to emerge as its next generation leader.

This site needs a eye-rolling icon picture for that pile of donkey crap. There's no elected position called spokesman for the GOP. Limbaugh speaks for himself. Beck speaks for himself. I speak for myself. That's it. Here in Michigan, we have elections and vote for candidates who speak for themselves. I don't worry about "central leader" because I'm nobody's follower. Got that AP. We vote for candidates. Want me to spell it out for you?



Also, the party's power center is mostly limited to the South, the one region McCain dominated last fall; Obama won almost everywhere else — including making inroads in emerging powerhouse regions like the West, although Republicans still solidly control several lightly populated states in the area.

Uhhhhhhhh.....we'll find out more on that tomorrow. Tomorrows big congressional race....New York. Also heavily Democrat New Jersey is up for grabs tomorrow. Virginia, which is mostly southern, but not the DC burbs (at least in culture) is up for election tomorrow too. The polls show it even in Fairfax County of all places. 08's over. Bush is off the ballot. Obama has shown himself to be just another politician who says one thing and does another.


And demographic, cultural and, perhaps, economic changes in America tilt in the Democrats' favor. Consider that Hispanics, a part of the Democratic base, are the nation's fastest growing minority group. Consider that more states than ever are permitting same-sex unions; Maine will vote Tuesday on whether to allow gay marriage. Consider that the emerging new industry — so-called "green jobs" — is focused on the environment, a core Democratic issue.

Right now in this economy, jobs period, green or not, is the big issue, and the dems are delivering jack and squat. Gay marriage? That's been on ballots for years. Nothing new. The gay obsessed media goes ape over it though. The gun issue has moved to the right more and more. Abortion is STILL moving more to the right than it was. Those are bigger than the gay issue. 


Still, Republicans sense opportunity — at least in the short term. The bloom is off the Obama rose, and the public is giving the Democratic-controlled Congress low ratings.
Economists say the recession is over but jobs aren't reappearing and unemployment is still expected to hit 10 percent. The war in Afghanistan continues, and the public is deeply divided over it. Obama's expansion of government and budget-busting spending isn't sitting well with most Americans. And independents are tilting away from Democrats.

If the jobs aren't appearing, than the recession is NOT over. It may be "technically" over in the minds of the economists, but nobody at home gives a damn about what they say. They care about working. Period.

On another note, I should mention a dark horse race I forgot to mention earlier. California Congressional district 10. The democrat is expected to win big here, because of the district. I forgot about it, and unfortunately, the GOP candidate here is on his own. David Harmer is facing Lt Governor John Garamendi. The district was last held by Ellen Tauscher. It's a San Francisco Bay area district and John Kerry won it by 20%, and Gore by 14%. It covers parts of Contra Costa, Solano, and Alameda Counties. If this one goes Republican, I'll be shocked. Garemendi is up in the polls by 10%, but this is a special election. If the GOP base goes out and the dems take it for granted, there will be a possible upset. If Garemendi works like it's too close for his liking, he'll win.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Election 09

Tuesday is the first semi-major election day since Mr. Obama and his people took over Washington. There are no federal races outside of the special election in New York's 23rd district, however, so other dynamics besides the federal issues do matter.

The biggest ones to watch are Virginia and New Jersey. Their state elections are Tuesday. Virginia usually shifts opposite of the white house in its state government. Doug Wilder was governor when GHW Bush was president. George Allen and Jim Gilmore were governors during the Clinton years. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine during the GW Bush years. In New Jersey, Jon Corzine, gazillionaire leftist democrat and Goldman Sachs crony is in big trouble. It IS New Jersey, so I suspect he will survive and win at the last minute because it is so democrat leaning of a state, but we'll see what happens there.

In Michigan, we have the special election for the 19th district. It's a good national bellwether district, so it is watched closely. It went for Gore, Granholm twice, Bush once, and Obama. Mark Schauer won it first with the original borders. The second winner will be either Mike Nofs or Marty Griffin. Nofs isn't as fiscally conservative as I am, but he's a lot better than tax raising Griffin, and Schauer.

Most of the state has school board and city municipal elections. There are tax measures in several areas that need to be voted on.

Here in Livingston County, we have the following:

Brighton Schools - The budget situation here is crisis, and one of the biggest problems in Joe Carney. He things the district needs to spend, spend, and spend, and then have the state pay for it. It doesn't work that way. My support goes to Miles Vieau for one of the spots. That's easy. The second spot I'm not sure about. The Argus endorsed Bill Anderson. I have a LOT of hesitation there, because he supported that big enhancement millage, which in fact contributed to his defeat four years ago. He's better on fiscal matters than Carney, but that's not good enough. Some of my local republican friends and acquaintances (Anderson's probably their favorite) probably don't care for that, but what will happen when there is big pressure? Will Anderson back another millage? Miles Vieau did not do so.

I'm actually leaning towards Keith Van Hentenryck. He wasn't quite good enough to get the Concerned Taxpayer's Group endorsement when he last ran (I was on the panel for his interview. I'm no longer with the organization, although I still trust their judgment), but he wasn't bad either. He seems like a true independent who won't follow any side or clique.

Howell and Brighton City have their own elections. I haven't followed things enough there to have an informed opinion to say yea or nay.

Hamburg - There's a millage on the ballot there. Also, the big recall election of Matt Skiba. I have mixed views on this except to say that I'm glad I live in Green Oak instead. If Pat Hohl and Phil Semprevino were also being recalled, I'd probably support sending them all home. Skiba could be doing a better job, but he never had a chance in the first place. He is a friend of Cindy Pine, and that automatically with that board made him Persona Non Grata. At the first chance, they wanted him gone, and they were going to make his job as difficult as possible and then recall them. Even a Big Ten video replay judge could see it....well, maybe not them. Because of this, I'd probably reluctantly vote no as the least worse choice. That aside, I predict this passes with at least 60%. Skiba has not defended himself well enough. I am quite curious though about the recall campaign being able to stay under $1000 with the number of bigger signs.......

Other important elections are in our major cities like Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Grand Rapids.

There are other special elections that are below the radar of Virginia, New Jersey, New York 23 Congress, and Michigan 19 State Senate. On November 3rd, we have:

Alabama - House District 65
Georgia - Senate District 1, House Districts 75, 129, 141, 159
Missouri - House District 73
New Hampshire - House District 11
South Carolina - House District 48
Washington State - House Districts 9, 15, 16


I don't know much or anything about those districts, but they were mentioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee. In special elections, throw out the normal rules anyway on elections, because it is about turnout. Anyone can win a special election, even Democrats in Livingston County. (and I think they have a damn good shot in Hamburg, gift wrapped by people with R's by their name - although I never see them at the GOP meetings....)

It will be an interesting day. We need to make sure the good guys vote.