Bobby Schostak is the current financial director for the Michigan GOP under Ron Weiser. He's now running for chair. He's been endorsed by Rick Snyder. That is interesting since I believe he supported Mike Cox (as I did) in the primary. He's also been endorsed by some good friends of mine who are solid conservatives.
I first want to mention that I have not made a decision yet in whom I am supporting. I have not endorsed Bobby Schostak, nor have I closed the door on him. There is some very good positives and very high negatives with him that need to be addressed, which will determine if I support him. Snyder's support makes no difference to me one way or the other.
As financial director, he was as good as it gets. If he was running for that again, I'd endorse him today. The amount in candidate assistance was at or near record amounts. I've heard some numbers which I won't repeat because it may be confidential information, but it is significant. This helped lead to a 20 seat gain and a takeover in the state house. We needed 13 to takeover. We have 7 seats to spare. Bobby Schostak deserves a lot of credit for that, along with Ron Weiser.
However, my concerns is with his donation history. Schostak is a builder with a large family business. Businesses are often bipartisan in their support. I understand that and that's how the game is often played. I don't like it, but I understand it. Most of the donations made were by all of the brothers and I've heard one of them is a democrat.
These are the candidates who Bobby Schostak donated to. These are under his own name, not his family members or their PAC. I listed both the R's and the D's.
Candice Miller (for Sec of State)
Citizens for a Better Michigan (PAC)
John Walsh (R) - Livonia State Rep and good guy
Doug Ross (D) - Primary for governor 98.
McCotter – Several Donations - Then State Senate
Larry DeShazor (R) - State Rep/Senate candidate
Copper Rizzo (R) - State Senate Candidate, worked for Mike Bishop
Gail Haines (R) - State Rep
Jase Bolger (R) - State Rep, new Speaker
Peter Petallia (R) - New State Rep
Common Sense Leadership Fund PAC
Craig DeRoche (R) - Former Speaker
Kim Meltzer (R) - State Rep, State Senate Candidate
Justice Cliff Taylor
Dick DeVos (R) - Gubernatorial Candidate
Dick Posthumus (R) - Lt Governor, Gubernatorial Candidate
Laura Toy (R) - State Rep, State Senate candidate
John Engler (R)
Andy Meisner (D) - Safe Democrat district, State Rep
Burton Leland (D) - Safe Democrat District
Dan Tietma (R) - State Rep Candidate
Paul DeWeese (Was R, now D) - State Rep, State Senate/Congressional candidate
Gabe Leland (D) - Safe Democrat district, Primary
Hugh Crawford (R) - State Rep
Ken Horn (R) - State Rep
Roger Kahn (R) - State Rep/Senate
Steve Tobocman (D) - State Rep, safe democrat district
Wayne Schmidt (R) - State Rep
HRCC - House GOP Committee
Gilda Jacobs PAC (D) - Leadership fund for democrat
JAPAC (Jewish PAC)
Jennifer Granholm (D) (Maxed, 2004) - Pay to play?
Lawrence Deitch (D) for UM – UM Trustee.
Michigan Republican Party – Over $63,000
Mike Cox (R) - AG and Gubernatorial Candidate
New Century Fund - PAC
Number 6 Leadership Fund - PAC
Paul Scott (R) - State Rep, Convention candidate for Secretary of State
John Pastor (R) - State Rep
Schostak Family PAC
Senate Republican Caucus
Civic Fund PAC
Team 2006 PAC
Todd LaJoy (R) - State Rep Candidate
11th District GOP Committee -
Wayne Kuipers (R) - State Rep/Senate, Congressional Candidate
If that was it, I could live with that, although the Granholm one bothers me a lot. Most of the democrats are in safe districts. There may be personal ties. I don't know. I'm not going to get bent out of shape over his support of the Lelands or Tobocman in Detroit or Jacobs in Huntington Woods. Someone with bad politics is going to win there regardless. That's how it is.
Federally, I have a big problem with some of his donations.
Mike Bouchard - Candidate against Stabenow
MRP - $10000+
Carl Levin (D) - Why Levin?
Charlie Crist (Then R, now who knows what)(2009, preparty switch)
Joe Lieberman (D) for President - 2004, also gave to his Senate campaign
Debbie Stabenow (D) - Stabenow is up in 2012. Next election. Our state party chair candidate donated to Stabenow.
Tim Walberg (R) - This one is a big positive to me.
Mike Rogers (R) - This was after he was first elected
Susan Collins (R) - Liberal Republican, but it is Maine
Joe Knollenberg (R) - He gave a lot of support to Knollenberg.
Dianne Byrum (D) - This was her race against Mike Rogers in 2000 which was a big fight over who kept the majority. 88 vote difference.
Rocky Raczkowski (R) - Good fight.
Spence Abraham (R) - Then incumbent. Lost to Stabenow.
Jack Reed (D) - Why Jack Reed? Rhode Island far left Senator.
Joe Schwarz (2004) - Then Republican.
John Kerry (D) – 2007 - Why give to this scumbag traitor? John Kerry?
Frank Lautenberg (D) – 2008 - Far left gun grabber.
Mark Udall (D) – 2007 - This one may be the worst from a pragmatic standpoint. There was a battle over the senate in 2008. Mark Udall is a Boulder (Ann Abror of Colorado) liberal. Non incumbent open senate seat in Colorado.
John Conyers (D) – 1999
Ben Cardin (D) – 2005 - Another Open Seat to replace Paul Sarbanes. Michael Steele or Ben Cardin.
Jean Carnahan (D) – 2002 - Appointed incumbent key for the majority. She lost.
Peter Monroe (R) – 2006 - Ran against Bill Nelson
Mitt Romney - 2007
David Fink (D) – 2002 - Ran against Knollenberg
Nancy Pelosi (D) – 2007 - Yes, that Pelosi
Gene DeRossett (R) – 2004 - Ran for open seat primary later won by Joe Schwarz and Tim Walberg (R)
Carolyn Kilpatrick (D) 2001
Al Gore 2000 - Gore for President?
McCain 2008 – 2007
Jeff Sessions (R) – 2007
Bill Bradley 2000 (D) - Ran against Gore
Thad McCotter (R) - Congressman
Candace Miller (R)
For the sake of argument, I'll give the benefit of the doubt on in-state dems outside of Stabenow (who is up in 2012) and chalk it up to builders politics. But Gore? Lieberman in 04? Bill Bradley? Mark Udall and Ben Cardin for key open seats in 06 and 08? Byrum over Rogers? Carnahan in a key swing state. This isn't one, two, or three democrats, but several, and some key ones including presidential campaigns.
Maybe Schostak is party switcher. I hope that is the case and if so, would explain some of the donations.
But I have a major concern. There's some schisms and rifts within the party. They will come out in the 2012 elections. I see some "third way" (Clintonian/DLC) tendencies in the donation history. Leland, Jacobs, Stabenow, Lieberman, Gore, Kerry, Byrum, Udall, Cardin, Crist, and Reed. I see that as well in the Romney support for 2008, and later McCain. I don't think Schostak ever cared much for the Daily Kos or Kucinich wing of the dems.
There's also a schism especially between the Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin wings going back to the end of the 2008 race. For the record, I support neither as my first choice in 2012. There are several candidates I would support before either of them.
However, it's the MIGOP's job to support who the nominee is. Can I count on Schostak to support whoever the nominee is and do the necessary work to give the candidate a solid chance to win Michigan? That includes if it is someone I suspect he would not care for - Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee. Would he support them wholeheartedly against Obama? Would he endorse Obama? Would he stay out? I have no doubt he'd support a Romney or probably a Pawlenty, Daniels, Giuliani, or Barbour. Palin though? Would we see another case of Wayne Gilchrist, Colin Powell, Kathleen Parker, Doug Kmiec, Peggy Noonan, Chuck Hagel, Scott McClellan, Charles Fried, Ken Adelman, Paul O'Neill, and the like. I don't know. I really do not know. In Schostak's defense, he has never given any indication of supporting Obama, either as a senate candidate or in 2008. However, he has donated to Gore, Bradley, and Lieberman in their presidential runs.
I have not made my decision of support in this race. Bobby Schostak has done a great job as finance chair for MIGOP. I do not want that to be lost on the readers. That was a big reason why we picked up 20 seats in the state house and increased our majority in the state senate. Give him credit for that. He earned it. Some of those donations have to be addressed however. It's not a "non-issue."
We all need to evaluate the entire picture and see who runs, what their positives and negatives are, and make sure we do our due diligence in our decision making.