Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Updates

Hopefully, we'll get back on track here soon. In the meantime.

Florida went for McCain. Rudy's out after a 3rd place finish. He's backing McCain. Edwards is probably out and backing Obama.

Kwame Kilpatrick's dealing with a perjury scandal. I think he'll get off scot-free,
but we'll see.

Granholm gave us another pile of horse manure in her state of the state address. I skipped it. I don't even care what the Matt Millen of governors has to say.

Mike Randall resigned as county commissioner awhile back. He took a new job with the county so he had to resign. Six candidates for replacement are:

Marty Belser, former commissioner.
Dr. William Earl - former Howell Twp super
Harry Bowman, realtor
Margo Heinonen, judicial clerk
Josiah Goyt, fire inspector
Jim Mantey, Farm Bureau insurance agent

The appointed commissioner will serve until the November election when Randall's term ends. My money for the appointment is Marty Belser as he's been there before, but I haven't had a chance to be up at the commish meeting in awhile so I can't say for certain.

Lastly, February 5th is the big day in the 08 primary. Super Tuesday, as they call it. Things may be decided there who the nominees are going to be.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Updates (lack of)

I'll post more on the primary race and other local news when I get a chance. Lot of stuff right now I'm dealing with. Most notably, the flu.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Michigan Results

I'll be posting periodic results here by statewide, congressional district, and in some cases, county.

8:22 - CNN (parts of Leelanau and Wayne)
Clinton 295
Uncommitted 88
Kucinich 10

Romney 234
McCain 158
Huckabee 113

8:47 - CNN
More counties are coming in. (4% in)
Clinton - 62%
Uncommitted - 32%
Kucinich - 4%

Romney - 36%
McCain - 32%
Huckabee - 17%

Keweenaw County 100% in, McCain 113 - 41% Romney 84 - 30%, Huckabee 10%, Paul 9%
McCain is doing very well in the U.P. Romney doing well in SE Michigan.

9:01PM - Romney projected winner by CNN
I'm almost ready to call the 1st district for McCain however. He's running well up North.
Luce County is in. 38-30-17-9 - McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Paul.

Dem - Clinton leading Uncommitted by 2-1 margin
GOP - Romney leading by 6%

Romney up by 10%, Clinton up by 27%
Alcona County is in - 37-36-16-4 - McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Paul
Huron County is in - 37-32-16-6 - Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Paul
Otsego County is in - 38-36-14-6 - Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Paul

9:30 - CNN's Election Poll

Romney won or tied among all age groups. McCain tied with Romney among seniors.
Huckabee and Paul's best showing are among young voters.
Pro-lifers accounted for 63% of the GOP turnout.
Pro-choicers voted 39-34-12 for McCain, Romney, and Paul
Pro-lifers voted 37-25-24 for Romney, McCain, and Huckabee
Democrats voted 41-31-14 for McCain, Romney, and Huckabee
GOP voted 40-26-18 for Romney, McCain, and Huckabee
Independents voted 36-26-15 for McCain, Romney, and Huckabee/Paul
Romney won among Liberals and Conservatives. McCain won Moderates
McCain won urban voters. Romney won rural and suburban voters
Union households voted 33-30-21 for McCain, Romney and Huckabee
Non-union households voted 38-28-16 for Romney, McCain, and Huckabee
No firearms questions listed here. (McCain won big among New Hampshire gun owners)

Clinton's lead over uncommitted shrinks to 23%
Romney leads McCain by 9%
100% in these new counties
McCain won Alger, Baraga, Branch, Houghton, Mackinac, Marquette, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft
Romney won Alpena, Arenac, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Leelanau, Otsego, Ottawa,

11:07PM - 85% in
Clinton leads uncommitted by 17%
Romney leads by 9%
100% in these new Counties
McCain wins Wexford, Oceana, Oscoda, Manistee, Mason, Menominee, Missaukee, Montcalm, Montmorency, Lake, Iron, Isabella, Delta, Gogebic, Hillsdale, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Crawford, Barry, Benzie

Romney wins Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, Sanillac, Shiawassee, St Clair, Tuscola, Midland, Kent, Lapeer, Ionia, Jackson, Emmet, Genesee, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Cheboygan, Antrim, Bay,

11:22 - I'll look more at the number tomorrow. Livingston isn't all in, but Romney wins in a route.

Game 4 (Michigan Primary) Updates

Low turnout all day.

The goon squads are out in force. Nick at RightMichigan has the latest on shenanigans in Grand Rapids. Another post on that

One thing forgotten here is that it is not just the state itself that matters for delegates (GOP side only, no democrat delegates are in stake due to DNC flipping this state the bird). Delegates are also appropiated by congressional district. Al Sharpton in 2004 got some delegates in Detroit due to doing very well in the Detroit based 13th and 14th districts.

Early exit polls predict Romney to win, but the results aren't in yet. I think the low turnout favors him, and I made my earlier prediction based on more than a 20% turnout. I expected a 35-40% turnout. If you are a republican or independent and don't like the nominee choice, don't bitch if you didn't show up.

Michigan Primary - Game 4 Today (updates given here throughout the day)

Today's the Michigan Primary. I was absentee ballot number 60 in Green Oak. It seems fairly low for a presidential race.

On the Democrat ballot, we have Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd (dropped), Dennis Kucinich, and "Uncommitted." On the GOP side, we have Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, and Sam Brownback (dropped out), as well as "uncommitted". It looks like a light turnout by all the precincts I drove by (Southern Livingston, North Washtenaw) early today. That's no shocker since the roads are all snowy.

I think low turnout favors Romney on the GOP side. I'm not sure who it favors on the Democrat side.

UPDATE 1:30PM - EXTREMELY low turnout. I drove up again during lunch break. Low in Northfield township and Green Oak. It's very low in my parent's precinct as well.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Americans for Prosperity Report

Now that I blew off some steam from the 2nd Amendment betrayal.... Today I was the Americans for Prosperity event in Livonia. It was a summit for economic conservatives. All the presidential campaigns on the GOP side has some support there, and three candidates were there themselves. Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Duncan Hunter. Steve Moore (Wall Street Journal), Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform), and the token libertarian from ABC News, John Stossel, was there as well.

Most of the speakers talked about the biggest problem in this state. Too much government. Too many taxes. Too much spending. Too much regulation. Who can do a better job running our lives - us, or the government.

Nick from Right Michigan and EM Zanotti from American Princess also liveblogged the event and commented on the speakers and candidates there.

Romney - He did well. I though he laid an egg at Mackinac considering he is a very capable speaker. Mitt sounded "real" here. This was a purely meat and potatoes economic and change speech. That's his strength. He's not Washington. He talked about cleaning up the Olympics and Massachusetts, balancing budgets, and not raising taxes. He dropped most of the social issues talk, especially the gay marriage stuff.

McCain - McCain has two strong things going for him. One is his military background. The other is his consistency on the earmarks. On Bridges to Nowhere, he walked the walked. I also have to give him some credit. I almost NEVER see any candidates take questions from the crowd anymore. The only one I've seen do so this election season was from Duncan Hunter at his Troy event. McCain's stance on immigration doesn't sell well out here at all. That's no surprise considering the jobs situation here. (Buchananism is making a comeback in these parts) He answered them. I don't support some of the heckling from the crowd when he was interrupted. I wanted to hear why he supported what he did. Some people there were undecided voters and wanted to hear what he had to say.

Duncan Hunter - Too bad nobody gave him a chance in the beginning. If everyone had equal time and chance to win, I'd vote for him in a minute. If he was getting 5-10% in the polls, I'd have voted for him. He didn't have a good time slot, but he made the best of the time he had. Hunter is an ex Army Ranger. The most cheering in the crowd I think came for him during the talk of his accomplishment of building the fence near his home of San Diego. He also talked about his vote againt NAFTA, GATT, and those bad trade deals, as well as the cheating from the Chinese Government with their currency devaluation. One of the other issues not talked about much outside of Hunter is that China is using our money to build a stronger military while we outsource our manufacturing. We need to build our defense here. I hope Hunter stays active and runs for Senate or is tapped for the VP or cabinent position. We need some help there. On a side note, his son, also named Duncan, is running for his dad's spot in Congress. Duncan D. Hunter is a Marine Captain who served two tours in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. His stances on the issues are very similar to his father's. I wish him the best of luck in his race.

Overall, it was a good event. I hope AFP stays active, especially in this state as we have three more years of the Matt Millen of Governors, as well as at least one more year of a leftist democrat controlled state house, and three more years of a center-left majority in the senate (even if Republicans control it). Our work is cut out for us and we must stay vigiliant.

George W Bush betrays gun owners and stabs the Constitution in the back

The Amici in favor of Washington DC in the DC v Heller Second Amendment case have been filed. They are all here at the website of the lawyers for Heller. Most are not surprises. The leftists have all filed for DC in favor of the ban. Janet "Butcher of Waco" Reno, Eric Houlder, and Seth Waxman, most of the Clinton admin officials all support the DC gun ban. So do the gun control groups, the leadership of the ABA, leading leftist professors like Saul Cornell and Erwin Chemerinsky, big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco and the usual suspects. That doesn't irk me. I expect that from them.

I didn't expect the Bush Administrations department of justice to file an amicus brief. You can read it here. It tries to have things both ways, but if anyone tries to spin this as pro-gun, they are mistaken or lying. It does us no favors whatsoever.

This is a stab in the back. We go out as the swing vote, hit the doors, upset Gore in Tennessee and New Hampshire in 2000 and defeat John Kerry in Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, and other close states. This is our thanks. This is our biggest case in 70 years for all the marbles, and the Bush administration helps the worst city in the country for our 2nd Amendment rights on a case involving a total firearms ban. This isn't about automatic weapons or even those ugly guns the media calls so called "assault weapons." This is about basic pistols and working shotguns.

The Bush administration wants to remand this back to the lower court for more proceedings so the court can decide if a pistol is a "militia weapon." It says it supports the Second Amendment, but opposes strict scrutiny or heightened scrutiny. Those bolded words are the key here.

Here's a very simplified version of con law 101. There are three major types of scrutiny. Strict Scrutiny, Intermediate scrutiny, and rational basis review.

Under Strict Scrutiny, government needs a compelling reason for the law to be upheld. The burden of proof is on the govenment. You see this standard often in racial cases, abortion cases, substansial due process, and state laws regulating interstate trade (protectionism within states). Laws rarely pass a strict scrutiny standard.

Intermediate scrutiny is more complicated and probably would not apply here as it is rarely used. (some gender cases is where it applies)

Under rational basis review - almost all laws are upheld (with the exception of Lawrence v Texas, Romer v Evans, US v Lopez, and Printz v US) The two issues there were laws against sodomy, gay rights, and ironicaly, two gun cases (1000 ft from a school ban, part of the Brady Bill) Most laws are given rational basis review treatment. Heavy deference is given to legislatures under that type of review. Burden of proof is on Heller then, not the government. There is a somewhat of a movement towards "rational basis with teeth" as my Con-Law professor mentioned referring to the Romer v Evans case, but it's still extremely rare to overturn a law subject to rational basis review.

What is wrong is how this can be subject to anything other than strict scrutiny. If we have all these expanding "substansial due process" rights under the 5th and 14th amendment as the court says we have over the last 40 years (Griswold, Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton, etc etc) and anything related to those, as well as all fundamental rights, are given strict scrutiny from the courts. Outside of abortion which impacts a seperate human being directly, that's the right treatment for these laws. If anything related to discrimination and protectionism is given strict scrutiny. How can the 2nd Amendment - specificly mentioned in the Constitution - not be given the same treatment regarding strict scrutiny? For the Bush administration to push for denying strict scrutiny to our rights, which unlike "abortion", is written out specificaly in our constitution, is a slap in the face to all of us gun owners across the country.

The Bush administration's brief is saying that we have a right to keep and bear arms, but it is not a FUNDAMENTAL right. It's a right that should be treated the same way the 10th amendment is treated in their eyes. Lots of restrictions. Bush admin has some good writers on their team, I'll give them that much, but this filing sucks and I'm going to be giving some people a real earful on Monday.

This is wrong. Damn wrong.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This is ridiculous

And I'm referring to political phone calls. I got to my dad's house about 3:30. Since then the phone has been ringing here off the hook. We've had calls from Romney and McCain (advertising for his event) here, and those are just the ones we know about. None of the calls were answered thanks to caller ID. I'm sure others campaigns have called as well. There were at least five out of area or toll free calls calls in about a two hour period. I bet most of them were political as at least two of them were, and my parents are on the do-not-call telemarketing list.

This is not counting the previous Huckabee call and the other line which has a bunch of political calls from those leftists at "American Family Voices" (same calls I've gotten) and others.

There's a reason I refuse to help on phone banks. I bet that every likely voter is getting call after call every five to ten minutes. People get tired of one campaign after another invading their castle close to dinner time. The people I know do not liked to be bothered in their castles by political calls. Telemarketers are Telemarketers in the eyes of the voters.

For the record, my parents are undecided voters, and these calls do not help at all at earning their vote. They in fact hurt the chances at their votes. That might not be good news for some candidates.

Piece of free advice, end or at least reduce the amount of political phone calls.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bill Richardson taps out

From the AP

MERRIMACK, N.H. - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ended his campaign for the presidency Wednesday after twin fourth-place finishes that showed his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power.

Richardson planned to announce the decision Thursday, according to two people close to the governor with knowledge of the decision. They spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the governor's announcement.

The Richardson campaign would not comment on the governor's decision, reached after a meeting with his top advisers Wednesday in New Mexico.

I think that was their most electable candidate right there.

Preview of Michigan 2008 Presidential Primary

Game 4 will be interesting. Besides it being my home state, there is much on the line here. Here's a scouting report.

First off, the democrats outside of Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel ought to be kicking themselves for their decision to take their names off the ballot. John Edwards needs the union voters. What state is more unionized than Michigan. Barack Obama needs the college towns and black voters. What better for him than Ann Arbor, Detroit, Southfield, and Flint? Bill Richardson could have taken advantage of the others not campaigning. For them, this is all Fubared. "Fouled" up beyond all recognition. Hillary isn't campaigning here, but her name is on the ballot at least. Unless "uncommitted" beats Hillary, I don't see anything outside of being a win for Hillary on the 15th.

The GOP side will be much more interesting. This race is LIKELY between John McCain and Mitt Romney. Both of them have been working this state extremely hard over the last three years in this state. Numerous visits have been made by both candidates. McCain won here in 2000. Romney was born and raised in Oakland County.

I was looking at the exit polls for New Hampshire and Iowa. A few things stuck out to me.
In Iowa
Gender Gap
Huckabee 29%
Romney 26%
Thompson 16%

Huckabee 40%
Romney 24%
McCain 13%

The gender gap wasn't a big deal in New Hampshire, but Huckabee did get 10% of the votes from men and 13% from women. McCain won both among men and women by fairly similar margins there. Will Michigan be more like Iowa or New Hampshire?

There were no Immigration or gun questions in the Iowa exit poll.

In New Hampshire
Gun Owners:
McCain 42%
Romney 27%
Huckabee 13%

Non Gun owners:
Romney 34%
McCain 32%
Huckabee 12%

Neither McCain or Romney are great on guns. SAFR gave McCain a mixed rating and Romney an unacceptable rating. However, McCain voted bad on gun shows and for McCain/Feingold. Romney signed an ugly gun ban in neighboring Massachusetts. McCain voted against that ban. If the gun owners negative voted AGAINST Romney, then that explains the 15% spread. Will they vote negative, or for someone completely different?

Illegal immigration:
Those who supported a path to citizenship
McCain 54%
Romney 15%
Huckabee 12%

Those who supported guest worker programs
McCain 42%
Romney 32%
Huckabee 10%

Those who support deporting illegals
Romney 40%
McCain 24%
Huckabee 14%

This is another issue to watch in the closing week. McCain is like Bush on the immigration issue, and that is a major factor here, almost like the gun issue is for Romney (and Giuliani). With jobs such a big issue here, that's something to keep an eye on.

The life issue is normally another factor, but it really did not matter between McCain and Romney if the exit polls are to be believed. Huckabee did pick up some votes based on the life issue however in New Hampshire. I didn't see that question in the Iowa poll either, but I think it was a much bigger factor there based on the demographics and turnout.

Now the question is how does this all play in Michigan. I expect a lot of independent voters in this race. With the democrats not having many names out there, that will skew some of the indy turnout, but not as much of the hard core democrat turnout which will go for Hillary, Kucinich, or uncommitted.

I'm predicting a 1-2-3 finish of McCain, Romney, and Huckabee.
McCain wins West Michigan. He's pro-life enough to be accepted there. His spending stances will help him, and he'll get enough independents in Macomb and elsewhere to support him to a win. Those in New Hampsire irked with Bush voted for McCain. The veterans vote in the end wins it. He wins by 5%

Romney takes Oakland County. The business support and organization edges for him, but he loses too many gun owners and others who are not sure where he really stands on the issues. Huckabee takes a lot of votes from him. Immigration helps, but isn't enough.

Huckabee takes the Northlands. The populist center-left economics and center-right social conservatism fits in Up North, near Flint/Saginaw, Downriver, and the thumb area. His drawback is that the business crowd and economic conservatives do not care for him much. If he can get some pro-life leaners and gun owners away from McCain, he has a shot, but he did not spend enough time in his state to win. I'd say about 15%

Ron Paul will likely get his 10-12% of support. I'd predict more, but not after his weak showing in New Hampshire. Thompson and Giuliani aren't catching on here for whatever reason. I think their votes will go to McCain over Romney (Thompson has similarities to McCain, Foreign policy in Rudy's case). Hunter is a good guy, but most do not know who he is.

Whatever the case is, there's a lot on the line here, so expect a lot of TV ads, robocalls, political calls, mailings, and other invasions by politicians on the way.

By the way - some last minute stuff in Livingston County:
McCain is visiting this Sunday. January 13. 2PM at Crystal Gardens in Howell. That's a free event.

The Livingston GOP has a fundraiser and pre-primary party on the 12th. All Presidential candidates invited. Shark Club in Howell on D19, North of I-96. $20 at the door. Duncan Hunter will be there. Other may stop by as well.

Current Delegate Standings:
Current Standings
GOP: (after 3)
Romney 24
Huckabee 18
McCain 10
Thompson 6
Paul 2
Hunter 1
Rest 0

Dems: (after 2)
Obama 25
Clinton 24
Edwards 18

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Game 3 New Hampshire Shakeups. Hillary clips Obama, McCain wins relatively easy

We got a race here with New Hampshire in. Two things that need to be remembered here. This is the first PRIMARY. Iowa was a caucus setup. Wyoming was a convention. Primaries have the most voters voting. New Hampshire has a large number of independent voters and possibly the most independent streak in the country. This is a group that voted for Bob Smith and Bill Clinton in the same year statewide. Polar opposites.

It's a bigger win for momentum than for delegates. Delegatewise, it was actually a tie for the democrats. It's a little bigger with 3 for McCain, but the polls expected a double digit victory for the "rock star' Obama. The big loser is Edwards. From a GOP standpoint. GOOD. I think he's the strongest of the democrat frontrunners with Richardson strongest of all of them.

GOP (88% in)
McCain - 79,061 - 37% - 7 delegates
Romney - 67,574 - 32% - 4
Huckabee - 23,667 - 11% - 1
Giuliani - 18,362 - 9% - 0
Paul - 16,281 - 8% - 0
Thompson - 2,572 - 1%
Hunter - 1,085 - less than 1%

Dem (89% in)
Clinton - 99,863 - 39% - 9 delegates
Obama - 93,033 - 37% - 9 delegates
Edwards - 43,100 - 17% - 4 delegates
Richardson - 11,656 - 5% - 0
Kucinich - 3,485 - 1% - 0
Biden, Gravel, Dodd - less than 1% (Two of the three dropped out)

Current Standings
GOP: (after 3)
Romney 24
Huckabee 18
McCain 10
Thompson 6
Paul 2
Hunter 1
Rest 0

Dems: (after 2)
Obama 25
Clinton 24
Edwards 18

Now on to the Great State of Michigan for Game 4. 0 Delegates are in stake for the Democrats due to the DNC slapping the face of democrat voters. The GOP does have delegates in state. With the close race among the democrats, most of the dem candidates fubared themselves by taking their names off the ballot. Only Hillary, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich I think are on there (maybe Gravel, not sure). The GOP has all the candidates on the ballot. The GOP has 30 voting delegates in stake. The system used is a district winner take all system, as well as at large bonus proportional.

Strictly momentum is in state for the democrats, but the media win is bigger than the actual numbers right now. Hillary and McCain are the big winners today, even though they trail in the overall standings.

New Hampshire - Game 3 on today

Live Free or Die. That's the best state motto in the country. It's also the first true primary in the country. Anyone can vote in this race, and New Hampshire is a very independent state.

What's going to be interesting here is if there is going to be an upset win here and where everyone places. If on the democrat side there is another 3rd place finish for Hillary, she's in big trouble. If McCain pulls off the win, he may be the 2008 version of "Comeback kid."

Current Standings
Romney 20
Huckabee 17
Thompson 6
McCain 3
Paul 2
Hunter 1
Rest 0

Wyoming final results.
Romney 8
Thompson 3
Hunter 1

Huckabee 17
Romney 12
Thompson 3
McCain 3
Paul 2

Sunday, January 06, 2008

SAFR-PAC releases 2nd Amendment "Endorsements" and Ratings for 2008 Presidential Primary

The Shooters Alliance for Firearms Rights (SAFR) PAC releases their ratings for the presidential primary. Nobody was endorsed at this time, but the candidates have their statements and records graded. While some Democrat candidates were not on the ballot, they were still graded. The usual ratings of acceptable, mixed, and unacceptable were used, but there were no endorsements. SAFR is a non-partisan group with members of both parties on the PAC, as well as the majority which is independent.

Those with acceptable ratings:
Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter
Ron Paul
Bill Richardson
Fred Thompson

Those with mixed ratings:
John McCain

Those with unacceptable ratings:
Hillary Clinton
Chris Dodd (now dropped out)
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Gravel (statements)
Dennis Kucinich
Barack Obama
Mitt Romney

DC v Heller 2nd Amendment update

This is the case formerly known as Parker v DC. DC appealed to SCOTUS so they are now listed first (Plaintiff in error/appellant) while Heller is listed 2nd. Heller is the only original plaintiff with standing, so his name goes on there first.

From SCOTUS BLOG - DC files their brief against Dick Heller

It's a PDF file.

Also related to the case. The former DC attorney arguing the case, Alan B Morrison (Of advocacy group Public Citizen) was fired. Walter Dellinger, former acting solicitor general for two years under Bill Clinton, replaces him. Both are experience attorneys practicing before SCOTUS.

I have not read the file yet in depth. It's 79 pages.

The attorneys for Hellerhave their own blog site here. along with all the public documents so far related to the case posted on their site.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Game 2 - Wyoming - Romney wins (UPDATED)

Organization came through here as expected in a Convention type setup which is strictly party regulars. Wyoming was ignored by most, but not Romney. With the presidential campaign the way it is right now, this may pay off for him. There are 12 delegates here in stake.

I believe it is one delegate or alternate delegate per county outside of Laramie which as one delegate and one alternate.

CASPER, Wyo. - Mitt Romney captured his first win of the Republican presidential race, gaining most of Wyoming's delegates at stake in GOP caucuses on Saturday.

The former Massachusetts governor won seven delegates, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson got two and California Rep. Duncan Hunter won one, meaning no other candidate could beat Romney. Caucuses were still being held to decide all 12 delegates at stake.

Totals so far. - From Wyoming GOP

Delegates From AFP
Romney 8
Thompson 3
Hunter 1

Alternates: (Same as before listed on Wyoming GOP site)
Romney 3
Uncomitted 2
Thompson 1
Hunter 1
McCain 1

Standings Overall after 2 elections
Huckabee 30
Romney 15
Thompson 3
Hunter 1
3 more undetermined so far
On to New Hampshire for Game 3.

Gas Tax to increase?

We're paying $3.20 a gallon, and that isn't enough? Gas, mileage, and sales taxes. Oh My!

From the Port Huron Times-Herald

Recently, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill Gilbert sponsored last year that will create a task force and citizen advisory committee charged with proposing alternative revenue sources to pay for the state's transportation needs.
Much of the state's roads budget is generated by the 19-cent tax on each gallon of gasoline sold. Cars, however, have grown increasingly fuel efficient, and Wednesday, the price of a barrel of oil passed the $100 threshold - forcing prices at the pump up.

Gilbert said Thursday no legislator "on either side of the aisle" is prepared to raise taxes. He then proposed two solutions that would potentially raise taxes.

The state, he said, could adopt a "mileage tax" whereby each persons' mileage would be recorded at the gas pump and taxed in place of the traditional gas tax. A task force in Oregon has proposed such a solution to that state's roads budget crisis.

He also suggested the task force consider raising the sales tax one penny.

OK, what the hell am I paying $3.20 (Well above national average) a gallon for then?
18.4 cents is federal tax.
19 cents is Michigan gas tax
Most importantly, 6% sales tax is also applicable.

What could have been going to roads has been going to that damn new MSP HQ thanks to a sweetheart deal between the democrats and big donor and MSU trustee Joel Ferguson.

We supposedly have this new "surplus" before the tax increases taking place.

We do not need a tax increase to fix the roads. We just need good budgetary sense, something foreign to governments.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Game 2 (GOP) tomorrow - Wyoming - 1/5

This one is being overlooked. There's only 12 delegates out of Wyoming, but that's the same number as New Hampshire.

"AS WYOMING GOES, so the nation"--that's an aphorism that will probably never describe American politics. But tomorrow, Wyoming Republicans will play a more significant role than ever before in determining their party's presidential nominee, when they elect 12 delegates--the same number allotted to New Hampshire--to the Republican National Convention.

If you didn't know the Wyoming GOP is holding an election tomorrow, don't feel too out of the loop. With all eyes fixed on Iowa and New Hampshire, the media--and the candidates themselves--haven't paid much attention to Wyoming either. And there are a few good reasons for that.

After Wyoming is New Hampshire which is Game 2 for the dems and Game 3 for the GOP.

Chris Dodd also taps out

I missed this from the Baltimore Sun. Dodd and Biden are BOTH gone. Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson are staying in for now. No one has dropped yet on the GOP side so far, although some rumbling are being mentioned.

DES MOINES -- The first victim of the Iowa caucuses: Sen. Chris Dodd.

"Tonight I am withdrawing from the Presidential race. But let me assure you, we do not exit this race with our heads hanging - rather, we do so with our heads held high," Dodd told supporters tonight.

"They say that you can measure how people feel about you by how hard they are willing to work for you."

Going by the polls, that support didn't extend to Iowa voters, who delivered Dodd 0 percent of their final votes.

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Joseph Biden would soon follow Dodd out the exit

Joe Biden taps out after Iowa

Not a real surprise here.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Delaware Sen. Joe Biden abandoned his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday after a poor showing in the state's caucuses.

"There is nothing sad about tonight. We are so incredibly proud of you all," Biden told his supporters. "So many of you have sacrificed for me and I am so indebted to you. I feel no regret. I ain't goin' away.

"I want to thank the people of Delaware and I'll be going back to the Senate as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," he said.


There was no mention of any endorsement in the article.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Game 1 over, Huckabee, Obama winners

(All as of 11PM)

I'm really not surprised at this. From CNN 100% isn't in yet, but it's not that close.

These are caucuses, not primaries. I'm not positive on this, but I think the precinct delegates are the voters, at least on the democrat side. I may be wrong on that, but that's how I interpret the results. 910 for the winner seems awful small otherwise, and I have a hard time believing that Kucinich would not get at least one vote in Iowa City or Ames. On the GOP side, it's closer to a closed primary, but not quite as open as that as it is a caucus.

GOP: 78% Reporting
Name Votes %
Huckabee - 35,342 - 34%
Romney - 26,067 - 25%
Thompson - 13,805 - 13%
McCain - 13,509 - 13%
Paul - 10,006 - 10%
Giuliani - 3576 - 4%
Hunter - 454 - 1%

Dem: 96% reporting
Name State Delegates %
Obama - 922 - 38%
Edwards - 732 - 30%
Clinton - 721 - 29%
Richardson - 52 - 2%
Biden - 23 - 1%
Uncommitted - 3 - less than 1%
Dodd - 1 - less than 1%
Kucinich - 0
Gravel - 0

Back to the GOP side, I figured Huckabee would win big. Iowa strikes me as a social moderate to conservative state and an economic moderate to liberal state. Dukakis won here big over the farm troubles in the 80's. Ethanol is a big.

McCain's fighting for 3rd place surprised me as he's not an ethanol fan. It hurt him bad in 2000 here. Giuliani must have conceded the state with his 2nd to last place finish. Romney's 2nd place showing doesn't surprise me in a caucus type of setup where the organization determines much of the vote. Romney's campaign is one of the best organized in the country. Thompson and Paul finished about where I expected in Iowa as well.

But Huckabee won IMO for three reasons. One is the economic populism. In Iowa, that's an advantage. Another is the social issues. There is no doubt to where Huckabee stands on those issues. Northwest Iowa is one of the most conservative areas in the entire country (Dutch area, think Zeeland/Hudsonville MI). In a caucus, all that is magnified. Third is agribusiness. Huckabee is from an agricultural state. In Arkansas, it's chicken production. In Iowa it's corn.

Game 1 is over. The question is now what happens in the rest of the games. Wyoming and New Hampshire are up next.

Standings after 1 (As of 11PM)
GOP: (Projected)
Huckabee 14
Romney 9
Thompson 3
McCain 3
Paul 2
Rest 0

Dem (Projected)
Obama 16
Clinton 15 (Not sure why Clinton is ahead of Edwards)
Edwards 14
Rest none

What the hell? We have a surplus?

From Wood TV

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Reduced spending and higher than expected tax receipts helped the state leap into the new year with a $350 million budget surplus.

Michigan ended its fiscal year Sept. 30 with $259.1 million. Annual state financial reports also listed the School Aid Fund with more than $94 million.

The surplus is for the 2006-07 fiscal year, a period in which a deficit of more than $1 billion was filled by delaying payments to state universities and community colleges, dipping into funds set aside for job training and substance abuse treatment and selling off part of the state's future tobacco settlement. Taxes were not raised to deal with the shortfall.

Budget officials and state legislative leaders will decide how the extra money will be used. The Senate Fiscal Agency has predicted a deficit of $34 million for the state general fund next fiscal year, while others have warned of a larger shortfall, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

Officials are to meet Jan. 11 to update Michigan's budget forecasts for the current fiscal year and the one that starts Oct. 1.

The surplus is not part of this year's budget agreement, under which taxes were raised by $1.35 billion and spending was cut or restricted by more than $400 million to help wipe out a $1.75 billion state budget deficit and place the state on sounder financial footing.

"The fact that we've closed the books with a surplus is more advantageous than finding out we're in the hole again," Matt Marsden, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, told The Detroit News.

If this is a real surplus,then what the hell was this horse manure that was spewed by the tax raises. If this is creative accounting, what happened?

If there is a real surplus, then recind the tax increase and give the money back. Don't spend it on new government programs or pork projects.

2008 - Preseason Over, Season starts today

Game 1 starts today, in Iowa. The polls are close over there right now, but they don't matter anymore. Only the election results matter. Iowa's first, then Wyoming, then New Hampshire. We're up the 15th. The real question is how much will the momentum affect the rest of the primaries/Caucuses/Conventions? That's the big question. I think much of it depends on if there is a blowout or a major upset.

Tonight at 7PM Iowa time,(8PM here) the caucuses begin.

Previous results in Iowa:
04 Dem - John Kerry 38%, John Edwards 32%, Howard Dean 18%, Richard Gephardt 11%, Dennis Kucinich 1%
04 GOP - George W Bush unopposed.

00 Dem - Al Gore 63%, Bill Bradley 37%
00 GOP - GW Bush 41%, Steve Forbes 30%, Alan Keyes 14%, Gary Bauer 9%, John McCain 5%, Orrin Hatch 1%

96 Dem - Bill Clinton unopposed
96 GOP - Bob Dole 26%, Pat Buchanan 23%, Lamar Alexander 18%, Steve Forbes 10%, Phil Gramm 9%, Alan Keyes 7%, Richard Lugar 4%, Morry Taylor 1%