Tuesday, August 30, 2005

2008 Update - Mark Warner NOT running for Senate.

From the Washington Post:

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) announced today that he will not challenge Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) next year, leaving the popular Democrat free to explore a presidential bid.

"I want to make sure that we can go out and recruit a strong candidate by making my intentions clear this early," Warner said on his month radio show on WTOP. He promised to help Democratic Party officials find a suitable candidate.

Warner's decision, first reported by The Washington Post yesterday, robs Virginia of what could have been a blockbuster political confrontation in 2006. Allen, a former governor who is ending his first term in the Senate, remains popular at home and is also considering a run at the presidency in 2008.

Senators rarely become president, and Warner would be dogged by questions over the 2008 presidency if he runs in 2006 for George Allen's Senate seat.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Official - Jack Hoogendyk drops out

From WOOD TV in Grand Rapids:

Grand Rapids, August 27, 2005, 6:14 p.m.) One of the candidates in the race for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination has dropped out.

State Representative Jack Hoogendyk of Kalamazoo made the official announcement Saturday that he will not seek his party's nomination for governor in 2006.

This is not a surprise. Unless there's a major surprise and Mike Rogers or Candice Miller (who said they aren't running) jumps in the race, this is going to be an uneventful primary, with Dick DeVos as the next nominee for governor. State Senator Nancy Cassis is still in the race, but has already mentioned a possible interest in the Lt. Governor position in interviews.

Dick DeVos vs Jennifer Granholm. That's an easy choice for me. I'll bring the moving van myself to the governor's mansion to help Jenny pack so she can move to one of her "Cool Cities."

GOP plan - 1 Billion in Tax Cuts

From the Detroit News
LANSING -- House Republicans are planning to vote this Wednesday on a business tax plan that would cut levies by more than $1 billion over five years.

We need a jumpstart to our economy here. We're still in a recession.

The House plan would:

• Provide tax credits of 20 percent for manufacturers on existing capital and up to 50 percent for new equipment.

• Cut the single business tax rate from 1.9 percent to 1.7 percent and then set up triggers for future cuts as state revenue picks up.

• Eliminate the business tax on health care.

• Increase the number of businesses eligible for small business tax relief.

Not a bad start, but I'd rather see the single business tax ELIMINATED, as well as the business tax on health care. The people who enacted that law much have been on meth at the time.

Needless to say, Granholm opposes this.

More County Updates

County updates:

Added profiles for Cass, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, and Clinton Counties.

Friday, August 26, 2005

County Profile Update III

Added Baraga, Barry, and Bay Counties to the sidebar.

Update 11PM - Added Benzie and Berrien Counties.

Update 8/27 - Added Branch and Calhoun Counties.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mayor Navigator's buddy plea bargains pistol whipping case

From the Ed McNamara School of politics and criminal justice. From the Detroit Free Press

Mayor's pal gets deal in gun case

Contractor pleads guilty, avoids trial
August 23, 2005

Bobby Ferguson, a contractor for the City of Detroit and a close friend of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge that he pistol-whipped an employee last year.

Ferguson's plea came just before his trial was set to begin, sparing him intense media coverage at a time when Kilpatrick is running for re-election.

The deal Ferguson struck with prosecutors, however, conflicts with Kilpatrick's calls for the prosecutor's office to stop bargaining with people accused of using guns to commit crimes.

Under the plea agreement, Ferguson, 36, would serve 10 months in Wayne County Jail and be on probation for five years. His lawyer, Elbert Hatchett of Pontiac, said Ferguson would be placed on work release so he can leave the jail during business hours to run his company

And Kwame wants to cut crime?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

County Profile Updates II

Since the County Profiles are large files and push away current events, I've decided to give them all May and June dates to push them back into the archives. I'll still have all of the counties completed on the sidebar for those who wish to see them, and the May Archive area should have all of them.

Latest on Gubenatorial Election

From MIRS news via an email from State Party

Bye-Bye Jack
Although he would not confirm it, MIRS has learned there are strong indications that the second GOP candidate in the race for Governor will drop out perhaps as early as this Saturday.

Rep. Jack HOOGENDYK (R-Kalamazoo) has been in the hunt since last February, but his fund raising efforts have reportedly run into a brick wall now that frontrunner Dick DeVOS has made it clear that he is in the race to stay.
His announcement could come on Saturday at the so-called Farm Fest, an annual GOP gathering being staged this year in Ada and co-chaired by former Lt. Gov.Dick POSTHUMUS and DeVos. Ada, of course, is the home base for the Alticor Company that DeVos used to run. With Hoogendyk preparing to withdraw, word is he will toss his support to DeVos, thus leaving the impression that the lawmaker is a team player and available for a possible bid for higher office down the road.

That is not a surprise. Hoogendyk and DeVos are both from West Michigan, and have similar bases with the cultural conservatives. Hoogendyk may have had an edge with gun owners, but I doubt they would get involved in the primary unless DeVos is anti-gun which would greatly surprise me.

With that announcement, that will leave only one other challenger in the race and Sen. Nancy CASSIS (R-Novi) has made noises about dropping out with hopes of being selected for the second spot on the GOP ticket. She recently told reporters, “We are not naïve” about her chances of wrestling the nomination from DeVos.

This primary may be over already.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Blog update

We added a new section to the sidebar. We will be posting links to election related commentary there. Right now, we only have our own work linked there, but if any of you have commentary on Michigan (or 2008 Presidential) races you want to see linked to your site or published here, let us know with an email to republicanmichigander@nospam.hotmail.com(removing the nospam part). We will consider linking to any intelligently (left wing, right wing, or centrist) based theory on political races, as long as it is backed up with facts.

Another section that will be added soon will be political profiles of all 83 of Michigan's counties and their recent partisan voting trends down to the township level. We will try and profile two or three counties per week. These will be posted in the sidebar as well for easy access later once they are archived.

2008 Presidential Straw Poll

Patrick Ruffini's blog has a good presidential straw poll.

It's missing a couple of possible candidates in Mark Sanford and Tim Pawlenty, but other than that, it is a good poll with many choices for votes.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Ultimate Fighter is Back!!!

One type of show I am normally not a fan of is reality TV. I think most reality TV shows are ridiculous. The major exception I have is The Ultimate Fighter. After seeing an episode in Season 1, I was hooked, and even bought the PPV UFC match of Randy Couture/Chuck Lidell after the final. Season 2 starts Monday at 11PM on Spike TV.

The Ultimate Fighter is a spin off of the UFC pay per view events. It involved 18 fighters in two weight classes who are vying for a UFC pay per view contract. In Season 2, there are 9 welterweights and 9 heavyweights. One person in each class will earn a UFC contract.

For those who are unaware, Ultimate Fighting is a mixed martial arts event. It used to be almost no holds barred(Rules were no biting, eye gouging, or fishooks), but RINO John McCain's big government crusade did not help matters and pushed cable companies to get off the air in several markets. The newer format unlike the old one is sanctioned by the Nevada State Game commission. The newer format is more similar to boxing where judges can make decisions. It also introduced weightclasses, title belts, and one fight events. Under the old system, there were tournaments and a fighter had to win three matches to win. There were no weight classes, so you could have 150 pound fighters up against 300 pounders.

There are three five minute rounds. Fights take place in the Octagon, an eight sided cage.

Unlike boxing, there are several styles of fighting used in the UFC's. The early fights had strong advantages to grapplers over strikers, and to this day good grapplers are formidable opponents. Striking is still important, and Chuck Liddell has won many fights by strikes. The best fighters today are capable in both styles.

If the format is similar to season one, then the fighters are split into two teams headed by coaches who are UFC stars. They train with them, and then the two teams face each other in challenges. The team with wins the challenge picks a fighter from their team to face a fighter of their choice on the other team, usually one where matchups favor the challenger.

Unlike most reality TV, there is little whiny drama queen BS here. No one is voted out, and there is little subjectiveness(judges if there's no KO or tap out). Everything here is settled in the octagon. The winner of the fight stays in the competition, and the loser goes home.

This Monday is the premier of Season II. It is on Spike TV at 11PM. In the words of referee Big John McCarthy "Are you ready? Are you ready? Let's GET IT ON!"

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hunting Heritage Defense Committee

One of the issues on the ballot in 2006 will be the ban on hunting mourning doves in Michigan. This practice is legal in 40 other states, and should be here in a state with a rich hunting tradition.

I do have to give credit where it is due. In a rare moment of common sense, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation authorizing a trial hunt in four counties allowing the hunting of these "pigeons". Unfortunately, a bunch of anti-hunters with the Humane Society of the US (NOT your local pet rescue organization) with $125,000 of out of state money pushed a petition drive here placing the law on referendum. That means the law is on hold until a vote occurs in 2006.

This law would not even be controversial if the "pigeons" were known as such instead of having part of the same name as the "bird of peace." Here are the differences. The first picture is Pope John Paul II with the bird of peace. The second picture is the "pigeon."

The 2nd argument I usually see against "pigeon" hunting is the size of the bird. The counter argument to that is that grouse, woodcock, and partridge are all game birds in Michigan, and mourning doves are game birds in 40 other states.

I do not hunt mourning doves. That said, I support allowing people to do so.
I am a turkey hunter. If one type of bird hunting is banned, others follow. We as hunters all hang together or all hang as individuals. This is the goal of the HSUS as stated by their president - Wayne Pacelle.

"If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would." – Wayne Pacelle, as quoted by the Associated Press in Impassioned Agitator, December 30, 1991.

"Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting." – Wayne Pacelle, as quoted in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, October 8, 1991.

I should mention that "Sport Hunting" under their definition applies to ALL hunting - deer, bear, turkey, elk, duck, goose, rabbit, coyote, groundhog, and everything else. It does not refer to crooked poachers which is a different issue completely. Poaching is wrong and should be reported to the DNR immediately.

The Hunting Heritage Defense Committee formed last July right here in Howell to defend our rights. Most of the individuals behind HHDC are from the strong pro-2nd Amendment groups SAFR and Michigan Gun Owners. I am a member of both organizations(charter member of MGO).

Hunting Heritage Defense Committee is holding a fundraiser in Jackson on September 9. I plan on being there, and hope for a strong turnout there. In order to defeat the anti-hunting opposition, we need to start fighting early since we WILL be outspent as we do not have the George Soros types funding us. It isn't the first time we've faced odds like this. We taught them a lesson once, and we will once again.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Educators start drive to secure increases in state school funds

It's now official. We're going to have a school funding measure on the ballot.
From the Lansing State Journal
Initiative details

Here are some of the key provisions of the initiative petition drive launched Thursday by the K-16 Coalition for Michigan's Future.

• Public schools, community colleges and universities would get inflationary increases in state support annually.

• Their retirement costs would be capped at 14.87 percent of payroll. The state would pick up costs beyond that.

• The funding gap between districts would be reduced between 2007 and 2012.

• School funding formulas would be adjusted to help districts with declining enrollment.

I previously commented in detail about this "Pass the Buck" measure on July 28. This ballot initative is a tax increase in disguise, and does address the real problems of MESSA and healh care costs.

If the schools addressed their health costs, MESSA, and pension costs, I would be much more supportive. Instead all they do is ask us for more money to bail them out. That's not good enough.

Please moveon.org back to Ann Arbor - on second thought, make that Cuba

What has dominated the news recently is Cindy Sheehan and her camp down in Texas demanding to meet with President Bush. Now, what the media has not reported is that Cindy Sheehan already has met with the President once. I have sympathy for her and her family over her son who died in Iraq. I'll leave that part at that. I'll just say than a man or woman can be judged by the company he or she keeps.

Now what bothers me about these extremists and political hacks like Code Pink, Moveon.org, David Duke, Fred Phelps, Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, etc, who jump on this bandwagon, not because of sympathy for her, the troops or for any positive reason. They don't give a damn about the soldiers. All they care about is embarassing President Bush, and will do ANYTHING possible to make him look bad. 2004 is over. Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich lost the primary. Get over it. Bob Alexander lost almost 2-1. Get over it. President Bush won - get over it. He'll be gone in 2008. This country survived Jimmy Carter and James Buchanan of all people. We'll survive Bush, and whoever is next, regardless if it is my choice Mark Sanford or my complete opposite in Barbara Boxer.

If these leftist poltical hacks and pawns supported the troops and were patroitic, they would keep their damn mouths shut about the war until our soldiers are home. That goes for anyone, and WHOEVER is president - Bush, Clinton - whoever. Once our troops are in harms way, they need our support until they are home - and supporting them means supporting their mission. We all want our troops home. The fastest way to so is to support them completing their objective. Once our troops are home, then is time for us all to look at the evidence President Bush and Congress had in making their decision, and decide whether it was the right decision or not, and learn from it in the future.

These political hacks and their pawns do NOTHING to support the troops. They are also indirectly DELAYING the time it takes for our troops to come home as the enemy sees the protests. This fuels them, raises their morale, and hurts the morale of our troops. If you support the troops, support their mission, or at least keep your damn mouth shut, get the hell out of their way, and quit helping the enemy. Protest all you want when our troops are all home, but wait until then. That goes for any political hacks on any side of the isle when the president is of a different political party. I don't care if Bill Clinton is president or President Bush is president. Politics MUST stop at the borders.

Speaking of hacks, those wingnuts at moveon.org (led by the secretary of the County Democrats) invaded Howell here in Livingston County last Tuesday. They had a protest rally under the disguise of supporting "peace" and support. The Kos and DU people are all having a fit since many people who do support the troops countered their rally. At least 60 supporters were there almost evening out the opposition, which is remarkable since there was only two days notice, compared to the the long planning by the moveon people. I also noticed that not one American Flag was flown by the moveon people there.

On a positive note, major Kudos to Wendy Day(prayers to her husband serving our country in Iraq), Vicki Fyke, and every single one of the individuals who showed up to support the troops there. One serviceman was there currently on leave from Iraq. Good luck and Godspeed. The pictures below are from those who support our troops and their mission.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Draft Sanford for President Movement taking off???

Over at Redstate, poster Adam C found this in the Opinion Journal

"""Know Him By His Enemies
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, is taking hard shots from Democrats within the state and national Democratic special interest groups who probably couldn't point to the Palmetto State on the map. What's drawing their ire is Mr. Sanford's attempt to rein in out-of-control spending on Medicaid.

Protecting this federal entitlement has become an obsession with Democrats, with Howard Dean leading the charge. That's why Mr. Sanford finds himself in the sights of the Washington-based Center for Budget and Policy, a liberal think tank. In South Carolina, Medicaid now consumes 19% of the state budget and provides health benefits to one million people, or one-out-of-four who live in the state. Gov. Sanford proposes to cap the program's costs by withdrawing the promise of unlimited care and giving those eligible a tax credit -- worth perhaps $4,000 -- that can only be spent on private health insurance. Anything left over could be rolled into a private health savings account.

His critics are starting to figure out that Mr. Sanford should be on a shortlist of Republican 2008 presidential candidates. He's now halfway through this first term and already has enacted half of his agenda -- including a landmark tort reform bill. The freewheeling Mr. Sanford is especially popular with the GOP's libertarian wing for his consistent stances in support of Social Security private accounts, school vouchers and trade with Cuba and his opposition to corporate welfare. Elected to Congress in the Newt Gingrich 1994 tidal wave, he honored his own personal term limit by stepping down after six years. As governor, he's issued more than 100 vetoes against legislative spending, once even bringing two squealing pigs to the State Capitol to emphasize his disdain for pork barrel..."""

This is what we need for a President. I am tired of all the "big government conservatives out there." While no one is perfect, Gov. Sanford is probably as close to perfect who is electable. Governors win, and those with ideas win over those who don't have ideas.

And Gov. Sanford is also Pro-2nd Amendment and Pro-life as well as a fiscal conservative. If Mark Sanford runs for president, I'll vote for him in a minute, and volunteer for his campaign.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Democratic site had wrong dates for Michigan election

From the AP:

Democratic site had wrong dates for Michigan election
8/15/2005, 3:56 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday unveiled a new interactive map on its Web site giving information about U.S. senators and noting which were up for re-election in 2006.

It correctly noted that, in Michigan, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing is up for re-election in 2006 while Democratic Sen. Carl Levin doesn't face re-election until 2008.

But then the DSCC got its facts wrong. It said the 2006 filing deadline in Michigan was June 20 and that the Michigan primary would be held Sept. 12, 2006.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Detroit ranked as most liberal city in the country

The Bay Area Center for Voter Research ranked Detroit as the most liberal city in the country. Their definition of liberal cities are "those who voted for liberal candidates". I am assuming they are referring to Democrats, Greens, and Ralph Nader.

They ranked cities over 100,000 people and how they voted in the 2004 election. The list is here down in Appendix 3

The Michigan cities on the list of 236 are as follows:

1. Detroit - 93.65% Kerry
10. Flint - 83.07% Kerry
27. Ann Arbor - 76.51% Kerry
66. Lansing - 65.86% Kerry
113. Warren - 55.60% Kerry
116. Grand Rapids - 55.30% Kerry
161. Sterling Heights - 47.65% Kerry
179. Livonia - 44.64% Kerry

Hmmmm...Detroit and Flint lost 1/2 of their population in the last 50 years. Coincidence as to the effectiveness of liberal policies?????

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cool Cities - a complete joke

From the Detroit News and AP

'Cool Cities' grant recipients report progress and delays

By Amy F. Bailey / Associated Press

PORTLAND -- Riverside boardwalks. Renovated storefronts. Loft apartments.

Those are among the improvements paid for by state grants last year under Gov. Jennifer Granholm's plan to make urban areas across Michigan more appealing to young professionals.

So this has been the Californian Governor Granholm's plan to bring Michigan back. Cool Cites?

With the "Cool Cities" initiative and other programs, the state hopes to not only keep more of its native college students but hold onto those from other states who come to Michigan to attend its colleges and universities.

Not everyone, however, thinks "Cool Cities" will make a difference. Central Michigan University economics professor Michael Shields says it will take decades, not years, to determine whether Granholm's program successfully creates cities appealing to young adults.

What do Michigan's core cities offer to the "creative class?" Eliminate all cities under 100,000, and we have Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Livonia. Livonia, Warren, and Sterling Heights are all suburbs of Detroit - so the core cities are Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Flint. Ann Arbor will always have a creative class since they have UM. Lansing and East Lansing have state government and Michigan State University, so even if GM goes down, they have something to fall back on. Flint is a company town, and probably in the toughest shape of any core city. It is 100% dependent on GM. Grand Rapids seems to be in good shape from the times I've been there. I don't know if it is a "cool city", but I liked it as it has a bit of a small town feel.

But all those cities are dwarfed by Detroit - the face of Michigan to the rest of the world. Is Detroit a "cool city?" Depends on who you ask. It has always been a gritty tough blue collar city. It built America's cars for 100 years. It is the headquarters of the unions. It gave us Motown, Bob Seger(via Ann Arbor), Ted Nugent, Emimem and Kid Rock. The Grind Line of the Red Wings is as popular as the stars. The "Bad Boys" of the Pistons are legendary.

Is this popular with the new "creative class", many of which consider anything blue collar "uncool?" I doubt it. Especially since Detroit has to compete with Chicago, Cleveland, and Madison alone in the nearby area(maybe add Toronto too as it's 5 hours away by car). That's not even accounting for New York, LA, San Diego, Silicon Valley, Austin, Atlanta, Miami, Washington DC, and cities with warmer climates than here in Michigan.

And once again Michael LaFaive of the Mackinac Center hits the nail on the head.

"Cool is in the eye of the beholder," LaFaive says. "As soon as the governor encourages something because she says it's cool, young people are going to think it's not cool."

Instead of the fluff, we need to concentrate on the factors we can control. Instead of "cool cities", let's focus on the realities. We are a high tax state extremely unfriendly to small businesses. There's nothing cool about that. We're losing jobs due to our business climate while the rest of the country is recovering. There's nothing cool about that. If we want "cool cities" here, then let's have the jobs here first.

Secondly, if the "creative class" and these "young professionals" are job hopping and rarely stay in the same place, why are we as a state trying to throw a hail mary pass to attract them? Even if they move here, how are we going to keep them? What will happen five years from now?

Most people don't think of Livingston County as a "cool" area. That said, it's still the fastest growing county in the state. Royal Oak, what many think of as a "cool suburb", declined in population. People move out here to raise families. Good schools, low county tax rates, low crime, rural character, and generally good people.

Instead of trying to have cool cities, the state needs to concentrate on Michigan being a good place to raise families.

Lastly, everybody knows that the coolest part of Michigan is "Up North!" That's God's country.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Part Four (of Four) Michigan House Preview

District 80 – All of Van Buren County, Watson Twp and Otsego city/Twp in Allegan County – Currently Republican

This district has a republican leaning, but is not one to be taken for granted. Tonya Schuitmaker is the current representative and defeated Democrat Art Toy with 58.30% President Bush however only received 51.94% in this district. Van Buren County narrowly went for Bush twice, last time with 51.60%. Only a small portion of Allegan County is in this district, and Otsego is marginally republican. If the democrats have a good year, this district may be up for grabs.

District 83 – All of Sanilac County, Port Huron, Fort Gratiot twp, and Burchville Twp in St Clair County – Currently Democrat

This district went democrat because the Republicans ran a candidate so inept, that even the party chair endorsed the democrat. John Espinoza won this formerly republican open seat with 55.50% of the vote. President Bush carried this district with 54.16% of the vote. Usually there is a voter drop off down ticket since some people just vote for the president. However, more people voted for Espinoza than for Bush. In 1998, Espinoza ran for a similar district (Sanilac and Lapeer Counties) against the now term limited rep Steve Ehardt, who won with 55% of the vote. I expect this race to be target number one in 2006 for the Republicans. Sanilac County went 60.84% for Bush. Fort Gratiot is marginally republican. Burchville Twp swings, and Port Huron leans Democrat, but not enough to swing a race barring a GOP disaster, and Espinoza even won Sanilac county, as well as Port Huron. This is a very culturally conservative district, so if Espinoza caves to pressure on votes among democrats, it could cost him re-election. If the NRA and Right to Life back him for re-election, it may be enough to hold on, as the thumb tends to vote the person over the party.

District 85 – All of Shiawassee County, Bath Twp, Ovid Twp, Victor Twp, and part of East Lansing in Clinton County – Currently Republican

This was one of the major open seat battles in 2006. Dr. Richard Ball won this open seat for the Republicans with 52.67% of the vote. President Bush won this district with 52.77% of the vote. Before 1998, a democrat held the Shiawassee County based district for years. He was term limited out, and Larry Julian took this district for the Republicans. Shiawassee County is starting to become more exurban on its edges. It has a large population of conservative democrats, which makes this county a battle. Bush won it with 49% in 2000, and Posthumus took it with slightly over 51% in 2002 so the GOP numbers are improving here. State Senator Valde Garcia and Congressman Mike Rogers won here easily as well. As for the Clinton County portion of the district, Ovid and Victor twp are both solidly republican and cancel out East Lansing and Bath Twp. Bath Twp swings, but is becoming more democrat as Michigan State Student Apartments are popping up there. East Lansing is solid democrat here as it is in Ingham County, although there were only 373 voters in this part of the city. This district is moving our way.

District 91 – Blue Lake Twp, Casnovia Twp, Cedar Creek Twp, Dalton Twp, Egelston Twp, Fruitport Twp, Holton Twp, Montague City and Twp, Moorland Twp, Norton Shores, Raveena Twp, Roosevelt Park, Sullivan Twp, White River Twp, and Whitehall City and Twp in Muskegon County. Chester Twp in Ottawa County – Currently Republican

This district has been competitive the last few elections. Rep. David Farhat narrowly won an open seat in 2002 against Nancy Frye by 442 votes, and won the rematch with 52.03%. President Bush carried this district with 51.56% of the vote. This district covers most of Muskegon County outside of the city itself. Norton Shores and Fruitport are the most populous areas in this district and is marginally republican. Egelston Twp is the most democrat area in this district. Most areas in this district are competitive, and I expect the democrats to try and take this again in 06 and 08.

District 97 – All of Arenac, Gladwin, and Clare Counties. Fraser twp, Garfield twp, Gibson twp, Kawkawlin twp, Mount Forest twp, and Pinconning city/twp in Bay County – Currently Republican

This was a pickup for the GOP in 2006. Tim Moore defeated Jennifer Elkins with 51.66% of the vote, even though John Kerry narrowly carried this district with 49.79%. This is a socially conservative and economically liberal district. Elkins vote against a ban on gay marriage likely was the cause for her defeat. This district will likely be a major battle for years to come unless there is a strong candidate. Bush won Gladwin County by 427 votes, Clare County (Which Gore won) by 104 votes, and lost Arenac County by 6 votes. The Northern Bay County townships tilt this district slightly to the democrats, although I did not expect Moore to run ahead of Bush in central/northern Michigan as it is more democrat at the local level. It is one of those areas where they SHOULD be republican as they are all conservative, but many still believe that “democrats are for the working man.” The democrat abandoned the working man when they embraced George Soros.

District 99 – All of Isabella County, Coleman, Edenville twp, Geneva Twp, Greendale Twp, Hope Twp, Jasper Twp, Jerome Twp, Larkin Twp, Lee Twp, Lincoln Twp, Mills twp, Porter Twp, and Warren Twp in Midland County – Currently Republican

Bill Caul won this seat taking over for his wife Sandy. He won with 56.78% of the vote and President Bush won the district with 51.13% of the vote. Redistricting helped out this district a bit as it was once Clare and Isabella counties instead of parts of Midland which is more Republican. This seat leans GOP, but it is not a gimme as Mt Pleasant itself is a college town that goes democrat. If they turn out heavy and the rest of the district stays home, this could be an upset.

District 103 - Iosco, Missaukee, Ogemaw, and Roscommon Counties – Currently Democrat

This district is a case of the right last name. Dale Sheltrown was a very popular pro-2a democrat who held this district. Joel Sheltrown, who is related, (brother I believe), ran in 2006, and won with 56.51% in a district President Bush carried with 54.04% of the vote. This district is more democrat at the local level however. While President Bush won every county, Gore narrowly carried Iosco, Ogemaw, and Roscommon Counties in 2000. In 2004, Bush received 52.13% in Iosco, 50.52% in Ogemaw, and 51.28% in Roscommon. Missaukee is by percentage the 2nd most Republican in the state year after year. Bush received 68.12% there in 2004. It is the smallest county in the district however. I expect this district to be safe as long as Joel Sheltrown votes similarly to Dave Sheltrown. However, there is no reason this district should not be ours.

District 106 - Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle Counties – Currently Democrat

The democrats have held this swing district for years due to Alpena which has a union tilt. While President Bush has carried this district with 54.08% of the vote, it is much more democrat at the local level. Alpena is the most democrat county in Northern Lower Michigan, and it was an upset win for Bush in 2004(50.39%). Granholm received 56% there, and in local elections, Granholm’s numbers are closer to the truth. Incumbent Matt Gillard won that district with 58.27% in 2004, and his predecessor Andy Neuman was also popular there. 1/3 of the voters are in Alpena County. Presque Isle is the 2nd most populous county and tilts democrat at the local level, and marginally GOP at the state level. Oscoda and Montmorency are solidly republican, but small counties. Crawford County and Alcona County lean Republican.

District 107 - Chippewa, Emmet, and Mackinac Counties, Koehler and Tuscarora Townships in Cheboygan County – Currently Democrat

The democrats took this open seat away from the Republicans in 2004 thanks to the NRA. State Senator Walt North voted against a Morning Dove hunting bill in 2000. It lost by one vote. He was term limited out in 2002, and ran for State Rep in 2004 when Scott Shakleton was term limited. The NRA gave North an undeserved F rating (he did vote for Concealed Carry). He slipped once, and should have gotten a C. If they can give anti-gun Joe Schwarz a B- (he really deserves an F), then could have done the same for North. Democrat challenger Gary McDowell got an A rating and the NRA endorsement and won the district with 53.53% - in a district Bush carried with 57.37%. One lesson to be learned – never tick off the NRA in Northern Michigan. Gun ownership is a strong part of Michigan culture in general, but even more so up North. Emmet County is 59% Republican year in and out. Mackinac and Chippewa Counties are marginally Republican; although President Bush did very well in both of them with 55% and 56% The two Cheboygan County townships are also strongly Republican. This one should be ours in 2006. This is the most GOP district held by a democrat.

District 108 - Delta, Dickinson, and Menominee Counties – Currently Republican – Currently Republican

Representative Tom Casperson won in a big upset here in 2002 over Bart Stupak’s wife, Laurie. He won re-election with 68.99% of the vote, so he is probably safe in 2006 as well. This district is a swing district which President Bush won with 52.83%, although it is more democrat at the local levels. Dickinson County went 57% for Bush which is higher than normal. Menominee went 52%, which is about normal. Delta County went 50.32% for Bush and has a democrat streak, although Bush won it twice and Granholm once. I expect a major fight here in 2008.

District 110 - Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keewenaw, and Onontagon Counties. Powell Twp in Marquette County – Currently Democrat

This is a slightly democrat leaning district that Bush won with 52.44% of the vote. Rich Brown is the incumbent and won here with 68.13% of the vote with a rather strong Constitution party showing. Three of the areas here are strong democrat - Powell Twp, Gogebic County, and Iron County. Gogebic and Iron Counties are closely tied to the Northern Wisconsin and NE Minnesota’s Iron range in politics. It’s stubbornly democrat, although Bush won Iron County by 9 votes in 2004. The republicans can win this seat with a strong showing in Houghton County which is the most populous and most Republican county in the Western UP. Houghton balances out the three main democrat counties, putting most of the decision in Baraga, Keewenaw, and Ontonagon. This seat is winnable when Brown is term limited, although tradition is strong here, and the democrats of the UP are much different from national democrats.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Part 3 – Michigan House Preview (D61 - 75)

Part 3 – Michigan House Preview (D61 - 75)

District 61 – Alamo Township, Part of Kalamazoo Twp, Oshtemo Township, Parchment, Portage, Prairie Ronde Township, Texas Township – Kalamazoo County – Currently Republican

Incumbent Jack Hoogendyk who is a candidate for governor currently holds this district. He defeated James Houston with 54.89% of the vote. President Bush won this district with 52.51% of the vote. Kalamazoo County has been treading democrat lately so this may be a sleeper open seat in 2006. Texas Twp, Alamo Twp, and Prairie Ronde Twp, are the most republican areas. The City of Portage has the most population and is marginally republican. Parchment is a small swing area that went for Bush. Oshtemo is a swing area that narrowly went for Kerry. Kalamazoo Township leans democrat, although not as much as the city.

District 62 –Albion City and Twp, Athens Township, Battle Creek, Burlington Township, Clarence Township, Clarendon Township, Convis Township, Eckford Township, Fredonia Township, Homer Township,. Lee Township, Leroy Township, Marengo Township, Sheridan Township, Springfield, Teknosha Township – Calhoun County - Currently Republican

Mike Nofs is the incumbent who ran two tough races to win. His last win was with 53.37% of the vote taking away a formerly democrat held seat (Mark Schauer). John Kerry narrowly carried this district with 49.57%. I do not understand why the redistricters put Battle Creek, Springfield, and Albion all in the same district as it is Calhoun’s democrat base. This makes this seat much tougher to defend. Albion is heavily black and 70% democrat. Battle Creek is the most populated city in the district and tilts democrat, although not as much as most Michigan core cities. Kerry only received 52.33% there. I expect more tough races in this competitive district, which changed parties in 96 and 2002.

District 64 – Concord Township, Hanover Township, Jackson, Napoleon twp, Parma twp, Pulaski twp, Sandstone twp, Spring Arbor Twp, Summit twp – Jackson County – Currently Republican

This was a very competitive district in 2004. The democrats took a good shot at an open seat back in 2004, and lost by 358 votes. Rick Baxter beat an A-team democrat in Martin Griffin winning with 49.81%, most likely due to some coattails by President Bush. Bush carried this district with 55.19% of the vote due to reducing his losses in the city of Jackson from 2000. This whole district is extremely republican outside of the solid democrat city of Jackson. Spring Arbor and Summit townships counter the city.

District 65 – Blackman Twp, Columbia Twp, Grass Lake Twp, Henrietta Twp, Leoni Twp, Liberty Twp, Norvell Twp, Rives Twp, Springport Twp, Tompkins Twp, and Waterloo Twp in Jackson County. Brookfield twp, Eaton Rapids City, and Hamlin Twp in Eaton County. Cambridge Twp in Lenawee County – Currently Republican.

This was also a competitive district in 2004. Leslie Mortimer won the district after her husband Mickey Mortimer was term limited. Leslie won with 51.41% in this open seat against a strong democrat in Mike Simpson. President Bush carried this district with 56.36% of the vote, winning every area in this district. That said - Eaton Rapids and Leoni Twp are always competitive areas. I think Mortimer will have an easier race in 2006, but I am including this district here because of the 04 results.

District 67 – Alaiedon Twp, Aurelius twp, Bunker Hill Twp, Delhi Twp (Holt), Ingham Township, Leroy Township (Webberville), Leslie City and Twp, Locke Twp, Mason, Onondaga twp, Stockbridge twp, Vevay twp, Wheatfield Twp, White Oak Township, Williamston, and the city of Lansing’s South Side – Ingham County – Currently Democrat.

I believe the current democrat; Diane Byrum is term limited in 2006(due to a possible earlier term before she became a St. Senator). In 2006, the republicans have their first chance since redistricting to have state representative seats that cover Ingham County (and the pre-redistricting seat had part of Livingston County). They have the first change in years to have an Ingham County based district. Longtime representative Dianne Byrum currently holds this district. Byrum won an open seat in 2002 easily after taking a “demotion” from her state senate district where she was term limited. Byrum is well known and gains enough crossover votes to win repeatedly. In 2004, she faced her first tough challenge since her 2000 loss to Mike Rogers for the congressional seat. Beth Chandler outworked her and was able to hold Byrum to 54.80%, well below her usual 60% numbers. President Bush won this district with 49.95%

This will likely be the toughest race for either party. Slightly over 1/5 of the district is in South Lansing, which is one of the most democrat parts of the city at 68%. The rest of the district went Republican, and the rural areas are more like rural Livingston County than Ingham County politically. The key swing areas are Delhi Twp (Holt), Mason, and Williamston. Williamston is marginally republican, although less so in gubernatorial years because of state workers. Mason and Holt swing. They went for Gore, Granholm, and Bush. Those areas are all must wins for the Republicans to take this seat and overcome their losses in South Lansing. This district is certainly winnable with a good candidate.

District 75 – Part of the City of Grand Rapids – Kent County - Currently Republican

I think the democrats smell blood here. Grand Rapids has been treading their way recently, and they went 55% for Kerry in 2004. It has a tradition of electing one republican and one democrat rep in the city based district, but that may end once Jerry Kooiman is term limited unless we do something. Jerry Kooiman won re-election here with 52.22% of the vote and John Kerry carried this district with 54.24% of the vote. I believe this is the most democrat district with a Republican state rep. I expect some very tough races here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Part Two - Michigan House preview (D30-60)

District 30 – Utica, Central and Northern Sterling Heights. – Macomb County - Currently Republican

I do not have this one broken down by precinct, but President Bush won this district. I am estimating by a slightly lower percentage as Tory Rocca’s victory. Tory Rocca replaced his dad Sal. He won with 53.85% of the vote. Utica went 51% for Bush, and Sterling Heights as a whole went 51.28%. I expect an easier win in 2006 for Rocca.

District 37 – Farmington Hills and Farmington – Oakland County - Currently Democrat

Farmington Hills is becoming a democrat town. It used to be republican, but now has gone for Gore, Granholm, and Kerry. Kerry won Farmington Hills with 52.92% of the vote and won the district with 52.31% (Farmington itself is marginally republican). Rocky won here three times in 96, 98, and 2000, so it is not impossible for Republicans to win here, but the current state rep here is one of the two most liberal in the entire Michigan House. Aldo Vagnozzi. He won with 55.02% in the last election, has one more election in 06, and then this seat opens up.

District 39 – Commerce Township, most of West Bloomfield Township – Oakland County - Currently Republican

This was a big win for the GOP in 2004. While Commerce Township is 60% Republican, West Bloomfield has most of the population. It is increasingly democrat, and bound to be more so as it becomes more Jewish. David Law won this open seat with 52.40% against Geoffrey Fieger’s former partner Michael Schwartz in an increasingly democrat district. John Kerry won the district with 50.31%, and Granholm did even better here getting almost 60% in West Bloomfield to Kerry’s 55%. I expect a major fight here in 2006 as demographics are going to make this harder to win.

District 51 – Argentine Twp, Atlas twp, Fenton City and Twp, Grand Blanc City and Twp, Linden City, Mundy Twp – Genesee County – Currently Republican.

Dave Robertson beat an incumbent to win this redistricted seat in 2002. A strong democrat with a similar name (Robinson) in challenged him in 2004, and Robertson won it with 54.59%. President Bush won the district with 53.90%. However, there is still a strong democrat tradition at the local level in many parts of Genesee County. President Bush did well here winning every township outside of Mundy, but there still could be some battles here in the future. The good news for the GOP is that Fenton is booming, and is strongly republican. The area to watch is Grand Blanc Twp, which is the most populous area in the district. Gore, Granholm, and Bush all won it.

District 52 - Pt Ann Arbor City, Ann Arbor Twp, Bridgewater Twp, Chelsea City, Dexter Twp, Freedom Twp, Lodi Twp, Lyndon Twp, Manchester Twp, Northfield Twp, Saline City, most of Saline Twp, Scio Twp, Sharon Twp, Sylvan Twp, Webster Twp – Washtenaw County – Currently Democrat.

The democrats took this open seat in 2004, partly thanks to a strong candidate, and thanks to an extremely strong democrat turnout in urban Washtenaw County, which absolutely hates President Bush. Pam Byrnes ran for this seat and narrowly lost to redistricted incumbent Gene DeRossett in 2002. She won the open seat with 54.66% of the vote. John Kerry won it with 54.39% of the vote.

The Republicans won twelve areas, and the democrats four, but it was not enough. Most of the townships in this district are Republican, but not enough so to offset the major democrat areas of this district. Ann Arbor’s second ward was at one time “Republican,” but it was almost pro-Kerry (about 70%) than some of the other areas of the district (which as a whole is 76.51% Kerry). About 1/5 of the district voters are from the city of Ann Arbor. It is the more populous area of the district. The second most populous is Scio Township next door to Ann Arbor. It is very affluent and staunchly democrat, but was even more democrat than normal in 2004. John Kerry received 59.10% of the vote in Scio. Ann Arbor Township and Chelsea were the other democrat areas. Ann Arbor Township was 62% dem, and Chelsea 52.76%. The rest of the district is more rural or exurban. The only way the GOP can win here again is by a high rural turnout, and low turnout in Scio and Ann Arbor. In order of most GOP to most Democrat – Bridgewater Twp (60.51%), Sharon Twp, Saline Twp, Lodi Twp, Webster Twp, Sylvan Twp, Freedom Twp, Northfield Twp, Dexter Twp, Lyndon Twp, Manchester Twp, Saline City, Chelsea City, Scio Twp, Ann Arbor Twp, Ann Arbor City(part that’s in the district, about 70%).

District 55 – Bedford twp, Dundee twp, Erie twp, Milan City and Twp, Petersburg City, Summerfield twp, and Whiteford twp in Monroe County. Pittsfield twp, part of Saline Twp, part of Milan City, and York Twp in Washtenaw County - Currently Democrat.

Thanks to a major turnout in Pittsfield Twp over in Washtenaw County (Between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti), Democrat Kathy Angerer defeated incumbent Matt Milosch with 50.33% of the vote. John Kerry won the district with 50.22% of the vote, again due to Pittsfield, which had a 3432 vote spread and a 60.73% vote for Kerry. Milosch and Bush won the Monroe portions of the district, but Washtenaw was the difference maker.

About 3/5 of the population in this district is in Monroe County and 2/5 is in Washtenaw. Bedford Township is the most populous in this district and is on the Ohio border near Toledo. It is marginally republican. Outside of Bedford and Pittsfield townships, this is mostly rural and small town. Areas in order of most republican to most democrat – Whiteford Twp(59.20%), York Twp, Saline Twp, Summerfield Twp, Dundee Twp, Bedford Twp, Petersburg City, Milan Twp, Milan City(Washtenaw part), Milan City (Monroe Part), Erie Township, Pittsfield Twp(60.73%).

District 56 – Ash Twp, Berlin Twp, Exeter Twp, Frenchtown Twp, Ida Twp, LaSalle Twp, London Twp, Luna Pier Monroe City and Twp, Raisinville Twp – Monroe County – Currently Democrat

This is the other Monroe County based district and covers most of the democrat leaning areas of the county. Rep Randy Richardville won here twice after redistricting anyway, and John Manor came within 539 votes of winning this district as an open seat. John Kerry carried it with 50.18% of the vote. Bush won six of the areas, and Kerry won five. Frenchtown Twp and Monroe City are the two most populous areas, and both are democrat. The good news is that Monroe County as a whole went for Bush and Posthumus, and may be starting to turn. It is a blue collar largely social conservative and should be ours. In order from most republican to most democrat – Ida Twp (57.57%), Raisinville Twp, LaSalle Twp, Exeter Twp, Ash Twp, Berlin Twp, Monroe Twp, Frenchtown Twp, Monroe City, Luna Pier City, London Twp (54.87%).

District 57 – Most of Lenawee County – Currently Democrat

This was a case of the right last name. Dudley Spade won this open seat with an astounding 58.81% of the vote. His brother Doug was the term limited state rep. While Spade won the district, so did President Bush with 54.55%. Bush also won every area in Lenawee County except the city of Adrian where Kerry got 53.89%. As long as Dudley votes moderate to conservative on social issues, he should be safe, but this is a prime pickup chance for the GOP in 2010 unless there is another D. Spade running.

Monday, August 08, 2005

2006 State Representative Elections – Sneak Preview - (D1 - 26)

2006 State Representative Elections – Sneak Preview – Pt 1

On to the state rep districts. 58 out of the 110 districts are Republican held. Control of the State House is in play. State Representatives are limited to three two year terms, so term limits are a major factor.

District 1 – Part of Detroit, Harper Woods, all of the Grosse Pointes – Wayne County - Currently Republican.

Incumbent Rep. Ed Gaffney won his last race with 57.03%. John Kerry however carried this district with 52.69%. The Pointes are all republican, but Harper Woods votes democrat statewide and sometimes votes republican for state representative races. Detroit is the major pull here for the democrats. If Detroiters turn out in mass, this seat is winnable for the democrats. Gaffney has one term left in 2006 and should win again, but the Pointes are not as Republican as it used to be. John Kerry carried Grosse Pointe Park. However, I do not see the Pointes voting for a Detroit democrat. Gaffney should win again, but 2008 will be a major battle here.

District 19 – Most of Livonia – Wayne County – Currently Republican

Incumbent Rep. John Pastor had a tough race in 2004 against Democrat Joan Gebhardt winning with 53.13%, lower than President Bush’s 54.76% of the vote. In 2002’s open seat race, Pastor won by 10,000 votes so this is a cause for concern. I would not be surprised if the democrats compete hard for Livonia in 2004, especially if the demographics start to change there as they have been in Redford and Westland.

District 21 – Belleville City, Van Buren Twp, most of Canton Twp – Wayne County - Currently Republican

Incumbent Rep Phil LaJoy won re-election in 2004 with 57.68% of the vote, but John Kerry carried this district with 49.11% so this can be a competitive district. Canton leans slightly Republican (about 52%) and has 80% of the voters, but Belleville and Van Buren Twp both are both about 56% democrat. I expect LaJoy to win again, but there could be a major battle in 2008.

District 23 – Brownstown Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron Township, Rockwood, Sumpter Township, Woodhaven – Wayne County - Currently Democrat

Incumbent Kathleen Law won re-election with 55.56% of the vote, and John Kerry narrowly carried this district with 51.13% of the vote. Law had a very tough open seat race in 2002 winning by only 259 votes. Grosse Ile is much more Republican than the other areas are Democrat, so there is always a “puncher’s chance” with a high turnout there. Huron Township and Gibraltar swing, although Law is from Gibraltar so it leans democrat in this state rep district. Woodhaven is marginally democrat. Flat Rock, Rockwood, Sumpter, and Brownstown townships are solid democrat. Law will likely win again, but I expect a major battle here in 2008 as downriver is not as democrat as it used to be. A populist pro-2a Republican can win here.

District 24 – St. Clair Shores, Lake Twp, Harrison Twp – Macomb County – Currently Republican

Incumbent Rep. Jack Brandenberg had a major open seat win here in this formerly democrat held district in 2002, and he won re-election with 62.70% of the vote. President Bush carried this district with 49.93% of the vote in this swing area. St Clair Shores is a swing city that went for Gore, Posthumus, and Kerry all narrowly. It has ¾ of the voters. Harrison Township and Lake Township lean Republican and usually makes the difference. I expect a major battle here in 2008.

District 25 – North Warren and Southern Sterling Heights – Macomb County – Currently Democrat

This is almost a reverse of the Brandenberg district. Incumbent Rep. Steve Bieda had a major open seat win over a formerly GOP seat in 2002, and won re-election with 61.05% of the vote. While Warren is a Democrat city, and Sterling Heights a Republican leaning city, Northern Warren is more Republican than the rest of the city, and Southern Sterling Heights is more democrat than the rest of the city. John Kerry carried this district narrowly, with 51.22% of the vote. I believe Posthumus won the district in 02 however. I expect Bieda to win, and then a major fight in 2008.

District 26 – Royal Oak and Madison Heights – Oakland County – Currently Democrat

The Republicans almost stole an open seat here in 04 despite John Kerry’s 54.67% in this district. Democrat Marie Donigan defeated Carlo Ginotti with 50.75%. This was Democrat David Woodward’s district before term limits. Royal Oak leans slightly democrat, and Madison Heights more strongly so, however it is not impossible to win there with a culturally moderate candidate.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

2006 State Senate Elections – Sneak Preview

Most of the hype in 2006 is going to fall with the gubernatorial race, but the State House and State Senate races are just as important. Currently, the GOP has 58 out of 110 State House Seats and 22 out of 38 Senate seats.

After a bit of a RINO streak from 2002 to 2004, the republicans lost five house seats, most of them open. Thankfully, they have begun to swing back to the right and become more aggressive during Speaker Craig DeRoche’s term. I believe this influenced the Senate as well, as they have shifted a bit to the right in the past year.

Term Limits and Open seats are a major factor in the State House and Senate Races. The open seats are especially important as they factor into redistricting in 2011. Senators who win an open seat in 2006 will be an incumbent going into 2010. State Representatives who win in 2006 will be incumbents in 2008 and 2010, so these are also important. Most of the seats are solidly partisan one way or the other. However, many seats are competitive.

I will work on the house districts later and will concentrate on the state senatorial districts first.

Possible Competitive State Senate Districts:

District 6 – Garden City, Livonia, Redford, and Westland – Wayne County – Currently GOP

This is a Western Wayne County district. Laura Toy is the incumbent here and is from Livonia. She defeated strongly pro-2a State Rep Eileen DeHart in the 2002 election with 54% of the vote. However, John Kerry carried this district with 51.76%. Livonia leans republican, but Redford, Garden City, and Westland are strongly democrat. About 40% of the voters in 2004 were from Livonia, so this favors Toy.

District 7 – Belleville, Brownstown Twp, Canton Twp, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron Twp, Northville City and Twp, Plymouth City and Twp, Rockwood, Sumpter Twp, Trenton, Van Buren Twp, Woodhaven – Wayne County – Currently GOP

This district consists of Western Wayne County and Downriver. Bruce Patterson is the incumbent here and is from Canton. He defeated State Rep George Mans in the 2002 election with 56.32% of the vote. Bush received 50.74% of the vote in this district. Seven areas here went for Bush. Seven areas here went for Kerry. In order from the most Republican to the most Democrat - Grosse Ile, Northville Twp, Plymouth Twp, Northville City, Canton Twp, Huron Twp, Plymouth City, Trenton, Gibraltar, Woodhaven, Flat Rock, Rockwood, Brownstown Twp, Sumpter Twp, and Van Buren Twp.

District 10 – Clinton Township, Roseville, Sterling Heights, Utica – Macomb County – Currently Democrat

This district covers parts of Central Macomb County. Mickey Switalski is the incumbent and is from Roseville. He defeated Steve Rice in 2002 with 53.04% of the vote and John Kerry carried this district with 50.38% of the vote. Sterling Heights and Utica both went marginally for Bush. Clinton Twp marginally went for Kerry. Roseville is difference maker as it is 60% Democrat. In order for a Republican to win this seat, he needs to win big in Sterling Heights and needs to carry Utica and Clinton Township.

District 13 - Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp, Clawson, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Troy – Oakland County – Currently Republican

This district covers Central and Eastern Oakland County. I believe that the incumbent, Shirley Johnson, is term limited out. She won with 63.15%, but Bush only carried this district with 51.98%. This could be a very difficult seat to defend, as it is a socially liberal district (outside of Troy). Shirley Johnson is pro-choice and extremely anti-gun, and while that is a liability in most of Michigan, it is an advantage in much of this district, especially in Royal Oak. John Kerry carried Berkley, Madison Heights, and Royal Oak, which is the most populous city. Clawson went for Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004. The rest of this district went for President Bush. I expect a vicious primary in 2006 – and a strong contest from the democrats.

District 17 – All of Monroe County, Grass Lake Twp, Leoni Twp, Norvell Twp, and Summit Twp in Jackson County, Bridgewater Twp, Lodi Twp, Manchester Twp, Milan Twp, (Most of) Pittsfield Twp, Saline City and Twp, York Twp in Washtenaw County – Currently Republican

This large district covers all of Monroe County and parts of Washtenaw and Jackson Counties. It is an open seat and competitive district. The incumbent Bev Hammerstrom won with 59% of the vote in 2002. President Bush carried this district with approximately 50.89%. Over half of the voters in this district are in Monroe County. Monroe is a true swing county going for Gore in 2000, Posthumus in 2002, and Bush in 2004. Its two state rep district in 2004 went democrat. It is a blue-collar area that prefers John Dingell democrats who are pro-2a. They will vote against cultural liberal democrats such as Granholm or Kerry.

The Washtenaw section of this district is also important. The good news is that most of the democrat areas are in the Ann Arbor based district. However, most of Pittsfield Twp is in this district. Pittsfield Twp (Between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti) has about 14000 of the 33000 voters in the Washtenaw County portion of the district. It went 60.64% for Kerry. Bush won every other part of the Washtenaw section of this district with the exception of Milan where he tied.

The Jackson section of the district is the most Republican and least populated. About 20,000 voters are in the Jackson portion of the district, and Bush won all of them. Summit Twp is the most populated as well as the most Republican. Bush won 60% of Summit Twp, which helps counterbalance Pittsfield Twp. I expect Randy Richardville to run for this seat. He was term limited out in 2004 and was a state rep in the most democrat part of Monroe County.

District 19 – All of Calhoun County - Blackman Twp, Columbia Twp, Concord Twp, Hanover Twp, Henrietta Twp, Jackson City, Liberty Twp, Napoleon Twp, Parma Twp, Pulaski Twp, Rives Twp, Sandstone Twp, Spring Arbor Twp, Springport Twp, Tompkins Twp, and Waterloo Twp in Jackson County. – Currently Democrat

I would love to see the GOP pull off an upset and knock out one of the Democrat leaders in Marc Schauer. Schauer however is a great campaigner and won this competitive open seat in 2002 with 55.14% of the vote against a strong opponent in Mickey Mortimer. President Bush carried this district with 53.00% of the vote. Calhoun is a true swing county. It voted for Gore, Granholm, and Bush narrowly each time. It also voted for both democrats and republicans on the state level. This part of Jackson County went 55% for Bush who did very well there. Only Jackson City went democrat in 04, although Schauer won Henrietta and Blackman townships in 02 that went 55% for Bush. A few state reps could cause some problems for Schauer. Mike Nofs is a GOP state rep from Calhoun County. Leslie Mortimer and Rich Baxter are the state reps from Jackson although they are first-termers and would be stronger candidates in 2010 when this seat is open. I hope Bisbee is not the candidate. He had the establishment support and ran a poor campaign for Congress in 04. I would like to see Nofs run. While he has one more state rep term left, this state senatorial seat is about 5% more GOP than his state rep district.

District 20 – All of Kalamazoo County, Antwerp Twp, and Paw Paw Twp in Van Buren County – Currently Republican

This will be a very tough district to defend in 2010. Kalamazoo County is marginally democrat. Paw Paw swings, and Antwerp is Republican. Tom George is the incumbent here and received 56.53% in a very strong open seat campaign against a formidable democrat in State Rep Ed LaForge. This district should be ours as long as George is here, but we will have a tough defense in 2010 if either LaForge or Alexander Lipsey runs for this seat.

District 26 - Atlas Twp, Burton City, Clio City, Davison City and Twp, Forest Twp, Grand Blanc City and Twp, Mount Morris City and Township, Richfield Twp, Thetford Twp, and Vienna Twp in Genesee County. Brandon Twp, Groveland Twp, Springfield Twp, and Waterford Twp in Oakland County. – Currently Democrat

This district covers many of the Flint Suburbs, and part of Oakland County. I cannot believe we did not go out and contest this one in 2002. Deb Cherry won this with 55.85% against an abandoned opponent in an open seat. John Kerry won this district, but with only 49.86%. Cherry is a strong democrat, and her brother is Lt Governor John Cherry. This is like the Tom George seat in reverse.

Seven of the areas in this district went Republican, and ten of the areas went Democrat. The two most populated areas however went Republican. Mt Morris Twp is the big problem in this district though as it is really an extension of the City of Flint. In order from most republican to most democrat – Springfield Twp, Groveland Twp, Brandon Two, Atlas Twp, Waterford Twp, Grand Blanc City, Grand Blanc Twp, Davison Twp, Forest Twp, Davison City, Richfield Twp, Vienna Twp, Clio City, Thetford Twp, Burton City, Mount Morris City, Mt Morris Twp.

I do have to give Deb Cherry some credit. As a state rep, she was anti-gun, but from what I have heard, her brother John (who really IS pro-2a and has also influenced Granholm on this issue) has influenced her on this issue. She has voted with gun owners in her time as a state senator. Whether it is a true conversion or an “I need to do this to win” situation I do not know, but I will give credit where it is due.

An excellent candidate for this district would be State Rep Dave Robertson out of Grand Blanc. He is not only of my favorite reps on the issues; he has also won two tough races. He beat an incumbent democrat in 2002. He has one term left in the State House, so I expect him to run for re-election, but he is a candidate to watch in 2010 for this seat.

District 29 – Cascade Twp, Grand Rapids City, Grattan Twp, Kentwood City, Lowell City and Twp, Vergennes Twp – Currently Republican.

I expect this to be like the Deb Cherry and Tom George seats. The incumbents are probably safe, but there should be a big fight in 2010 when they are termed out.

Bush only won this district with 49.92% of the vote. The problem here is that Grand Rapids is going blue and that is where 2/3 of the voters are in this district. Gore and Granholm won it narrowly, but Kerry won it big with 55%. There is a strong organized liberal current in Grand Rapids and the dems are gaining there. The GOP there needs to get to work. In the GOP’s favor are the suburbs and rural townships, which are 60%+ GOP areas. John Kerry only broke 40% in one of the burbs – Kentwood where he had 40.86%

District 31 – All of Arenac, Bay, Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac Counties – Currently Democrat

This area went democrat because former Congressman Jim Barcia declined to run in a primary after redistricting and took the state senate district similar to his other district. Unfortunately, that was at the cost of a good man in Mike Green. This district went 50.98% for Bush. This district is probably safe for Barcia as he has very strong crossover support being that he is pro-2a and pro-life. I would like to see Green run again in 2010. Huron and Sanilac Counties are republican strongholds. Tuscola is conservative populist, and not necessarily republican. Bay is a democrat stronghold, and Arenac leans democrat.

District 32 – All of Saginaw and Gratiot Counties – Currently Republican

This is going to be a huge battle in 2006. Mike Goschka is term limited out and won with 54.62% as an incumbent. This was against an A team candidate in Mike Hanley who is a former state rep. John Kerry won this district with 51.79% of the vote. Saginaw County is a strongly democrat county which is reliably 53-54% democrat statewide due to Saginaw City, Buena Vista, and Bridgeport. The rest of the county is conservative and keeps it from being another Genesee County. Gratiot County is solid GOP going 56.59% for Bush.

I expect the dems to run an A-team candidate. Current or former state reps Mike Hanley, AT Frank, and Carl Williams are three top names that come to mind. I am sure there are others as Saginaw has a deep bench for dems. The GOP has a strong candidate as well in Jim Howell who won in an upset back in 98 for a state rep position. He was termed out in 2004. He is a strong senate candidate for Goschka’s seat. I expect a Howell vs. Hanley match up.

District 34 – All of Muskegon, Mason, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties – Currently Republican

This was our toughest successful defense in 2002. Gerald Van Woerkom beat Bob Shrauger by 947 votes in an open seat. Van Woerkom cut his losses in Muskegon losing it by 3200. He won the other three counties with Newaygo coming through big for him. John Kerry won this district with 50.05% of the vote, based on the 55.14% he won in Muskegon County. Muskegon is the democrat stronghold of West Michigan and is a union town. Over 60% of the votes in this district are in Muskegon County. Van Woerkom is the number one target of the democrats, and this will be one of our toughest defenses in 2006. Julie Dennis is a former state rep and ultraliberal. God help us if she runs and wins. Van Woerkom needs our support in 2006.

District 36 - Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, and Otsego Counties. – Currently Republican

This is a very competitive district from 2002 covering NE Michigan.

President Bush won this district with 54.70% of the vote, but that is more because of his popularity in Northern Michigan, and John Kerry’s unpopularity there. Bush won every county, even Alpena County, which Granholm won with 56.95%. Two A-Team candidates battled it out in 2002. Former State Reps Tony Stamas of Midland and Andy Neumann of Alpena ran a strong race. Both were extremely popular in their areas. Stamas was the victor in the end with 51.11% of the vote. I expect another strong contest here, possible a rematch with Neumann, or another strong democrat like state rep Matt Gillard who is also from Alpena. Alpena democrats are pro-2a and populist, which runs well in NE Michigan. Sen. Stamas will probably have another tough fight in 06, although he SHOULD win. Midland, Montmorency, Otsego, and Oscoda are solid GOP. Alpena strongly leans democrat. Iosco and Ogemaw swings, and Alcona and Crawford are GOP leaning at the statewide level.

District 38 - Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft counties. – Currently Democrat.

This UP district is a long shot to win, as the UP is still very democrat at the local levels. This MAY be competitive in 2010 when it is an open district, but it will be a very tough race even then. Former State Rep Michael Prusi of Marquette won the district with 60% of the vote as an open seat. President Bush won this district with 50.79% of the vote so I included it here, but that has to do with Bush and Kerry more than GOP and democrat, especially since the more GOP friendly parts of the UP (Chippewa and Mackinac counties) are in another district. This is still a democrat leaning district.

Kerry (Marquette, Gogebic, and Alger) and Gore (Marquette, Gogebic, and Iron) won three of these counties. Granholm won seven – the Kerry and Gore counties plus Luce (the most GOP usually), Delta, and Baraga Counties. I think our only shot at this district is with State Rep Tom Casperson. He won in 2002 an open seat in a swing district. We have a shot if he runs, but I do not expect him to take on Prusi. Bart Stupak’s Congressional seat (if it opens) is easier to win than this district.

Currently the GOP has a 22 to 16 advantage in the senate. The GOP have more open seats to defend, but the democrats have four, maybe five tough seats to defend as well. The toughest seats IMO are going to be the Monroe seat and Saginaw seat. Coattails do matter some, but the biggest key for us to defend them is the organization at the local levels. The statewide elections here large enough for coattail victories are rare. The only three elections I can think of offhand with large coattails are the GOP years of 1998 and 1994, and the democrat year of 1986.
Unless either Granholm or the Republican nominee has a 15%+ victory, we should not expect coattails.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Reps. Candice Miller and Dave Camp endorse Butler

CONGRESSWOMAN MILLER ENDORSES BUTLER - Keith has proven that he is the type of leader who can serve our state well

CONGRESSMAN CAMP ENDORSES BUTLER - I am confident that not only will he be able to put a successful campaign together, but most importantly he has the qualities and ideas our state needs in the U.S. Senate.

Both are big endorsements for our next senator. Candice Miller is highest vote getter in Michigan history and also has a stong Macomb County base. Dave Camp is a popular congressman from Midland and will bring important outstate support for him. The rest of the establishment is getting on board.

Keith B Butler makes Detroit City Council runoff - perhaps a good sign for Keith A Butler, US Senate Candidate???

Last Tuesday, the Detroit City Council had their primary elections. One of the candidates to make the final round is Keith B Butler. He's not the US Senate candidate who is Keith A Butler. It turns out Keith B Butler is a Detroit City Worker in the communications department.
His similar name probably helped him in the primary as he finished 14th out of the 18th who survived the primary - without any visable campaign. Betty DeRamus wrote an interesting column on this in the Detroit News.

Who is Keith B. Butler? He's not Alonzo Bates

By Betty DeRamus / The Detroit News

Without much sweat or even a sip of steroids, Detroit City Council candidate Keith B. Butler banged the ball out of the political park on Tuesday: He's one of 18 Detroiters who'll slug it out for a council seat this fall.

My only question is this: Who is Keith B. Butler?

His name didn't show up on the sides of any buses or billboards, and if he gave any speeches or smiled through any commercials I missed them. Yet he came in 14th among the 18 candidates who survived the primary.

That means he racked up more votes than Thomas Stallworth III, the son of a state legislator; Roy McCalister Jr., lieutenant in the Detroit Police Department's investigative operations division; Lamar Lemmons III, an experienced legislator; Loren Monroe, an attorney, CPA and former treasurer for the state of Michigan; Ralph Simpson, a lawyer in private practice who is on the national board of the American Civil Liberties Union; well-known businessman Otis Knapp Lee; and Sarah Snow, who had experience as a city governmental analyst and the endorsement of former senator, ambassador and presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun.

But who is Keith B. Butler and why did more than 18,000 Detroiters choose him as their legislative champion?

If you think he's the senior pastor and founder of Southfield-based Word of Faith International Christian Center Church, you're wrong. You're mixing him up with the Rev. Keith A. Butler, pastor and founder of the Southfield church and a former Detroit City Council member.""""

Maybe this is a good sign for his more well known namesake - Keith A Butler, candidate for US Senate. If he can stop the democrats from getting 93% in the City of Detroit, it will make his candidacy much easier.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Primary Analysis - Detroit and Lansing

I need another excuse for the Navigator picture. It does not look good for Kwame Kilpatrick. Mayor Navigator, the incumbent, finished with only 33%, and Freman Hendrix had 45% as a challenger. Hendrix would have my support, and not based on ideology, but on administrative issues.

Freman Hendrix 45%

Kwame Kilpatrick 33%

Sharon McPhail 12%

Hansen Clarke 9%

Over in Lansing - Tony Benevides is in the fight of his life with Virg Bernero.

1,158 - Dale Abronowitz

3,519 - Tony Benavides

6,042 - Virg Bernero

2,540 - Lynne Martinez

What makes it interesting is that Virg Bernero is a state senator. If he becomes mayor, he resigns his state senate position and creates an open seat with special elections. While his district is strongly democrat since it has most of Ingham County, Paul DeWeese held Virg to 53% back in 2002 in one of Granholm's strongest areas. Anything can happen in special elections with its low turnout, and if the GOP has a good GOTV effort, we could steal a district.

David Brandon Not running for Senate

I received an email from State Party. David Brandon is not running for US Senate and will run for re-election on U-M Board of regents.

That solidifies Keith Butler as the front runner.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

State Senator Valde Garcia not running for Governor

I knew Valde Garcia was on the fence about running for governor beforehand and would soon make a final decision. He would have had my vote if he ran for governor. I believe he has one more term left in the State Senate if he plans on running for re-election. If he runs for re-election, I'll be voting for him.

""""Republican state senator from Howell won't run for governor
8/2/2005, 9:40 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican state senator said Tuesday he will not run against Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2006.

Sen. Valde Garcia, a 46-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Howell, previously said he likely would not run if a better-known, better-funded or more qualified GOP candidate came forward. Dick DeVos, former president of Alticor Inc. and Amway Corp. and member of one of Michigan's wealthiest families, announced in June that he was getting into the race.

"For a variety of reasons, some of them personal, I have decided not to pursue running for governor at this time," Garcia said Tuesday in a written statement. "While I appreciated all the encouragement from a wide number of people from around the state, now is just not the right time.""""

Draft Mark Sanford for President - 2008

One of my biggest complaints among many of today's republicans is their lack of fiscal responsibility. Too many, including President Bush, are spending like democrats. This is unacceptable and is a very weak issue among much of our base. I'd love to see a candidate in 2008 not be tied to the spending problem we have in Washington, and also be solid enough on social issues(both life and guns, while I tilt more small "l" libertarian on some of the others). The candidate that does that will get my vote easily in the primary.

The candidate that fits all of these issues is Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina. If he runs for President, he has my vote. So far, he has said that he doesn't plan on running, but if he changes his mind, I'll volunteer for his campaign. Two sites dedicated to drafting Gov. Sanford are up and running, and their links are at the bottom of this post.


Republican Liberty Caucus link

Monday, August 01, 2005

August 2 - Primary Day Tomorrow

A reminder from the Secretary of State.

"""Voters in 53 counties will go to the polls in elections that impact counties, cities, townships, villages, district libraries, schools, community colleges and intermediate school districts. It marks the third election under MichiganÂ’s new consolidated election law"""

Folks, we got a primary election tomorrow in several municipalities. The biggest election is the Detroit Mayoral race. Mayor Navigator is in a tough race with former Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix and City Councilwoman Sharon McPhail. State Senator Hansen Clarke is fourth. If I had a vote here, I'd vote for Hendrix. He's a democrat(all are in Detroit), but Archer seemed to care about the city and did his best to clean up some of the trash.

Over in Lansing, there's another big mayoral race. Mayor Tony Benevides is up against State Senator Virg Bernero and former State Rep Lynne Martinez. All of them are liberal democrats there too, but Bernero is probably more pro-business than the others. For Republicans, he's probably the best choice for mayor, and also since it opens up a state senate seat causing democrats to spend more money in primaries(Ingham County is strongly democrat).

In Livingston County, the only proposals are a Headlee Override Millage with Fowlerville Schools and a Road Milliage in Unadilla Township. Fowlerville Schools has a fiscally responsible superintendentt, so the Concerned Taxpayers Group has not gotten involved there to oppose it. I haven't heard anything about the Road Millage in Unadilla, so I can not comment on it except that I usually oppose new taxes.

President Bush appoints John Bolton as UN ambassador by recess appointment.

From the Free Press

"""Bush names Bolton to UN; Democrat calls Bolton 'damaged goods'

Monday, August 1, 2005


WASHINGTON - President Bush sidestepped the Senate and installed embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations on Monday, ending a five-month impasse with Democrats who accused Bolton of abusing subordinates and twisting intelligence to fit his conservative ideology.

"This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about UN reform," Bush said. He said Bolton had his complete confidence.

Bush put Bolton on the job in a recess appointment - an avenue available to the president when the Congress is in recess. Under the Constitution, a recess appointment during the lawmakers' August break would last until the next session of Congress, which begins in January 2007."""

I'm glad to see that President Bush made that appointment. John Bolton is what we need there taking on the UN and their strongly left-wing agenda there. He is a straightforward speaker who doesn't use the usual "diplospeak" all the time, and has a history of putting America first. He told the UN "NO" at the Small Arms conference several years back, when the UN asked Americans to disregard the Second Amendment.

We don't need to be liked abroad. We need to be respected.