Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Livingston County Commissioner seats

The Argus has an opinion piece story about the challenges in Livingston County. They think it is a big deal that they got people to put their names on the ballot for county commissioner.

From the Argus

By placing at least seven candidates on the ballot, Livingston County Democrats are bringing rare competition to elections for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.
Winning an election in Livingston County as a Democrat is a daunting task. Party faithful like to suggest that the county's ideological makeup is shifting, but that's an argument that's been made — without much apparent accuracy — for several decades.

At the top of the ticket, the low mark for the GOP since 2000 is 56% The high mark is 62-63% Levin came closest to winning countywide in 2008, and the last two to do so were Frank Kelley and Richard Austin.

Currently, there's two democrats holding partisan elected office in the county. Putnam and Unadilla Township trustee positions.

If Democrats want a chance in the county commissioner races, they need to do more than criticize the low tax rate, which is a source of pride for the county Republican Party. Livingston County is not the place where elections are won by promising higher taxes.

Judy Daubenmier, chairwoman of the Livingston County Democrats, has criticized the incumbents for lacking "any sort of vision for moving our county forward."

How about leaving us alone? Low taxes, balanced budgets, and the basics. We aren't Ann Arbor, and don't want to be Ann Arbor. This county is still the fastest growing in the area, and part of that is people moving away from democrat paradises like Wayne County. Democrats, including white "progressive" democrats destroyed Detroit, are destroying Michigan, and want to take Livingston County down with it.

That seems to be the Republican Party viewpoint as expressed by county GOP Chairman Mike Murphy, the county's undersheriff.

"It's conservative Republican values that have gotten us where we're at," Murphy said in a story published Wednesday in this newspaper.

Further, Murphy said the Democratic candidates "don't stand a chance" in November. Even if he's right, it will be good for the county if their campaigns help elevate the county's business in the minds of voters.

I agree with Murph that it is conservative republican values that got the county where it is at, and that puts us in better shape than the other nearby counties. I do disagree that the dems don't stand a chance. All campaigns are based on matchups, and they do have a chance. I don't think any Ann Arbor liberals like Judy Daubenmier have a chance, but dems have won in the 90's.

If the democrats want to win Livingston County, they have an example. Jake Donohue. Donohue was the last county comissioner seat that was won by the dems. They can't run some so called "progressive" type which flourishes in Ann Arbor and started the major decline in Detroit. "Progressives" destroyed Detroit, and are destroying Michigan and the country, and we all know it. Farming democrats or Jim Barcia democrats are their best chance to win in most of the county.

Unfortunately, some townships in the county have been reprecincted since 2002 which makes things very difficult to compare the districts. The 2008 or 2006 numbers are good "low end" numbers for the districts. In order for a democrat to win, it would take an improvement over their high water marks. That usually happens in Unadilla and Putnam Townships which have locally supported democrats for years, and has happened in Hamburg, not surprisingly in 2008. It might have happened in Green Oak as well, by a moderate democrat Matt Evans in his runs. Evans isn't running this time.

These are estimates of the 2008 low ball numbers for the GOP in this district (Absentees were counted differently). Add about 7-9% to the GOP for the 2004 numbers.

District 2 - All of Osceola Twp and Deerfield Twp, Howell twp 2, Genoa Twp 3,11 -
GOP - Jim Mantey
Dem - Thomas Bell III
08 - GOP 58.16%, 39.77%

District 3 - All of Tyrone Twp and all of Hartland Twp except 5
GOP - Dave Domas and Charlie Aberasturi
Dem - Dane Morris

08 - GOP 59.24%, 39.20%

District 5 - All of Conway, Cohoctah, and Howell City, Howell Twp 1 - Open
GOP - Sue Dolato, Jay Drick, and Lou Anne Lathrop
Dem - David Berry

08 - GOP 52.85%, 44.95%

District 6 - All of Putnam Twp, Hamburg 3, Marion 2, 3, 4,Genoa 5, 12.
GOP - Steve Williams
Dem - Keith Tianen

08 - GOP 53.99%, 44.30%

District 7 - All of Brighton City, Genoa 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - Incumbent Carol Griffith
GOP - Carol Griffith
Dem - Kelly Raskauskas

08 - GOP 55.29%, 43.38%

District 8 - All of Hamburg except precinct 3 - Incumbent Dennis Dolan
GOP - Dennis Dolan
Dem - Amir Baghdadchi

08 - GOP 51.25%, 47.34%

District 9 - All of Green Oak and Brighton Twp 5 - Incumbent Jack LaBelle
GOP - Jack LaBelle
Dem - Barry McBride

08 - GOP 54.47%, 43.71%

I think the landscape in MOST of the county is more favorable to us than 2008, although Hamburg is still Hamburg. For that reason alone, I think the 8th is going to be our toughest defense due to self inflicted wounds. After that, I'd say probably the 9th and much of that depends on Jack's health. Possibly the 6th is one to watch depending on the type of candidate Tianen is. The right type of campaign there could resonate. Over in the 5th, the City of Howell is by far the most liberal part of the county, especially in its establishment (more so establishment than residents), but it would take one incredible balancing act for a dem to win there, appealing to the country club lib set, as well as the farm independents. The 7th is a pipe dream for a recent Massachusetts transplanted democrat. The City of Brighton swings (More MEA, but establishment is more business oriented), and will probably swing back to the right with the national fiscal liberalism. Even if it doesn't, there's too much Genoa Township for the dems to have much of a chance. They went for this in 02, caught us offguard until late, and couldn't break 40% and lost the whole area. I spend 24 years there as a primary residence, so I know that area very well. The rest of the seats are slim to none chances for the dems.

I'll never say there's no chance, but I'll be real surprised to see the dems pick one off, especially if their views are anything like Obama, Daubenmier, Granholm, and the like. I don't see a Jake Donohue in this crowd.

But our county party needs to pretend we're down 10% in our attitudes with these campaigns. When that stops happened, then we lose.

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