Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Primary Report - Races within Livingston County

I had a good baseball average in predictions this time. Overall, turnout sucked at 21.57% It was atrocious and lower than the Howell School Board race. I don't know of two better terms to descrive it besides sucks and atrocious.

US Senate (Livingston Only)
Mike Bouchard - 10484
Keith Butler - 6744

I'll address this race later. Bouchard won rather easily statewide. Butler won a few counties in West Michigan, but lost the rest of them handily. I thought it would have been a much closer race. Good luck to Bouchard.

US Congress (Livingston Only)
Mike Rogers - 15456
Patrick Flynn - 2973

About as expected here. Mike won easily overall. Patrick Flynn simply picked the wrong opponent to run against. I hope Patrick stays active in the community.

State Senate (Livingston Only)
Valde Garcia - 13385
Barton Hellmuth - 4106

This was also as expected. Barton was on Howell School Board and has more name ID than Flynn, but Garcia is popular and wasn't going to be turned out by an opponent who spent no money and ran fiscally to his left.

County Commish 5
Don Parker - 838
Susan Charron Spagnolio (sp) - 775

This was close as expected. I suspect Parker's name ID and fiscal conservatism carried him through. He's the most fiscally conservative of the county commissioners. Don's unopposed in November.

County Commish 8 (Democrat)
Dave Buckland - 417
Nick Bosak - 247

Dave Buckland will face Dennis Dolan in November. I haven't followed this race. Debby Buckland is an active democrat volunteer and I believe was Howard Dean's campaign chair for the county.

Theresa Brennan - 14501
Jay Drick - 6704
Christina Heikkinen - 2323

Good news and bad news. The bad news is that we got crushed so far. I thought it would have been much closer. The good news is that we still made the playoffs, albeit as an "8 seed". Name ID (or lack of it) was a killer. There's three months to regroup, and with the low turnout, it's not over.

Bill McCririe - 10101
Carol Sue Reader - 6714
Linda Walker - 5368

This is about as I expected. McCririe wins, and it's close between Reader and Walker.

Probate Court:
Bob Parker - 5528
Carol Garagiola - 5390
Kathy Oemke - 4125
Suzanne Dugas - 3330
Roberta Balon-Vaughn - 2784
Lyle Dickson - 1078
Anthony Kandt - 913

This was the toughest to predict. I expected Parker to move on. I expected Vaughn to do much better considering the money she spent on this race. Oemke had a strong core following, but not the money. Dugas had roots in the county. Garagiola was a surprise second to me due to time in the county, but I underestimated last name ID. She was hitting doors as well, including my parents house in a rural area. I expect this race to be a very tough campaign on both sides.


I predicted all renewals to pass, and all new ones to die. I was wrong here. 911 and police/fire millages usually do better than the other ones, and it showed here. Those passed.

911 (County)
Yes - 15076
No - 10835

Cohoctah proposal (Roads)
Yes - 224
No - 128

Green Oak Fire
Yes - 2270
No - 609

Green Oak Police
Yes - 2212
No - 666

Hamburg Bond
Yes - 1573
No - 1497

Hartland Fire
Yes - 976
No - 496

Howell Twp Road
Yes - 528
No - 466

Howell Area Parks
Yes - 2650
No - 3652

Brighton Fire
Yes - 3725
No - 3366


Communications guru said...

I was looking forward to seeing how you were going to spin Drick’s crushing defeat. If this is the best you can do I’m very disappointed. Drick himself tried to spin it that he will do better in November when the turnout will be “60 or 70 percent” in the general election. That would apply if he were running as a Democrat where there were no primary contested elections, but the republicans, what he says is his base, had plenty of contested elections. If he thinks he’s going to see a 70 percent turnout in a mid-term election he needs to place a bet on the Lions to win the Super bowl. Both events could happen, but not very likely.
The results prove three things: The voters of Livingston County are smarter than you give them credit for, they don’t like smear campaigns and going negative is fine and it works, but when you go negative it has to be true. It was not in this case.

BigShot said...

So the Howell Parks and Rec. did not pass? Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! No new taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Guru,

I think that while Dricks campaign needed to be bigger and better, he did a good job and will prove to be tough compition for Brennan, and her war protesting.

jusmyopin said...

It's obvious that people in Brighton Township love to pay taxes. Any and all new ones that come along they welcome with open arms. All those that voted for these increases are welcome to pay mine. THE 911 AND THE BRIGHTON FIRE SHOULD OF NEVER PASSED! C'mon people, do your homework!!!

Page Field said...

The editorial in the paper (maria 8-9-06) was spot on today. Some local Republican politicians, namely Wendy Day and Jay Drick have stated, "If your against the war, you don't support the troops". Now to be 100% accurate I don't think Day Or Drick, or any other local politicians said it in those absolute terms but it was certainly implied. I find the whole thing so INSULTING. It makes me furious. The core of such a statement is your questioning someones patriotism.

For future reference if any politican makes a statement relating to - "If your against the war, you don't support the troops" you should demand a apology from the pol. If the pol refuses, or uses the "cut and run argument", tell them your still waiting for the apology. Any pol defending such statements will further tarnish themselves.

Keith Richards said...

Actually Kevin, you are forgetting that the race is not over yet. Drick did not need to kick butt this round, he only needed to advance to the final round. I expect that this race will get a LOT hotter before it is over.

The numbers are not a vote of confidence for Brennan specifically, they are a vote for the incumbant. Incumbants win close to 100% of the time in judge races. In other words, most people don't vote for the person, they vote for the candidate with the title under the name. A challanger has to work much harder and spend much more money to win than the incumbant does.

Drick is still in the race and there are three months to go before the general election. While he definitely has an uphill battle against an incumbant, he can win if he works hard enough.

Page Field said...

Wow you guys are delusional.. If you thought Drick did well you are crazy. Even with Brennan's advantage as incumbant, Drick should have done better. You can spin this all you want. As for Drick's strategy in the fall I hope he keeps it clean and honest. And keep the issues relative to District court issues.

Keith Richards said...

I thought the two most interesting races were the Walberg/Schwarz race and the Butler/Bouchard race.

I expected Schwarz to win in a competitive race. That Walberg won by a small landslide was quite amazing but very satisfying.

In the Senate race I picked Bouchard to win but was surprised by the blowout. I really expected it to be maybe 54-46 in favor of Bouchard at best. I've heard some grumbling about racism but it looks like Butler did well in some counties with mostly white populations.

Butler ran into problems for several reasons. First, in the beginning he took it for granted that he had the support of the party in Michigan and did not define his values and positions on issues until he was already in a serious dogfight. By getting off to a slow start he never won over support from party activists that he badly needed. Second, he was hurt badly by the fact that both he and Bouchard were fighting over the same home turf. Bouchard has a powerful base of support in Oakland County and this deprived Butler of badly needed money and support. Butler's next lost opportunity came after Zandstra withdrew from the race and he made no serious effort to win over Zandstra's supporters. Big mistake. His last big mistake came in the weeks before the race when he opened urged Democrats in Detroit to cross over and vote for him. I've heard from a lot of Republicans that they were very turned off by this appeal. He may have won some extra votes in Detroit but I suspect that it cost him a lot more votes than that elsewhere.

Keith Richards said...

I did not say that Drick did well. I merely pointed out that the odds of defeating an incumbant judge are about 98-2 against and it was expected that Brennan would be the top vote getter, because many people automatically vote for the incumbant.

Drick accomplished everything he needed for this stage. While it would have been nice to have done better, the fact is that he is still in the race and has three more months to win over voters. The race is not over yet.

Brennan has every right to spend the day celebrating but if she wants to win in November she had better resume campaigning in a few days because Drick will keep fighting all the way to November.

Dan said...

I agree with your assessments on Butler. The other thing that really hurt him is his $1 million in salary + benefits.

I don't think race was a strong factor here. If Keith Butler was a white guy who lived outside Detroit, I think it would have been similar in results. West Michigan absolutely hates Detroit, and Butler won there, including some of the whitest areas there.

jusmyopin said...

How can anyone assess how well either candidate did with a turnout of 17% in most township precincts. We really don't even know what the majority of the voters think yet, they did not state their opinion because they didn't get off their behind and vote. The general will be a whole new race.

Page Field said...

Is their a breakdown by township on the judge races? I can't find anything on the county clerks website. Curious

I would think a low turnout would have been better for Drick. A heavy turnout would favor Brennan. I'm only saying this based on traditional analysis, Republicans are quicker off the sofa to vote than Democrats.

jusmyopin said...

No, there isn't a breakdown by township for the judges. It's lumped all together for a total. I know that Oemke was the top probate winner in mostly, if not every precinct in Hartland. Parker and Garigiola were the next top vote getters in that race. You are probably right about a heavier turnout being in Brennan's favor but honestly, who knows? Livingston County consists of way more republicans than dems so what was needed was voters and the numbers would of been much different.

Keith Richards said...

I'm sure a lot of us will be pondering the results of the Brennan/Drick race for weeks to come. There are a lot of factors to consider and this anaylsis will affect the future conduct of the race.

NewRedOne said...

Whether you feel you can protest the war and still support the troops is a hotly debated issue. I read someone's comment in the Argus blog today that said while someone may truly feel that way, when you hold a public protest the troops can't tell the difference, and neither can their family. So I can easily understand Wendy Day and Jay Drick feeling that way as they have close family who are/have been there.
Drick is doing something unprecidented. I suspect in a few years, the partisan politics in judicial races will be the norm. Time will tell. In any event, the Livingston County Primary rule of thumb is Republicans stay home during the primary and come out big during the general. Not sure if Drick's strategy will help him, but I suspect that he'll elect to alter it somewhat. Although I also suspect that the newspaper made the issue bigger than it was intended.

Big Kahuna said...

I think the Drick/Brennan race results are a pretty easy call. Drick came out negative early and attacked Brennan, which is a big no-no, and Brennan has done nothing to convince voters that they shouldn't vote for her.

Count Me Red said...

big kahuan - I think Brennan has done a lot that should keep voters from voting for her, I just don't think they know it all yet. 90 days is a long time to get the story out, and we will. Our community should know that she is the Livingston County version of Jane Fonda and then judge her as they will.

Communications guru said...

You don’t get it do you Communist. Keep pumping out that stupid lie about Judge Brennan being the “Livingston County version of Jane Fonda” and watch the 61 percent go up to around 70 percent of the vote. The people of Livingston County are much smarter than you give them credit for, and they can see through BS.
You know Kahuna, three’s nothing wrong with going negative and going on the attack. Heck, they went negative on George Washington and Abe Lincoln. You just have to be sure the stuff you’re attacking with is true. These people here like dan, “curly sue” and communist don’t understand that or don't care. Thank goodness.

Page Field said...

_________________________Hey Count Me Red, you should go big with your findings on the Jane Fonda analogy.
That's the winning strategy! Keep it up. I love it. Brilliant

jusmyopin said...

Let's let "the people of Livingston County" decide whether or not it's a lie when the TRUTH gets out. You are right Guru that the people here are smart. I think they will see it the right way. It's really only you that chooses to wear blinders.

Communications guru said...

Well, 14,500 of us already know the truth. But again, you keep putting that lie out there, please, please, please. However, we will be there to counter your lie.

Count Me Red said...

Oh, don't worry about the "Jane Fonda" Brennan. We are going to tell the truth. She left the trail and she will have to account for it. Then, the voters will decide. I have faith in the truth. Our community is just not ready to elect a "Jane Fonda" to represent us. Our military families will show her a thing or two about patriotism and our conviction in this County.

Communications guru said...

Please keep trellig your version of the "truth."

Big Kahuna said...

Count Me Red...I am not convinced that the voting public cares about what rally Brennan organized. I think her incumbent status and the fact that there isn't anything to criticize her for while she has been on the bench makes her a very hard person to defeat. Maybe Mr. Drick should concentrate on telling the voters why to vote for him and not why they shouldn't vote for Judge Brennan. I think that wins elections, if the challenger is deserving.

Count Me Red said...

Big Kahuna - thanks for the advice. There are plenty of reasons to vote for Jay Drick. Theresa Brennan has had a year on the bench and has not advanced any ideas. Jay Drick has a lot of ideas to improve the court. One of the biggest ideas I have heard him talk about is the need for a drug court for teens. Lots of talk in the past, but no ideas or action. Jay Drick has a plan to help keep our kids safe and put them on a better path with the law and with their lives.

Theresa Brennan has been a careful Judge. Understandable so since she has known from day one that she would have to face the voters. But, no thinking outside the box, no action on the court schedule, no ideas for making the court run smoother. Ms. Brennan is just a careful judge hiding her views, but doing nothing spectacular. I think Jay will clearly define his ideas for court in the coming days. Now that he has secured the nod for moving on to the next level, I think he will more clearly articulate the differences between them and why he is the more qualified person to sit on the bench.

Some of us care deeply about anti-war protests. For me, the activism is very important. I believe in the war on terror and I get steamed when armchair experts try to undermine the mission and give aid and comfort to our enemy. I know that there are lots of reasons to vote FOR Jay Drick, but I feel strongly that Ms. Brennan's actions make her a totally unacceptable candidate for this office. You are right, we need a much better balance of what the problems are with the Court and put forward Jay Drick's plan for change and improvement. A year should have been enough time to show us something, I would think. I have heard people say that Ms. Brennan has been a good Judge, I wonder what they mean by that. I call her careful and not the dynamic Judge that Jay Drick would be. He is an Expert on the law. We need his expertise in the District Court.

Big Kahuna said...

count me red...See, ideas, ideas, ideas. That is the stuff that wins elections not name-calling and attacks. I am impressed with how you pulled back from the tired mantra and put forth some thoughts on what Drick will do. Refreshing!

Page Field said...

I agree with Big K.

Lets just talk about the issues relative to being a Brighton District Court judge.