Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another candidate in the 66th?

The Democrats had their county event with UAW boss Ron Gettelfinger. Did they have the illegal 50-50 drawing there? I didn't want to pay $60 to find out. If they did and if anyone has a picture, let me know.

There was an interesting blurb from the Ann Arbor news at the end of the article.

Anderson is the Democratic candidate for the 66th District state House, a seat being vacated by Republican Chris Ward because of term limitations.
"The most important thing is the Michigan economy,'' Anderson said. "We need jobs and job training. We have to consider all the people of Michigan.''

The Anderson mentioned would be Donna Anderson, who ran against Valde Garcia in 2004. That election was the closest of the three district based state races in Livingston County, but most of that was due to narrow losses in parts of Ingham and Shiawassee County, also in that district. Valde won the Livingston portion by 18,000 votes and took every precinct, including the five/six or so that often go for a democrat. Now, keep in the mind that this will be an open district this year. I do take all races seriously. No district is truely safe, although I don't think we'll lose this one unless we God forbid get a Don Sherwood type of situation which I don't expect at all from Bill or Jason.

I did catch Anderson in a debate back in 06. She is very liberal and out of the mainstream on most issues in this county. However, she has one thing I think that is going for her and that is that she did not give a lot of what I call politispeak (or double talk, smoke and mirrors). That is something I do respect.

Another candidate has filed earlier, Tommy Crawford. There probably will be a primary then in both parties for this seat. They are rare among the democrats around here, but do happen. There was one for a county commission seat in 06 and for the open special election for what was Mike Rogers then state senate district eventually won by Valde Garcia.

Jason Corosanite and Bill Rogers are both filed on the GOP site for this district. This will be the first primary race of any sort in the 66th since Judie Scranton edged Steve Williams in the 2000 primary. That primary was based more on social issues. I expect this one to be more on economic issues, but we'll see.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Judges and the ultra-aggressiveness of the democrats

Two issues here. The first is judges. If the GOP wants to make up some ground, this is the issue to go with. If you want to unite the base, fight on judges. From the Wall Street Journal:

Republican Arlen Specter has the right idea in requesting a discharge petition to confirm Peter Keisler on the D.C. Circuit, plus Robert Conrad and Steve Matthews on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Keisler, appointed to fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, is one of the most qualified nominees to the bench. He's done stints as acting Attorney General and head of the Justice Department's Civil Division. Messrs. Matthews and Conrad are both well qualified and would be assets on the Fourth Circuit, which hears many of the country's most important terrorism cases.
The problem is that Democrats would rather fill pending vacancies with candidates who are either their patronage choices or pass muster with liberal interest groups. That's already happened on the Fourth Circuit, where last month President Bush nominated Virginia Supreme Court Justice Steven Agee to appease Virginia Senator Jim Webb, the Democrat driving this "compromise," and Republican John Warner. The loser was well-respected Duncan Getchell, who was forced to withdraw.


All of this deserves more political elevation this year, not least because it will affect the next President. John McCain is supporting Mr. Specter's plan, and urging the confirmation of Messrs. Keisler, Conrad and Matthews for the Memorial Day deal. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama aren't. The two Democrats are only inviting trouble for themselves if they should make it to the White House. Republicans are sure to invoke the Harry Reid precedent to derail their nominees.
GOP Senators need to use their minority rights now to insist that Democrats honor their pledge by confirming three bona fide Bush nominees. Democrats are hoping to run out the clock on the Bush Presidency, and the GOP should use the leverage it has while Mr. Reid still wants to get things done. Republicans need to make judges an issue so voters understand that the stakes on the federal appellate courts, including the Supreme Court, couldn't be higher in 2008.

One guy I have begrudgingly respect for is Chris Van Hollen at the DCCC. While we have inept jokers running the NRCC and NRSC, they put their sonovabitch types there. That is what we need to do. From "The Hill"

Time and again this cycle, negative information about GOP candidates has been pushed early on in the race or even before they enter the race, with the purpose of keeping them from even making the effort to run.

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman credited the expansive effort with sending some of the 29 incumbent Republicans into retirement and, more recently, discouraging non-incumbents.
“There are two pieces to that: One is putting pressure on incumbent Republican members to make the decision to retire, and the other is to put pressure on candidates that they’re trying to recruit and convince them that it’s not a good idea to run against one of our incumbents,” Van Hollen said.


On Monday, former Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett turned down GOP entreaties to run for Congress. It was the second time he said no to the race, and he joined a long list of public figures who have come to the same conclusion.

Democrats had been circulating a 2006 assault plea by Bennett’s son that involved sodomizing boys with broomsticks. Bennett denied the effort had anything to do with his decision, but he’s hardly been the only one on the receiving end of Democrats’ hardball politics.

A local blog,, posted a DCCC memo detailing Bennett’s alleged vulnerabilities, including his son’s assault plea, and Bennett later spoke to the blog about the incident. Local media also reported that the DCCC requested records on the case to see if Bennett unduly influenced an outcome of which the victims’ families didn’t approve.

Now this pisses me off for three different reasons. I'm not pissed off at Van Hollen though. He's doing his job and doing a good job at it. He fights dirty, and it works. Democrats have done this more often than not for years and years through the Soros types, Jon Strykers, Tim Hills, and the NAACP's Confederate Flag and James Byrd ads against Bush in 2000.

1. Why aren't we vetting our own? Don't leave an opening for these people. The Arizona GOP chair should have known that his son was a piece of trash and that would have been an issue

2. Why the hell aren't we doing the same thing to them? I'll gaurandamntee there's as much dirt if not more with the democrats. Go check their old addresses and the jurisdictions, public records, the court records in their area, old news clips, and go on and down the list. Get PI's out there. That's not mentioning their voting records. This needs to be done right up and down the line when taking out incumbents or tough challenges.

3. "Lost causes." This pisses me off more than anything else. So because the first choice drops out, the money isn't as there, and it's a lost cause. BULLSHIT. It's a lost cause because the party has turned into a bunch of weak Obama like dickless wonders out there. Hillary's got more balls than almost all of the party leadership in Washington right now. Excuse the strong language, but this fits my definition of time, place, and manner for it. The time is because of the election year. Place because of the situation. Manner to get people to kick the powers that be in the ass. I don't mind the GOP losing if it is defeated. I do mind losing when we defeat ourselves by not showing up. Why are we giving a free pass to Mark Pryor? What happened to 1994? If Steve Stockman of all people could beat a 40 year incumbent in a district won by Bill Clinton, than we should at LEAST win all the districts Bush won in 2004, and should at least compete in any district that is not 60% or more democrat. The modern party could never win a seat in Chicago or San Jose today with ANY candidate? Why? Because there's no guts, and they pray to find a rich guy to run.

If I was a candidate with a low budget campaign, I'd do this.
1. Contact as many 2nd/3rd tier candidates as possible.
2. Run on a new contract with America with a plan for the main issues this group will fight on. These would be the 70-80% issues.
3. Relate those issues for the district.
4. Stick to that message, and use that as the basis for the campaign. Newt Gingrich understood that.
5. Once elected - FIGHT on THOSE issues first, and keep fighting until they pass. KEEP the promises.
6. Once elected - go back to being a republican and not a democrat-lite with the Ted Stevens Pork Barrell Spending.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary - Hillary stays alive, Indiana preview

Pennsylvania voted on their primary. Hillary "Raaaaaaoooooow" Clinton won 55-45% against Barack "Cling to guns and Religion" Obama. This could be a brokered convention this year. Clinton can't catch Obama without the superdelegates and Obama can't win without superdelgates. The best thing that can happen is for the two of them to continue to beat the hell out of them so bad that the base of the candidate stays home on election day.

CNN's website did a great job breaking this down. The interesting things I noticed.

1. Obama was destroyed in blue collar areas. He was shut out completely in Western Pennsylvania, even Allegheny County which has Pittsburgh. That went 54-46% Hillary. Erie County went 63-37% for Clinton. He was shut out in the blue collar Northeastern sections. Clinton's best area in the state was Scranton and Wilkes-Barre which went 75% for Hillary. Johnstown in West Central PA was 72% for Hillary. Those three areas are democrat leaning, but social conservative. Bay City is probably the closest description in this state of a similar area. Leigh Valley in the East was another key swing area and usually a bellwether for the general. Those were 60-40%.

2. Obama won 7 counties. Only 4 other counties were under 55% for Hillary. Obama's 11 best counties were.
1. Philadelphia - 65%-35% Obama - Not a surprise. Large black population, several colleges (Penn, Temple).
2. Centre County - 60%-40% - Penn State University.
3. Dauphin County - 58%-42% - Harrisburg. State Capitol with government workers, large black population.
4. Delaware County - 55%-45% - Suburban Philly. He didn't do as well here as I thought he would. Chester is in this district.
5. Chester County - 55%-45% - The only Republican County in the Philly Suburbs. The results here are somewhat surprising as he lost Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Coatesville and West Chester are the democrat bases. What I do not know is if some of this vote was a backlash against Hillary for the Bill Clinton years.
6. Lancaster County - 54%-46% - This is one of the two most Republican Counties in the state. There are really conservatives of three different minds if they want to play mischief. One is to knock out the Clintons for good. Another is to vote for the weaker opponent. Lastly is to try and get them to kick the hell out of each other (where I stand right now). To be honest, this vote does puzzle me, with similar York County next door voting differently.
7. Union County - 52%-48% - The last county Obama won. It is the home of Bucknell University.
8. Montgomery County - 51%-49% Hillary - Suburban Philly. Obama needed to win here, but didn't. I think the feminist vote did him in. This is one of the favorite counties of the NOW gang and is a haven for rich leftists.
9. Cumberland - 53%-47% Hillary - West of Harrisburg. There are several small colleges here, but I wonder if the main vote was white government workers near Harrisburg.
10. Allegheny County - 54-46% Hillary - I bet almost all of Obama's vote was in the black sections of Pittsburgh, or the university crowd there from Pitt and Carnegie Mellon. He needed to win here and didn't.
11. York County - 55%-45% Hillary - I figured York and Lancaster would vote the same way as usual. Not this time.
In no other county did Obama get 45% or more.

3. Seniors run the show. As the left loves to point out, Al Gore won the popular vote. Bush won the popular vote in 2004. Both times, it was due to the seniors. They switched their vote overall in 2004 after voting for Clinton and Gore. They were back this year, for Clinton in a big way. Exit poll data:

Those 65 and older were 22% of the vote, and voted 63%-37% for Hillary Clinton. Add in the older Baby Boomers 50-64 to the Clinton total as well. Those 50-64 were 37% of the vote and went 56%-44% for Clinton.

Seniors vote, and will probably swing the election this November more than any other demographic.

4. McCain voters - 70%-30% for Obama. Most of the "mischief" vote went for Obama, not Hillary. Does that explain Lancaster, Cumberland, and part of Chester Counties?

5. Gender gap. 41% of the vote were men. They voted for Obama 52-48%. 59% of the vote were women. They voted for Hillary 57%-43% .

So what's next?
May 3 - Indiana and North Carolina
May 13 - West Virginia,
May 20 - Kentucky and Oregon
June 1 - Puerto Rico
June 3 - Montana and South Dakota.

I think Obama should be favored in North Carolina with the large black population and number of Universities there (Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Durham, Winston Salem, Wilmington, Charlotte, Asheville).

Indiana is one to watch. Hillary should win it, but I'm not counting out Obama here. Indianapolis will vote for blacks, even rather leftist ones like the Carson family. Gary will vote for Obama. Bloomington will be a big base for him as well with Indiana University. The base counties for democrats in Indiana in 04 are:

1. Lake County - Gary, Hammond, East Chicago - 61% Kerry
2. Monroe - Bloomington - 54% Kerry (Flipped from Bush in 2000 who won with 52%)
3. Marion - Indianapolis - 50% Kerry (flipped from Bush in 2000 who won with 50%)
4. LaPorte - Michigan City - 50% Kerry

2000 was much more favorable presidential year to democrats in Indiana, even though there was no real contest there. Gore won:
1. Lake County - 63% Gore
2. Perry County - 52% Gore - Rural, Bush won it in 04 with 50%
3. Laporte - 50% Gore
4. Scott County - 50% Gore - Rural, Bush won it in 04 with 55%
5. St Joseph County (South Bend) - 49% Gore, Bush won it in 04 with 51%

Delaware County (Muncie/Ball State) is 48% Democrat in 2000 and could factor in this race. It was 43% Dem in 04.
Madison County (Anderson) was 45% Democrat in 2000 and 40% Dem in 04.
Porter County (Gary Suburbs) was 46% Democrat in 2000 and 45% Dem in 04.
Stark County (North Rural) was 48% Democrat in 2000 and 45% Dem in 04.
Sullivan County (SW Rural) was 46% Democrat in 2000 and 40% Dem in 04.
Vigo County (Terre Haute/Indiana State) was 49% Democrat in 2000 and 46% Dem in 04.

There are a lot of state democrats/federal republicans in Indiana, largely in the Southern rural areas, and to a lesser extent, Evansville. That area, along with the similar Cincy area, turned on Bush in 06. These areas are heavily white. What will they do? Go back to Clinton, or go with Obama? I'd keep an eye on Tippecanoe as well. That's Purdue. It was 40% Dem in both 00 and 04, but West Lafayette is a college town.

I predicted Hillary to win Penn by 5% I was off a bit and underestimated the blue collar vote. I'm going to with Hillary by 10% in Indiana, and Obama by 10% in North Carolina. Hopefully, I'm right and they split the two states. That would be best for them beating up each other.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary

Today's a big day for the democrats. I hope Hillary wins Pennsylvania big. Why? Because the closer the spread between the delegates, the better it is for the GOP. I would like to see them beat the hell out of each other.

My prediction - Hillary beats Obama by 5%, closer than some expect. Philly and their Burbs goes big for Obama. Hillary wins the T section, Scranton, Leigh Valley, and the Pittsburgh suburbs. Obama takes Harrisburg and the city of Pittsburgh.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Elmer Fudd Wolves in Sheep's Clothing endorse Obama

One term almost always used as an insult when it comes to firearms is "Fudd" or "Elmer Fudd." If you're too young to know who the wabbit hunter Elmer Fudd is, go to youtube and look up a couple of old Bugs Bunny cartoons there. "Shhhhhhhh, be vewwwy, vewwwy quiet; I'm hunting wabbits, heheheheheheh" Elmer isn't exactly known for his intelligence, but even poor Elmer can't catch a break.

Anti-hunters like to compare all hunters to Elmer. They hate hunting, and Elmer is a perfect insult. Real Hunters use the term Elmer for idiots who make errors. Poachers, those who don't use firearms in a safe matter are referred to as Elmer Fudd. 2nd Amendment supports use terms like Elmer Fudd for politicians who pretend they support the 2nd amenment and mention how it protects "hunting", and then support banning all different types of firearms. Anytime a politician buys a bunch of expensive LL Bean camo and a new Benelli and goes goose or duck hunting....John out. The term "Elmer Fudd" is also used for hunters who think they can sell out other types of firearms while they think their favorites are protected. They aren't. It's a broad term with a lot of meanings.

One group of Fudds is the "American Hunter and Shooters Association." They are an Astroturf organization intended to give more power to gun grabbing democrats. Astrotuf can be defined as a "fake" grassroots appearing organization, and is named after the worst type of football turf ever created. Notice that I did not say it was intended to give more power to democrats, but gun grabbing democrats. While many democrats are gun grabbers, not all of them are, particulary among rank and file blue collar members. The leadership of the democrats however and the big money is extremely anti-2nd Amendment. George Soros is a long time leader in gun grabbing organizations giving millions to VPC. Here's what AHSA said about Obama.

Today, as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Because the gun issue has recently become a factor in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, I want to share the remarks I made today:

As a gun rights organization we have not come to this decision lightly. We were formed two years ago because our research shows that millions of gun owners wanted a change. They not only wanted an organization that would protect their gun rights but an organization that was also committed to the protection of their communities as well as the protection of our lands. We reached out to the Obama campaign several weeks ago to offer our support and approval as was reported by Paul Bedard of US News and World Report. We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair and American Hunters and Shooters Association is stepping up to set the record straight.

Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by his vote in support of the Vitter amendment to HR 5441, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill of 2007. This amendment prevents the Government from confiscating guns in a time of crisis or emergency. Imagine how the citizens felt during Hurricane Katrina when government agents kicked in doors to confiscate law abiding citizens' guns at a time when they needed them the most. We know Senator Obama "gets it." To say that he is an elitist is patently ridiculous. To hunters and shooters everywhere, Senator Obama's vote demonstrated a fundamental understanding of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment which means he recognizes the individual right of all citizens to keep and bear arms. Senator Clinton, on the hand, failed to grasp the importance of this critical issue to hunters and shooters and voted against this Amendment. She turned her back on America's gun owners. In addition, Senator Obama's commitment to conservation and protection of our natural resources and access to public lands demonstrates to us his commitment to America's hunting and shooting heritage. Senator Obama will be a strong and authentic voice for America's hunters and shooters and it is with great pleasure that we endorse his candidacy.
Ray Schoenke
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Now I know a wolf in sheep's clothing when I see one. This organization is a group of Fudds if there ever was one. It is no different than Andrew McKelvey's "AGS" eight years ago, or the "American Firearms Association." back in the 80's. This is a favorite of "Third Way" and DLC thinkers along the lines of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. "New Democrat" is another term. AGS ironicaly merged with Third Way. Why do I mention 3rd way? Well, one of the biggest pushes among the more devious gun grabbers (as opposed to those like Josh Sugarmann who are somewhat honest about a ban) is to pretend how much they support "hunting," compare the 2nd Amendment to hunting, and then say that they support hunting guns, and not those evil black rifles and gun shows, etc. The main polling and PR firm behind that approach was Penn, Schoen & Berland. Mark Mellman and Mark Penn were the leaders. If the name Mark Penn rings a bell, that's because he is one of Hillary Clinton's top advisors. Hillary is bashing Obama's gun remarks which is a laugh. She's an Elmer Fudd type herself with her "learning to shoot" comments as her record is almost as bad as Obama's.

AHSA backs Obama. Of course they would, as they are a bunch of Fudds. Now I need to back up my comments about AHSA being an Elmer Fudd organization. We can start with their two leaders and former board member (and co-founder).

Ray Schoenke - President. -

Newsmeat is a great website. You can look up who donated to who. Ray Schoenke is a longtime democrat from the Maryland/DC area. That doesn't stick out as much at these two donations.


$10,000 to the Brady Group - the leading gun grabbing organization in the country. That's no friend of hunters and shooters.

Bob Ricker - Ricker is a whore who sells himself to the highest bidder. He was this gun rights guy until bought off by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and how runs his mouth against the 2nd Amendment. He also pushed for frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and testified against them in the infamous NAACP/Brooklyn lawsuit against firearms manufacturers.

The other big name is John Rosenthal - leader of Stop Handgun Violence, a Massachusetts gun grabbing organization. Massachusetts has some of the strictest laws in the country, along with Ray Schoenke's Maryland.

But lastly, let's look at AHSA's policy statements. Now unfortunately, AHSA changed their website a bit since all of us are on to them. However, I do have Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis access so those suckers can't hide from me.

"Denying terrorists, illegal aliens, organized gangs, and juveniles/ youthful offenders access to firearms; "

That's already illegal. Those CONVICTED are not allowed to own firearms. The key word is convicted. We ARE innocent till proven guilty in this country, whether people like it or not.

They support a ban on .50 caliber BMG's, even though they aren't used in crimes. These are $4000+ firearms.

From Rosenthal and the Boston Globe 2/5/06 (Excerpted)

Central to AHSA's mission is a national legislative agenda that includes closing loopholes that let criminals purchase weapons at gun shows, banning military-style assault weapons, requiring training for gun owners, and pushing for iss ues like wildlife conservation that Rosenthal says the NRA has neglected.

1. There is no gun show loophole.

2. Assault Weapons is a loaded term and refers in some circles to ALL semi-automatic - which are most firearms. They are also less powerful (ammo caliber) than hunting firearms.

3. Require Training? I support training, but have problem with government involvement in this.

On their site, they also mention "Cop Killer bullers." Translation .30-30 Winchester, what is called by many "Grandpa's hunting rifle." Ted Kennedy is the translator, and wrote the last two bills (identical) which would give unilateral authority to the attorney general to ban all centerfire (pistol and rifle) ammunition that could penetrate a police vest. Police vests are designed to stop pistol rounds, not rifle rounds which are much more powerful. Here's Kennedy's intent: - From Thomas in 2004

In a recent report, the ATF identified three, .223 and the 7.62 caliber rifles, as the ones most frequently encountered by police officers. These high-capacity rifles, the ATF wrote, pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement, in part because of their ability to expel particles at velocities that are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn by law enforcement officers. Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers' armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating. It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America.

That was what a so called "cop-killer" bullet is to Ted Kennedy. The .30-30 Winchester. Now that 600 point thing is a pile of crap, but that's Kennedy for you. This bill was voted on twice, once in 2004 and once in 2005 - identical bills from Kennedy. Hillary Clinton voted for it twice. Barack Obama voted for it once as he was elected in 2004. That's AHSA for you.

The Irony in all of this is that even some of the other Daily Kos posters besides Schoenke get it. Now most of them aren't friends of the 2nd Amendment, but they are if nothing else pragmatic, and know that gun owners will vote against those who take away their freedoms. Obama is a gun grabber. AHSA are gun grabbing wolves in sheep's clothing.

So what is Obama's record on the 2nd Amendment.

First off, he was a former Board member of the notorious Joyce Foundation. The Joyce Foundation is the main funder of gun grabbing organizations in the US. They fund groups such as VPC which supports a total ban. They have hundreds of millions of dollars to fund these astroturf organizations. - I commented on one of his puff pieces here. He supports "Ballistic prints" which don't do anything for crimes. He supposed the so called "assault weapons" ban. - He voted present on another nasty bill.

He voted to ban almost all centerfire ammunition -

He voted to support frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufactuers. - - And this exposes his State Senatorial record.

Obama regularly supported gun-control measures, including a ban on semiautomatic "assault weapons" and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month.

He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation. Supporters framed the issue as a fundamental question of whether homeowners have the right to protect themselves. Obama joined several Chicago Democrats who argued the measure could open loopholes letting gun owners use their weapons on the street. They said local governments should have the final say, but the self-defense exception passed 41-16 and ultimately became state law.

"It's bad politics to be on the wrong side of the Second Amendment come election time," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. "It will certainly be talked about. You can take that to the bank." On the other hand, Obama parted company with gun control advocates when he backed a measure to let retired police officers and military police carry concealed weapons.

He supports guns for the important people, but not us. That's Obama's elitism for you. That fits the views of the Elmer Fudd organization that is supporting him as well. But wait, there's even more from Politico. - Obama State Senate survey - pt 1 - Obama State Senate survey - pt 2

On guns...TOTAL BAN!

Now his aids tried to cover for him and say that wasn't his work. BS. Buck stops at the top. Politico called that as well.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat. Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire. They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.” But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.

Is it really surprising that an organization headed by two, and formerly three gun grabbers, would back a gun grabber? Not really. The good news is that most of us know what AHSA is about, and no amount of photo ops are going to change that. It's the record that counts, and the records of Obama, Schoenke, Ricker, and Rosenthal show that none of them are friends of the 2nd Amendment.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Barack Obama to small town America - I don't respect you

The Jackass party lives up to its nickname with the "rock star" Obama showing his true colors at a San Francisco fundraiser at a place nicknamed "Billionaire's Row." Billionaires Row isn't a place for people like you and me. Far away from the Midwest, he showed what he thought about us small town Midwesterners with these comments:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

"No guts" gives out some arrogant elitism at its worst. Not the bitter comment, and I'll get to that later and the Thomas Frank attitude among the elitist wing of the democrats (Obama, Hillary although she's hiding it better, John Kerry). Obama, who claims to be religious himself, says that small town Midwesterners claing to religion because of being "bitter." He says that's why they "cling to guns." Now, I don't see what clinging to guns have to do with being bitter. Gun owners do tend to be more apt to be middle class, anyway (and have jobs). Antipathy toward people who aren't like them? That's what Obama seems to have. Anti-trade? No shit sherlock. That's a bad thing, Obama? Son, look what your party's NAFTA and GATT has done. Anti-immigrant? No son, but very anti-ILLEGAL immigration - and their taking of blue-collar jobs.

Now I know what Obama is getting at here. The leftist elite is obsessed with the book "What's the matter with Kansas" by Thomas Frank. To sum it up, the leftist elite thinks that white working class voters vote republican because in their view "we vote against our best interest" and vote on "unimportant wedge issues." They think our real interest is with the "democrats for the workin' man." That's absolute piles of horse manure.

First off, democrats do not know our best interests. Hell, I don't claim to know the best interest of my small-town neighbors. That makes me smarter than a lot of democrats who think they do know them. I do know my best interests and vote accordingly. This attitude hurts democrats immensely. This isn't going to sell. Arrogance from big city politicians does not sell in small town America.

Secondly, what did democrats do for small town Midwestern voters? The answer is a lot of damage. Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and GATT. Republicans share some blame for that one, but it passed a democrat house, democrat senate, and democrat president. Tax increases. What do we get for tax increases? Nothing but bridges to nowhere, $500 hammers, and $600 toilet seats. Energy Independence. Pennsylvania is coal country. With $3.50 gallons of gas (much of it taxes), why not eliminate oil for non-gasoline related things - like heating and electicity. The anti-coal lobbies though want to keep our dependence on foreign oil. The CAFE standards push doesn't help either. Rapid government regulations increase the costs of American automobiles. Most of them are made from STEEL. Western and Northeastern Pennsylvania is steel country. Democrats wonder why so many people out here don't trust them? It is not only because of the cultural issues, derisively called "God, guns and gays" which really cuts across all class lines (gay issues being quite overrated). It is due to regulating the industries of these areas out of business. It's not solely the factor for going out of business, but it is one of them, due to the San Francisco wing of the democrats. It's a long time story of the rust belt to one degree or another. From Rochester NY around the great lakes through Pennsylvania, Northern Ohio, most of Michigan, Milwaukee, to parts of Illinois (Rockford), and arguably St Louis. The rise and decline of industry. Many small towns are dependent on the industry of larger towns through suppliers, etc.

The voters in small towns are some of the most independent voters I've ever come across. Notice what I said. Independent. Most are moderate on economic issues and conservative to some extent on social issues, but do not support a theocracy. They are NOT necessarily Republicans. I'm going to repeat that. They are NOT necessarily Republicans. A lot of them are ticket splitters and three way swing voters. Democrat, Republican, and skipping the race. Right now, I think skipping the race is leading. Obama's comments, policies, and style show he is a poor fight for small town American. Hillary Clinton isn't well liked either. Bill Clinton shifted these areas to the right. Now I can't let the Republicans off the hook. I have limited experience with Pennsylvania, but I have spend a lot of time in Midwestern small towns. Brighton and Howell used to be, and I've been in every county except two in this state. Farmlands, woodlands, and "company towns." Some I have been more than others. Republicans often think they are entitled to the small town vote. They aren't. In this state alone, you have a lot of ticket splitters in the rural areas. The thumb has had a lot of it lately. North Michigan as well. Some areas lean one way more than another, but they can not be taken for granted. Republicans have a LOT of work to do there, between war weariness, high gas prices, big spending from Bush and Ted Stevens, corrupt jerks like Mark Foley and Don Sherwood which hurt immensely among ethical voters. McCain has a lot of work to do there. He was dealt a hanging curve by Obama with his "What's the matter with Kansas?" and Thomas Frank attitude, but he needs to hit it out of the park. He can not take an attitude of "Who are they going to vote for? Obama?" The answer is probably not, but they might not show up at all instead.

Obama disrespected small town America. McCain needs to show the area respect. Not with pandering which is another form of disrespect, but with a plan. The ball is now in his court. We'll see what happens.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Major Campaign Treasury Problems with the GOP

I would have posted this one sooner, but I've been busy defending someone accused of tortious interference in a hypothetical case. That takes precidence over this blog. Sorry, folks. That's done, and one story recently has rocked the small circle of people known as political committee treasurers. I've been following this story for awhile. This scandal is not getting much press, but it pisses me off more than anything that Spitzer, Kwame, and Tom Athans has done. This isn't as flashy and doesn't deal with sex, gays, or hookers. It's simply old fashion skimming off the top. Embezzlement. I'll preface this by saying that everyone is innocent till proven guilty. I will also preface this by saying that Christopher J Ward is NOT Christopher C Ward, my state representative. It is a completely different person.

I've been a treasurer myself. I normally don't brag about myself on this blog as I like to let my actions do the talking, but on the state/local levels, I am one of the best at my work. Even those within the party that do not care for me all that much respect my work on treasurer and campaign finance issues. I consider myself one of the top 10 treasurers in the state. I have not screwed up on reports in six years, and when I did screw up, it was a "fix it" and not a fine. I've proven myself here enough where I don't treasure organizations for free anymore. You want my work, it costs, but at the same time I do very good work. There are a few treasurers who are better. Those are the people I call when I have a question.

One who probably is better at ability was Christopher J Ward, who I will refer to as CJ Ward to make sure there is no confusion with Chris here in Livingston County. CJ Ward was the treasurer for the NRCC, which is the house campaign committee. He also treasured other campaigns.

From the Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON -- The House Republicans' campaign committee, already strapped for cash going into the 2008 election, said yesterday that it is missing several hundred thousand dollars, and possibly more, after discovering suspected fraudulent activity by its former treasurer.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect Republicans to the House, dismissed its longtime treasurer, Christopher Ward, Jan. 28 after it said it discovered he had been submitting bogus financial audits of the committee's accounts since 2002.

The committee previously said it had notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the false audits, and that it was cooperating with the FBI's criminal investigation.

The NRCC yesterday gave new information about the potential scope of the fraud. Mr. Ward apparently made unauthorized wire transfers totaling "several hundred thousand dollars" from NRCC accounts into other Republican campaign committees that he also managed as treasurer, said NRCC lawyer, Robert Kelner of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. Mr. Kelner said that Mr. Ward then apparently made wire transfers from those outside Republican accounts into his own personal and business bank accounts. The NRCC has traced such activity back to 2004, but its investigation is continuing, he said.

"The evidence we have today indicates we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual," Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the NRCC chairman, said in a statement.

If he's guilty, lock him up. I really hope he's innocent, but from what I have heard, I'll just say his attorney had a tough job to do.

The Argus has its own story on this with our congressman Mike Rogers. I believe Mike here, and I'll explain why.

When Rogers was finance chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, its treasurer was Christopher J. Ward (no relation to state Rep. Chris Ward, R-Genoa Township). The NRCC has accused Ward of misappropriating potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars from the committee, whose goal is to raise money to elect Republicans to the House of Representatives.

Rogers said the fundraising and operations functions were separate at the NRCC, so he didn't work directly with Ward and didn't know him.

"My job as finance chair was to raise money for the NRCC. The operations and expenditure sides are separate," he said. "Obviously, it's disappointing. We worked awful hard on our end of the shop."

I am certain Congressman Mike is telling the truth here. I'm sure he trusted CJ Ward to take care of it. Nobody gets one of the top 2-3 treasury jobs in the country without being trusted. I'd say the same thing here, even if it was Granholm. I know enough politicians to know their attitudes on campaign finance related matters. I have enough treasury experience as well to know the attitudes. Even those with a strong interest in the matter, like my rep Chris Ward (Livingston County) don't like dealing with the filings. Politicians HATE this part of the job in a way that most people do not believe. It's about as popular as a root canal or a conservative in Ann Arbor. They do not want to deal with the tricky filings and would rather spend their time campaigning. That's why committees have treasurers, so they do not have to deal with it. "Give my donation to the treasurer over there. He'll take care of it. Thank you." is not an uncommon saying at fundraisers. Some pols do not even see the money. They have no desire to see it, and do not want to deal with it. Most pols have a very irritated look on their face when the words "Campaign finance" are mentioned next to each other.

That gets to my next point. Most treasurers in my experience are given blind trust with the campaign funds. They are not checked up on and scrutinized by the pols. I wasn't checked up on, except by one organization (probably two today with the precedent I helped set). I could have skimmed off the top, like CJ Ward was accused of, and have gotten away with it if I tried in all but one organization. One org had a chair who scrutinized financial transactions as much as I do, so both of us kept detailed records on filings and transactions. I'm not that kind of a person, but I'm explaining how easy it is to people here, largely due to politicians, board members, corporate chairs, corporate presidents, and corporate vice presidents, not wanting to deal with these tedious, boring, and difficult matters. They often give blind trust in treasurers. This is why I'm a complete a-hole about these types of matters. One major treasury scandal is enough.

I close with this advice. An organization's treasurer should be the most trustworthy person in the organization, and one of the most competent in the organization. After that, "Trust but Verify," as President Reagan would say. Proper checks and balances prevent situations like this. If the NRCC admins did this, we wouldn't have this. Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC endorses Krause and Leach for Brighton School Board

I just got this in my email from Bill Johnston. I was not on the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC's panel this year due to time constraints, but I still strongly support them and trust their judgment and their process used. I have a good idea of their questions. They are tough, but fair. This is the only contested race in May, and the only race the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC is getting involved in this May. Rarely do endorsements strongly influence my decisions, but this one and SAFR-PAC (2nd Amendment issues) does more than any other endorsement. They do good work.

From the Concerned Taxpayers Group PAC of Livingston County


The Concerned Taxpayers Group, PAC, has endorsed Jonathan Krause and Cheryl Leach for the Brigthton Area Schools, Board of Education, which is on the May 6th ballot. The other Brighton candidate declined to be interviewed.

The candidates were interviewed by a panel of citizens made up from the Brighton, Howell, Hartland and Pinckney districts. This citizens panel is very concerned about the future of our public schools in Livingston County.

The interviewing process took place in Oceola Township on April 8, 2008 and the results were based on an objective scoring method. The main goal of our endorsement process is to advise the citizens of the Brighton district which candidates will best promote a sound educational enviroment for the students of Brighton. To accomplish this goal, the Brighton district must have board menbers who will truly represent the whole district and not just represent a special interest group.

The future Brighton School Board will have a difficult task with declining enrollment, deficit spending and uncertain state funding. Our two endorsed candidates will be a positive influence on the board if elected.

Leach and Krause deserve our support. We need fiscal responsible individuals at all levels of government.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Michael Barone examines the Democrat's infighting (Ulster Scots vs Academia)

Michael Barone (who writes the Almanac of American Politics) provides IMO the best analysis of elections and demographics in politics in the country. He wrote an interesting piece on the divide between Obama and Hillary supporters.

From Real Clear Politics

produced deep divisions among Democratic constituencies. It looks something like tribal warfare. Whites have voted, if you average the results from the states, 53 percent to 39 percent for Clinton; blacks, 80 percent to 17 percent for Obama; Latinos, 58 percent to 39 percent for Clinton; Asians, in California (the one primary state where they're numerous enough to gauge), 71 percent to 25 percent for Clinton.

The differences in voting by the young, overwhelmingly for Obama, and the elderly, overwhelmingly for Clinton, are as large as any I can remember in either a primary or general election. Upscale voters are heavily for Obama; downscale voters are heavily for Clinton.

As the contest has continued, increasing percentages of Clinton and Obama voters say they wouldn't vote for the other candidate against John McCain.

But the exit polls don't show another tribal division, one that emerges when you examine the election returns by county and congressional district. In state after state -- from New Hampshire and Michigan to Texas and Ohio -- Obama runs unusually strongly in counties with large universities. Academics -- and I include here those who choose to live in university towns as well as those actually in or teaching school -- seem to find Obama particularly appealing.

I've noticed this for about a year in Obama's case, although I really underestimated Hillary's appeal to blue collar areas. I don't know if that is due to "not being Obama," due to Bill, or due to something else.

Clinton's highest percentages come in counties with large numbers of Latinos and what I call Jacksonians. You can see the latter in counties in what is loosely called Appalachia -- southwest Virginia, southern Ohio, the north end of Georgia, non-metropolitan Tennessee, northern Alabama, northeast Mississippi, all of Arkansas, southern Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, east and central Texas.

These are lands that were settled by the colonial era immigrants from northern England, Scotland and northern Ireland and their descendants, who thronged down the Appalachian chain and then, like their heroes Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, kept going southwest.

Clinton's strong performance among Jacksonians may reflect her positive appeal (it certainly does in Arkansas), but it also seems to reflect a distaste for Obama. Buchanan County, Va., which borders the yet-to-vote states of West Virginia and Kentucky, voted 90 percent for Clinton and 9 percent for Obama.

What's behind these sharp divisions? You could sum it up by saying that Jacksonians are fighters and academics (and public employees) are not. Jacksonians fought fierce battles against Indians as they moved southwest; they have always made up a disproportionate share of the American military (and were on both sides in the Civil War).

As historian David Hackett Fischer writes in "Albion's Seed," they believe in natural liberty -- I'll leave you alone if you'll leave me alone, but if you attack my family or my country, I'll kill you. Academics are, to say the least, lightly represented in the American military, and in economic terms they tend to compete with the military for public dollars. They seek honor for the work of peace as fiercely as Jacksonians seek honor for the feats of war....

I've read Albion's seed and it is an excellent book comparing the original British settlers who cast their stamp in the US - The Puritains (Yankees) from East England, The Quakers, The Cavaliers (Coastal South), and the Border Scots which settled largely in a stretch of country from Central Pennsylvania down through Florida, and then moved West through the rest of the South, lower Midwest, and then West to much of the inland empire in California. Many of them also settled in Michigan, particulary Downriver and in the auto areas. These four groups to this day are the strongest influence on the landscape and culture in this country - despite those of German origin being a plurality of the population today. The Catholic Irish were largely Jacksonian in voting, and were democrats until social issues started dominating the party. Now (and partly thanks to Reagan), they are on all sides. My own extended family is split politically. I'm less familiar with the Poles and Italians as bloc voters, but I believe the Poles were democrats largely along union lines (less so today), and the Italians factored more on location. None of them were socially liberal as a whole in the working classes.

Now what Barone calls "Jacksonians" largely moved from the largely Presbyterian Borderlands due to conflicts with the Anglicans. They have been fighters for generations. They fought the Romans, the English, the (Catholic) Irish, and in the USA the British, American Indians (although many of the Ulster-Scots also intermarried with American Indians - particulary in the South), and during the Civil War - each other as they fought on both sides. From the borderlands, many settled in Ulster, most of which is now in "Northern Ireland." Andrew Jackson's father was born in County Antrim, which is part of Ulster. It wasn't easy for the Ulster Scots, as their Celtic cousins, the Catholic Irish had no great love for them or vice versa. Sporadic fighting has gone on for hundreds of years during the "Troubles" in Ireland which still go on today, although to a lesser degree. Even the choice of whiskey is important. Jameson is the Catholic drink. Bushmills is the protestant drink. A large number of them moved to the US as indentured servants, and yeoman farmers, and they were pushed to the backlands as the Cavaliers (who were most, although not all of the plantation) had most of the good land near the tidewater in Virginia.

The "Jacksonians" today are often three way swing voters. They used to be largely democrat in most areas, but today much less so. Many of them stay home. Many of them were Perot Voters. Many of them are ticket splitters. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma (Democrats do well on state level), until recently Kentucky, Virginia (Southwest decides the races) today, West Virginia today. All of those are key states. Most of them are not liberals, especially on social issues, but economic issues (that favor both sides) are big to them, and they are not trustworthy of big business - and despise incompetence. In 2006, many of these Jacksonian areas, especially in Indiana and Ohio, taught the GOP a lesson about entitlements. They made the same mistakes the democrats made. The GOP thought they were ENTITLED to those votes. Remember Thomas Frank's bitching about what's the matter with Kansas. He said that they were voting against their best interest. Bullshit. That was the problem. Frank and the other democrats thought they knew what was best for them, which is the problem in the first place. That cost votes right off the bad.

These people voted for Bush twice, and at the same time sent some republican governors home. Don Sundquist pushed for taxes and hurt the GOP bad in Tennessee. Brad Henry ran a great campaign in Oklahoma. West Virginia still ticket splits. Missouri and Ohio have the best track records in the country on presidential voting.

Polling suggests that the Democratic nominee may not be able to count on the losing candidate's tribes in November. Academics and young people and blacks may not turn out in extraordinary numbers for Clinton, as they have for Obama, and the upscale may prefer McCain to a tax increase.

Similarly, Jacksonians, the elderly, the downscale and Latinos may prefer the very Jacksonian McCain to Obama. All of which should worry the super-delegates who must determine who wins the Democrats' tribal war.

It is WAY too early though to make predictions on this. Six months is a lifetime in presidential politics. The good news for the democrats are the severe blunders by the Don Sherwoods and Mark Foleys of the party, as well as Bush's conduct in Katrina and Harriet Miers. The bad news is that the democrats are in bed with the Soros and Hollywood wing of the party on money - which conflicts with everyday Americans. What will happen? Stay tuned.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cindy Denby running for Joe Hune's seat (47th District)

The Argus just reported the worst kept secret in the county. It is now official and Cindy Denby is running for Hune's seat.

Cynthia Denby, Handy Township supervisor and a top aide to Rep. Joe Hune,
R-Hamburg Township, filed paperwork Friday to run for Hune's seat in the
state House.

Denby has worked for Hune for 5 years, has been township supervisor for 8
years, and served as township clerk for 8 years before that. It's that
experience that Denby said makes her the best candidate. She said her top
issues would be managing the state budget, education, and promoting the
state of Michigan.

So far, one other Republican has filed to be a candidate: Carl Konopaska,
grandson of longtime magistrate Sonny Erdman. County Commissioner Donald
Parker said he is considering a run as well.

Denby and Konopaska are seeking to represent 47th district, which consists
of the townships of Hartland, Tyrone, Deerfield, Cohoctah, Howell, Handy,
Conway, Iosco, Unadilla, Putnam, Hamburg, the village of Pinckney and the
city of Howell.

I think Cindy is the odds on favorite to win with geography on her side. She'll get most if not all of Hune's supporters, and also has the experience card to win. Joe was solid on the tax issues as well, which is a plus in this economy. I'm not sure anyone else will jump in or not, we'll see. Cindy did an extremely good job as Joe's aide. I've dealt with her on several occassions during the time I lived in Howell and was in this district. I have no worries on the competence issues.

I no longer vote here, but that's where I'd be leaning right now if I did.

Brighton Schools and State Supreme Court

Two things needs to be mentioned.

The first is regarding the Brighton School Board race.

I've found that in the Brighton Race (only contested one), that Cheryl Leach and Jay Krause are running as a team. Winnie Garrett is the other candidate. There is two positions available and three running. Garrett ran last time and participated in a debate. A rough transcript is here which has some of Garrett's answers to questions last year

The Concerned Taxpayers' Group PAC will be active in this race. I am not on the panel this election cycle for any May races, but will be interested to see who is endorsed, if anybody. I don't pay attention to a lot of endorsements, but that one is a big factor in any of my decisions. As someone formerly on the panel, I have a good idea what many of the questions will be, and have a general idea of the scoring system. I trust their judgment, even though I am no longer their treasurer, and am not an insider this time.

As far as State Supreme Court goes, I've heard a rumor. This may or may not be true, but I've heard from two sources (one inside, one outside the county) that Granholm wants her good friend Theresa Brennan to run for State Supreme Court (Deborah Thomas of Detroit has filed a committee). Remember what I said about today's district court judge will be tomorrow's high court judge and that biases matter? I told you so. Now I do not know if Brennan will take this job, or just stay on at District Court (where she is currently filed). We will find out at the Democrat Convention after the August Primary. However, head's up!

One person who IS running for State Supreme Court is Justice Clifford Taylor. Made famous by the hit piece from the democrats of "Markman, Taylor, and Young. Oh My!" ads, he is running for reelection. Our State Supreme Court is currently one of the very best in the entire country, despite the very semi-recent unprofessional conduct of Justice Weaver who I highly regret voting for in 2002. The Wall Street Journal Called the court the Finest Court in the country. If you remember the Kelo case, remember that much of that was taken from the State Supreme Court's Poletown opinion which ran roughshod over property rights. THIS court overturned Poletown, and would not give us Kelo on a federal level. THIS court followed the plain language of the bill and the law when interpreting the Concealed Carry battle back in 2000. If you support the 2nd Amendment, you know where to turn. Right here.

However, Justice Taylor needs your help. He has a lot of enemies from those who love judicial activism and hate strict constuctionism. The list includes radical leftist Jon Stryker and his Arcus Foundation, Geoffrey Fieger, Jennifer Granholm, the democrats, and the personal injury wing of attorneys. While I can understand the latter because of the line of work, it would not be good for Michigan. We don't need a radical like Granholm controlling this either.

Justice Cliff Taylor needs our support, and needs campaign funds. Money does not go far in the presidential races, but it goes much further in this race. If you have any extra money, and plan on only donating to one race, this is the one to pick. This is THE most important race in the state this year, including the presidency. We need to keep Justict Cliff Taylor on the Michigan Supreme Court. His campaign address is:

Committee to Re-Elect Justice Clifford Taylor

Dan Meisler leaves Argus for Ann Arbor area paper

Some developments are in the works that affect the area. One of the bigger aspects is Dan Meisler taking a new job with the Ann Arbor Business Review closer to his home. Good luck to Dan in his new work. Dan's last column is here. He mentioned his top issue which we discussed here in the past, redistricting issues.

There have been spotty attempts to change the way things are done. Iowa appears to be very successful in its nonpartisan redistricting. The Terminator/ Governor of California tried but failed to change the system.

And one little-noticed piece of collateral damage of the spectacular fall of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was his proposal for nonpartisan redistricting. A similar proposal was floated in the Michigan Legislature, supported by Livingston County's own Rep. Chris Ward, R-Genoa Township. Many of them rely on the creation of independent commissions to oversee redistricting.

As my friend, the author of Republican Michigander blog, points out whenever I write about this, the devil is in the details — it is an extremely difficult thing to get all traces of politics out of redistricting, regardless of how many independent commissions you set up.

He's right to an extent. But it can be done.

It's already 2008. The next census is less than two years away. The next redistricting will be soon after that. If nothing is done, prepare for another decade of partisan gridlock.

We've had some good discussion on this matter. He leans towards a commission system, while I lean toward a computer setup due to my skepticism of the independence of commissions. That's why I distinguish between "nonpartisan" redistricting and "nonbiased" redistricting.

I comment on Meisler's first redistricting editorial here. The main thing I mention is the types of redistricting used.

Six months later was another article with a little more depth.

One of the other keys with the commission system is who picks the commission, and what types of people are on there. I sure don't want the "elites" on the commission. The Joe Schwarz, Phil Power, and those types who really have a low opinion IMO of the public's intelligence at large. That a big reason why I'd rather have computers decide the districts. It takes the biasness and human element out of the equation.

While Meisler and I disagree on the solution, both of us agree that redistricting reform is necessary in the era of either "incumbent protection" or "Screw you" redistricting measures which are commonly used today thanks to the sophisticated geographers and data systems of precinct information at each party's disposal.

Michigan's history is a "screw you and revenge" redistricting. The democrats did it to us in the 1970's and 1980's. The 1990's went to court. 2000's was a screw you system to the democrats in revenge.

In the end, it will be interesting to see what happens here. I know Meisler and I will both be following this.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Political slap on the wrist? (Tom Athans gets a free pass after caught with a hooker)

Is is something in the water? First Elliot Spencer gets nailed, and now we have the leftist talk radio creator and Air America founder caught in up in Troy. For those who don't know, Tom Athans is also married to our dangerously incompetent senator Debbie Stabenow.

First is the background, as reported by the Detroit News.

TROY -- The co-founder and former CEO of the liberal-progressive Democracy Radio and husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was caught in February by a Troy police sting aimed at catching prostitutes, according to a police report.

Thomas L. Athans was stopped Feb. 26 by undercover officers investigating a possible prostitution ring in a room at the Residence Inn near Big Beaver and Interstate 75. Athans paid a 20-year-old prostitute $150 for sex in a Troy hotel but was not arrested, according to police reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by The Detroit News. The police report said officers observed Athans enter a room under surveillance and leave 15 minutes later. Detectives followed and stopped Athans' silver 2002 Cadillac DeVille on Interstate 75 near Square Lake Road.

Athans told police he stopped at the hotel to see a female friend he met online. After calling her on his cell phone, he was given a room number and met the woman at the door. Once inside he placed $150 on a counter top. The woman collected the money and performed oral sex on him, Athans told police.

Officers entered the room and found sex toys, condoms, $431 in cash and a laptop computer. They arrested the woman, identified as Alycia Lorraine Martin, and charged her with prostitution. She was released on a $100 bond and has been ordered to appear in Troy District Court for a pre-trial hearing April 22.

Well, I think it's going to be interesting on the morning talk radio shows tomorrow morning. You have a hooker ring involving the spouse of a senator, a CEO of a political company receiving a "Lewinsky" for lack of a better term, the exact price of $150(That's cheap compared to Spitzer!), and the place is at Big Beaver Road, which is exit 69 (insert Beavis and Butthead jokes here) off of I-75.

Besides the jokes and being a John is a couple of more disturbing things. First this:

Troy police Lt. Gerard Scherlinck said Troy's undercover officers focus their efforts on breaking up prostitution rings about four times a year, depending upon manpower. During the stings they arrest only the prostitutes.

Why are only the hookers being arrested in these cases? What about the johns?

And this:
Athans appeared in Troy District Court on Thursday where the ticket was reduced to "no operator's license in possession." He paid a $115 fine. His license, which had been suspended from June 25, 2007 through March 11 due to a failure to comply with a judgment in Charlotte, is no longer suspended according to Michigan Secretary of State records.

This guy is lucky. Not only does he get a free pass for the hooker sting, he avoids getting the more serious "Driving with a suspended license" penalty for the weaker one. Now I wonder what his original judgment was that which he failed to be in compliance? Anyone got access to Eaton County (Charlotte) records?

Did Troy (or the Oakland County DA's office?) give Athans a pass because he was high up, politically?