Thursday, May 29, 2008

More debt in Michigan. Look out for more taxes.

Some bad news that is not shocker with the Matt Millen of governors running the show here.

From the Grand Rapids Press

The report illustrates that Michigan can't march blithely into the future thinking its budget problems have been solved. Even when the state's economy turns around, Michigan's government will continue to operate at increasing deficits -- what the report calls a "structural deficit" because it's built into the very structure of government and isn't caused by cyclical economic woes. Among the study's key findings:

If current spending and tax policies continue, Michigan will face a cumulative deficit of nearly $10 billion by 2017 -- $6 billion from the general fund and $3.6 billion from funding for K-12 education.

Michigan's roads would see a $417 million deficit by 2017. This is true despite a state transportation plan that includes $8.7 billion in new construction and highway repair needs.

Prisons and health care are major causes of the budget gap in the general fund. Both categories of spending will grow at five times the rate of money coming into state coffers, the report estimates.

The report recommends several solutions, all worthy of consideration. Shifting some of the state's tax burdens to the growing service sector would allow Michigan's revenues to follow its economy. Michigan ranks low among states in the number of services taxed. Any service tax would have to be fair, unlike the capricious levy briefly enacted, then quickly revoked, last year. Another alternative is to create a graduated income tax here, as we have on the federal level, where rates rise with income.

However, toying with the state's tax structure and rates should come only after lawmakers have reined in insupportable spending. One simple solution: State employees and teachers must share more of their health costs. Another big opportunity for reform is in prison spending. Michigan incarcerates 47 percent more prisoners on average than the seven surrounding Great Lakes states, largely because of longer sentences. Lawmakers need to take a long-overdue look at sentencing and parole procedures, as well as alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders.

None of this is easy work, especially in a political year. But lawmakers who claim to care about the future of our state -- and that should be all of them -- won't neglect it.

Now this report is from a group with a strong establishment board of trustees, the Citizens Research Council. One of the names on there is Phil Power, whom I almost always disagree with. Power had his own editorial today in the Argus which he once owned.

From the Argus

The nonpartisan and highly respected Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) is predicting — once again — long-term, big-time state budget trouble. Even though the legislature thrashed and fought most of last year, barely avoiding a state shutdown before finally enacting a new tax package and balancing the budget ... it turns out that was only a temporary plug for the collapsing dam.

In fact, little last year has done anything to relieve the "chronic structural budget deficit." That means the cost increases of state programs will continue to outrun revenues.

Rapidly rising health-care costs and our prison system (estimated at 7.3 percent per year) will swamp state finances. The CRC experts estimate budget gaps starting next year which would balloon to a $6 billion hole in the General Fund by 2017 if nothing is done.

All of which makes it disgraceful that last year's report of the governor's Emergency Financial Advisory Panel was so roundly ignored. The panel, headed by former governors Jim Blanchard and Bill Milliken and consisting of some of Michigan's most distinguished leaders, came up with a remarkably tough-minded, far-reaching set of structural reforms designed to cut costs and assure adequate revenues to sustain necessary state programs.

Some examples:

Cutting corrections expenses, which now at $2.2 billion a year is more than the state spends on our colleges and universities.

Reducing fringe benefits for state employees, which now exceed by a mile those paid to workers in the private sector.

Working out better ways for school districts and local government units to collaborate by sharing services and cutting costs.

The devastating new CRC projections should come as no surprise to those familiar with the emergency panel's brief report, which ought to have been mailed to every family in the state.

Now any report with Single Business Tax creator Bill Millken and Jim "I raised taxes 38%" Blanchard has my guard up immediately. They recommended more tax increases, especially the "services tax" in their infamous report. It's what I expect from a couple of political hacks.

Regardless of any committee talk, it is no secret that there is going to be a major deficit. I would not be surprised if there are more taxes this year, especially in the "lame duck" session as a "parting gift" like Rick Johnson gave us in 2004 from some termed out legislators. I'm quite concerned about a gas tax increase, as well as the return of the services tax. Those two are being pushed hard by the elite.

While the presidential race will get most of the hype, we need to watch Lansing like a hawk.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A chance to make a difference and clean up our house

I'm a little burned out right now, so not much has been posted here. I did find something worth posting

Hat tip to Redstate for this. One of the biggest spenders and problems in Congress is in trouble - in the primary. Alaska's Don Young is in trouble.

CQ politics has more

Alaska Dems Are After Rep. Young’s Seat, but a Republican May Get There First
By Rachel Kapochunas, CQ Staff
Democrats have been salivating over the opportunity to unseat Republican Rep. Don Young as he seeks an 18th full-term as Alaska’s lone House representative, but Republicans may beat them to the punch.

Republican Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell stands a strong chance of defeating Young in the party’s Aug. 26 primary, according to recent polls and analysts, which would provide Democrats with a new opponent for the general election.

Young has drawn wide support over the years for his advocacy for his home state, but critics argue that his connections to a federal investigation into Alaska oil services company Veco Corp and its ties to political figures in the state have made him vulnerable for re-election this year. Opponents also note that the House has called for an investigation into an earmark for a Florida transportation project, which Young is accused of changing to possibly benefit a major supporter. Others believe Young’s well-known rough-hewn manner is diminishing his effectiveness in the House and reflecting badly on the state.

Parnell, a lawyer and former state lawmaker, entered the House race just two months ago, but is backed by popular Republican Gov. Sarah Palin . Recent polls show Parnell besting or nearly breaking even with Young.

“It’s time for a new messenger in Congress in Alaska,” Parnell told CQ Politics.

Parnell is no stranger to challenging old guard Republicans in the state. He appeared on Palin’s winning ticket when she ousted incumbent Republican Gov. Frank H. Murkowski two years ago.

Parnell said there are clear similarities between his current House campaign and the 2006 election, which Murkowski, a longtime politician, entered with low approval ratings.

Parnell is campaigning on issues such as resource development, job creation, the nation’s economy, establishing a natural gas pipeline and fixing high gas prices, in addition to what he calls “restoring trust issues,” all things on which Parnell believes he can be more effective than the congressman.

Here's Parnell's Web Site. Hopefully, Don Young and his bridges to nowhere are sent home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Updated List of Livingston County Candidates

From the Argus:

U.S. House of Representatives:

(R) Mike Rogers (I)

(D) Bob Alexander

U.S. Senate:

(D) Carl Levin (I)

(R) Jack Hoogendyk Jr.

For state Rep. Joe Hune’s seat (47th District):

(R) Charlie Aberasturi

(R) Cindy Denby

(R) Carl Konopaska

(R) Frank Portelli

(D) Scott F. Lucas

(U.S. Taxpayers) Philip Johnson

For state Rep. Chris Ward’s seat (66th District):

(R) Jason Corosanite

(R) Bill Rogers

(D) Tommy Crawford

(D) Donna Anderson

For county administration:

Prosecuting attorney:

(R) David Morse (I)


(R) Bob Bezotte (I)


(R) Margaret Dunleavy (I)


(R) Dianne Hardy (I)

Register of deeds:

(R) Sally Reynolds (I)

Drain commissioner:

(R) Brian Jonckheere (I)

For county Board of Commissioners:

(1st District)

(R) Maggie Jones (I)

(D) Pamela Green

(2nd District)

(R) Jim Mantey (I)

(R) Josiah Goyt

(3rd District)

(R) Dave Domas (I)

(D) Adrian Campbell Montgomery

(4th District)

(R) Ron Van Houten (I)

(R) Doug Helzerman

(5th District)

(R) Donald Parker (I)

(6th District)

(R) Steve Williams (I)

(7th District)

(R) Carol Griffith

(8th District)

(R) Dennis Dolan (I)

(9th District)

(R) Jack LaBelle (I)

53rd District Court


(Nonpartisan) Theresa Brennan (I)

(Nonpartisan) Lyle Dickson

(Nonpartisan) Jay Drick

Brighton Township:


(R) Tom Murphy

(R) Ken Wilkinson


(R) Ann Bollin (I)


(R) Geri Harmon (I)

(R) Lana L. Theis


(R) Cathy Doughty (I)

(R) Jim Kovitz

(R) Charles L. Moran III

(R) John C. Rogers

(R) Mike Slaton (I)

(R) Jason Welter

Cohoctah Township:


(R) Mark Fosdick (I)


(R) Brenda L. Meek

(D) Tammy S. Moen


(R) Tami Bock (I)


(R) Karen M. Thurner

(R) Bill Thurner

Conway Township:


(R) Bob Burke

(R) Michael B. Rife (I)


(R) Gary F. Benson

(R) Cindy Dickerson

(R) Alison D. Killen


(R) Kathy DeMarais (I)


(R) Lawrence Parsons (I)

(R) Lorianne Marie Swails

(R) Eric N. West (I)


(R) Dennis L. Bowdoin (I)

Deerfield Township:


(R) Thomas A. Green (I)


(R) Nancy Laier (I)


(R) Cheryl Petchell (I)


(R) Alfred G. Mattioli

(R) Doug Taylor (I)

Genoa Township:


(R) Gary T. McCririe (I)

(R) Tom Rafferty


(R) Paulette A. Skolarus (I)


(R) Robin L. Hunt (I)


(R) Jean W. Ledford (I)

(R) H. James Mortenson (I)

(R) Todd Smith (I)

(R) Steve W. Wildman (I)

(R) Dewey Thomas

Green Oak Township:


(R) Mark St. Charles (I)


(R) Michael H. Sedlak (I)

(D) Walt Ernst


(R) Susan Daugherty (I)


(R) Tracey Edry

(R) Richard Everett

(R) Rollin Green (I)

(R) George Kilpatrick (I)

(R) Michael Kruszewski

(R) Billy E. Lintner

(R) Wally Qualls (I)

(D) Anna Ernst

(D) Jo Ann Murphy

Hamburg Township:

(R) Don Burtraw

(R) Patrick Hohl

(R) Cindy Pine (I)


(R) Joanna G. Hardesty (I)

(R) Matt Skiba


(R) Patrick Evon

(R) Roberta Balon-Vaughn (I)


(R) Howard Dillman

(R) Michael H. Dolan

(R) Bill Hahn

(R) Chuck Menzies (I)

(R) Jasson Negri

(R) Philip Semprevivo

(R) Kevin B. Wiley

(R) Michael Zeglevski

Hamburg Township Library


(Nonpartisan) Stella Campbell

(Nonpartisan) Richelle Hocking

Handy Township:


(R) Henry M. Vaupel


(R) Laura A. Eisele (I)


(R) Linda M. Tesch (I)


(R) Erik C. Frazier

(R) Paul K. Moots

(R) Gordon R. Munsell

(R) Dave Roddy

(D) Robert L. Redinger (I)

Hartland Township:


(R) Bill Fountain (I)


(R) Ann Ulrich (I)

(R) Victor Law


(R) Kathie Horning (I)


(R) Joe Colaianne (I)

(R) Glenn Harper (I)

(R) Larry Hopkins (I)

(R) Joe Petrucci (I)

Howell Township:


(R) Maureen Heikkinen (I)


(R) Carolyn Eaton (I)

(R) Mira Spyres


(R) Lawrence Hammond (I)


(R) Anne Forrester Barker

(R) Mike Coddington (I)

(R) Aaren Currie

(R) Bill Graham

(R) Carolyn J. Henry

(R) John Hubbel (I)

(R) James Phelan (I)

(R) Debbie Platt

(R) Michael Rusk

Iosco Township:


(R) William Miller (I)


(R) Dan Delmerico (I)

(R) Amanda DeGroot Opolka


(R) Connie Michaud (I)

Trustee:(R) Roy DeGroot (I)

(R) Joseph Parker (I)

Marion Township:


(R) Robert Hanvey (I)


(R) Tammy Beal (I)


(R) Paula Wyckoff (I)


(R) Les Andersen (I)

(R) David J. Hamann (I)

(R) Travis Hodge (I)

(R) Scott Lloyd

(R) Dan Lowe (I)

Oceola Township:


(R) Bill Bamber (I)


(R) Kathleen McLean (I)


(R) Evelyn Cornell (I)


(R) Sean Dunleavy (I)

(R) Robert Henshaw (I)

(R) Kieth Huff (I)

(R) Lance Schuhmacher (I)

Putnam Township:


(R) Ron Rau (I)


(R) Sally Guyon (I)


(R) Pat Carney

(R) Carrie Humble

(R) Pamela Kekes


(R) Jerry Balk

(R) Keith Chambers

(R) G. RIchard McCloskey (I)

(R) Norm Klein (I)

(D) Kevin Dobis (I)

(D) Frank Gazdecki

Tyrone Township:


(R) Andrew Schmidt (I)


(R) Keith Kremer

(R) Horace “Hod” Morton (I)


(R) Robert Fahndrich

(R) David Kurtz (I)


(R) Suzanne Anderson

(R) Robert Byerly (I)

(R) Brian Miles (I)

(R) Steve Hasbrouck

(R) Steven Nagy (I)

(R) Lynn Thompson (I)

Unadilla Township:


(R) James Peterson (I)

(R) Linda Carol Walker


(R) Linda Topping (I)


(R) Bonnie Mahler (I)


(R) Paul Brown

(R) Marie Duke

(R) Warren Krueger (I)

(D) Lori Cowan (I)

(R) Julie Weiland

(D) Kelly Schmidt

Saturday, May 17, 2008

House GOP Goes Low-Profile on Social Issues

CQ Politics had an interesting story on the 08 GOP regarding the social issues.

Something big is missing from House Republicans’ 2008 campaign agenda for American families — and that is no accident.

There’s not a single mention in the 47-point program of such red-meat GOP issues as banning abortion, outlawing same-sex marriage, allowing prayer in the public schools, banning flag burning and protecting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Instead, the plan focuses on such GOP-introduced ideas as allowing private sector workers to take compensatory time instead of premium pay for overtime worked (HR 6025) or permitting full tax deductibility for most medical expenses (HR 636)....

The social issues are hit and miss. Outside of the abortion issues (as abortion involves a distinct human being), the GOP does best when the GOP pushes against government regulations involving them - banning the pledge, schools banning prayer, gun bans, etc. They lose support when they (and democrats) ban gambling, push for constitutional amendments to ban things, etc. I'd mention the video game censorship push, but that's more with the democrats than with the republicans. The War on Drugs is both parties. The gay issues cycle. When it's pushed on people, there's resentment and a backlash. When the initial push is against gays without them pushing, the backlash goes the other way.

The problem with the GOP lately hasn't been social issues. It has been their strong LEFTIST tilt on government expansion on economic issues and defecit spending. It killed us in 06, and the house leadership brought the same people back.

More later on here:
Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, head of the House Republicans’ 70-member Values Action Team, said he wasn’t concerned by the omission of social issues from the House GOP platform. “I have no assurance from the leaders about this. But I know the leaders and I know that when we come out with the whole big picture, these are all things we will stand for,’’ Pitts said.

“The worst thing you can do in an election year is deflate your base,” he warned. “They won’t vote against you, they’ll just stay home’’ if they feel abandoned by the party

Pitts is right, and it was the base that was neglected. It was neglected in 04 to a degree, and especially in 06. Social issues voters are PART of the base. Ecomonic conservatives and small l libertarians are another. The democrats won three straight special elections, and at least two of them were self-proclaimed social conservatives, at least on life and gun issues. One other problem is that a lot of these social issues voters expect their politicians to live the way they vote. Don Sherwood, the posterboy of everything bad in 06 lost in a district normally as republican as Livingston County. Why? He had an affair, and choked the other woman. Real stand up guy. I can just imagine the doors being slammed in his face by his base which has little tolerance for that stuff.

Pitts said conservative voters are rallying around McCain in part because he has indicated that as president he would appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of President Bush’s conservative picks, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Conservatives feel that with one or two more like-minded justices, the high court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide and issue other decisions they would support.

This needs to be emphasised. The uniting issue here is judges. Business orgnaizations don't like personal injury and negligence tort lawyers like John Edwards increasing their costs. The social conservatives want Roe v Wade overturned, and many states right supporters do as well bringing that issue home. 2nd Amendment advocates are watching DC v Heller. This is my top issue right here, and why I am voting for McCain, flip-flopping from where I was when I started this blog. It's the Supreme Court.

But the real problems wern't mentioned here. The real problem is the lack of plan from the house leadership, the senate leadership, and Bush. They haven't communicated a plan if they had one, and I haven't seen it. If I was Boehner and Blunt, I would resigned from leadership after 06. That aside, I would have said this. "We screwed up. We became like the democrats. You all taught us a lesson. We're going back to our roots. Here's our plan for the next two years. We're going to lead and have an alternative to Pelosi's socialistic agenda." What we got instead was yesmanitis, a fatal disease which is common in the beltway.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gas Prices since Democrat takeover of congress

January 07 - About $2.40
Today - $3.95

Thanks guys.

Peter Principle defined - GOP leadership in Washington

We lost three GOP leaning special elections. Two down south, and one in Illinois. I know the South is known for ticket splitting, particulary in Louisiana. One loss tells me it is the candidate. Two losses get my guard up. Three losses means we have a big problem.

I knew we were in big trouble after the same people that brought us 2006 were re-elected. John Boehner hasn't shown me anything as leader. He isn't all to blame, but shares much of it. John who? How many that read this know anything about him? He's from Ohio too, so all of us midwesterners should know who he is. Worse is Blunt. He's one of the big spenders and was re-elected. What has been the changes since then from congress? I mean real change, not the crap without any plan that comes out of Barack Obama's mouth.

I called this back in November of 2006. The generic brand is now so bad that it is affecting all of the candidates and bringing them down. It was a long time coming to get that bad. Newt Gingrich was the leader and the intellectual. Dick Armey (leader of Freedomworks) had the correct stances and policy. Tom DeLay understood Washington. Unfortunately, Newt's void wasn't replaced, Armey's stances were abandoned, and DeLay understood Washington a little too well. One thing those three are though is effective.

In response to the 2006 major league ass kicking, our party goes insane. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What SHOULD have happened was for the old leadership to step aside and for new leadership - with direction - to take over. I don't think Mike Pence and John Shadegg would have let things like this happen in 2008. It's not K-Street that wins, it's Main street.

In the next six months, the GOP needs to get its ass in gear and needs to develop a solid plan of less spending, less government, and more freedom, as well as solutions to these high gas prices, weak dollar, and this economy. It's the economy stupid, as Carville said. Stop being followers and start leading. Nobody respects a follower, outside of the beltway. A balanced budget would be a good start too.

It's time to kick Bush's "Big government conservatism" to the curb for good. K-Street's backing the democrats anyway, so make them pay in spades for it, and start following something worth following, like a 1994 less government alternative to the Bush/Pelosi plans.

County Democrat Chair knocked out (and other townships news)


5/14/08 - It appears as though the two challengers running for the Supervisor post in Green Oak Township have been disqualified from the August 5th primary. Attorney Matt Evans, who serves as chair of the local Democratic Party, and Planning Commissioner John Mogelnicki, a Republican, filed yesterday to run against GOP Supervisor Mark St. Charles. Clerk Michael Sedlak, who serves on the township board with St. Charles, tells WHMI that after reviewing the nominating signatures on each petition, both failed to meet the 20 signature minimum. According to Livingston County Elections Supervisor Joan Runyan, it is up to each municipal clerk to validate petition signatures. Mogelnicki had two signatures disqualified and Evans had five. Both had duplicate signatures on their petitions and under Michigan Election Law, a citizen cannot sign multiple petitions for the same office unless there are multiple vacancies for that office. Mogelnicki had no comment earlier this afternoon and told WHMI he was unaware of any disqualification. Evans says they have yet to review the petitions or receive any official notification. Both Evans and Mogelnicki now have the option to file as write-in candidates. No signatures are required but they must file by July 25th. (JM)

Ouch! This shocked me. It's also embarassing for the democrats. Green Oak leans republican, but it does have some democrat areas in it. It also has some strong organization. I am surprised that Matt Evans couldn't get 20 valid signatures. What this tells me is that the democrats found out at the last minute that they didn't have enough candidates to fill their spots, and usually when that happens, the chair runs himself. Matt got his signatures in. I have to wonder if Matt thought Mogelnicki was a democrat and ran after he filed as a "republican". Matt ran a good campaign in 06, well enough to give Jack LaBelle a scare in the commissioner race. That's what makes this that surprising. I heard Mogelnicki thought this worked like the state races where $100 fee is an alternative to collecting signatures.

I talked to Allan Fillip yesterday. Republicans had someone running for every position. No democrat will win by default. We had that happen last time. Unacceptable everywhere, and especially here.

Township preview:
Green Oak - Mark St Charles is currently unopposed as super for now. Matt Evans can still run as a write in. So can Mogelnicki. For Clerk, Michael Sedlak will be facing former Democrat party treasurer Walt Ernst in the general. The treasurer, Susan Daughtery, is unopposed. Five Republicans and two democrats are running for the trustee positions. I'm not positive, but I think there may be four openings.

Brighton Township - Brighton Township is very contested in the primary. No democrats have filed. Controversial Bud "tree ordinance" Prine is not running. Ken Wilkinson is trying again for supervisor and is challenged by current trustee Tom Murphy. Murphy would have my vote in a minute, and not as a vote against the other person either. Lana Theis is challenging Geri Harmon for the treasury position there. Lana would have my vote. The Republican party is in dire need for fiscal conservatives right now. Lana is a strong supporter of property rights and led the referendum against the very restrictive tree ordanince. I wish the care for Brighton site was still up from a few years back. Among the trustees, Mike Slaton and Cathy Doughty are running again. I'd vote for Slaton. Challengers are Chuck Moran, Jim Kovitz, Jason Welter, and John Rogers. John's an ex township supervisor, and also Mike and Bill's dad. I'm not sure if there are three or four trustee openings. Chuck and John are good people. I do not know Kovitz or Welter.

Cohoctah - There were a couple of last minute filings out there so the openings are full. The only contest there is in the general for clerk. Brenda Meek (R) v Tammy Moen (D).

Conway - Very active primary there. For Super, Bob Burke is taking on incumbent Michael Rife. Three people are running for clerk. Gary Benson, Cindy Dickerson, and Allison Killen. Three people are running for trustee. I'm not sure how many openings are there.

Deerfield - uncontested, I believe.

Genoa - Only contest is Gary McCririe facing Tom Rafferty in the primary.

Handy - There's a contest for the trustee race, unlike last time when Democrat Robert Rettinger won uncontested. Five are running (including Rettinger) for I believe two spots.

Hartland - Victor Law is facing incumbent Ann Ulrich in a rematch of 06.

Howell Township - Mira Spyres is challenging Carolyn Eaton in the primary.

Iosco Township - Amanda DeGroot Opolka is challenging Dan Delmerico in the primary.

Marion Township - Five trustees are running for four positions in the primary.

Osceola Township - Uncontested

Putnum Township - Three are running for treasurer. Pat Carney, Carrie Humble, and Pamela Kekes. For trustee, two republicans and two democrats are running. Jerry Balk is a strong independent and supporter of fiscal responsibility. I'd vote for him.

Tyrone Township - There's a contest for clerk and treasurer. For clerk, Keith Kremer is facing incumbent Hod Morton. Robert Fahndrich is challenging incumbent David Kurtz for treasurer. Six are running for four trustee positions.

Unadilla - The most competitive partisan township in the county has only one partisan battle. For trustee, three republicans and two democrats are running for I believe two positions. There is a primary battle between Linda Walker and incumbent James Peterson for supervisor.

Lastly, Hamburg - I'm real surprised the democrats are not gunning for Hamburg, since with the infighting going on there between two personality factions, they probably had a decent shot to win. I think we dodged a bullet there. I'll leave the details out of the infighting and what I know about. I don't live in Hamburg. For supervisor, Incumbent Cindy Pine is facing trustee Pat Hohl and Don Burtraw. For Clerk, Matt Skiba is facing incumbent Joanna Hardesty. For Treasurer, Pat Evon is facing Roberta Balon-Vaughn. For Trustee, eight people are running, including former supervisor Howard Dillman.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2008 Livingston County Preview

We now have our two-party candidates in for election this year. There are some interesting races of note that affect Livingston County.

US Senate: - Jack Hoogendyk will be the GOP nominee. He's taking on the absolutely worthless Carl Levin. He's been in there 30 years, and has been a common factor in all of Michigan's economic woes. Go Jack!

US House, District 8 - Mike Rogers has a rematch with Bob Alexander. It wasn't even close last time.

State House
District 47 - Joe Hune is termed out. Seven candidates are running for this spots. Four Republicans, two Democrats, and one Constitution (US Taxpayers in Michigan) party member. The Republicans are Cindy Denby, Charlie Aberasturi (Hartland School board member), Carl Konopaska, and Frank Portelli. Cindy is the Handy Township Supervisor. She was also Joe's chief of staff. I know Cindy, and have heard the names Aberasturi and Portelli before, but I don't know them. The two democrats are Joe Lazo Sr, and Scott Lucas. I don't know anything about them offhand. The Constitution Party member is Phillip Johnson. He won't be on the August ballot, only the general. Cindy Denby is probably the favorite to win, but it's a four candidate primary. Anything can happen.

District 66 - Two Republicans and Two Democrats have filed. Bill Rogers and Jason Corosanite have filed. Both of them are from Genoa Township. Bill's currently a county comissioner and owns a business. Jason is a chiropractor and owns a business. The democrats are running Donna Anderson and Tom Crawford. Anderson ran against Valde Garcia in 2006, and Tom Crawford is a Milford resident.

I am surprised to a degree that mulitple democrats are running for the state rep seats. I think it is a tactical error on their part, but I'm not complaining.

County Seats:
Prosecutor, Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer, Register of Deeds, and Drain Commissioner are all unopposed. For all intents and purposes they just won re-election. Most county commission seats are also unopposed. That surprises me, as there are two or three that can be competitive in a good year. The ones that are not unopposed are:
County Commission:
District 1 - Incumbent Maggie Jones (R) is challenged by Pam Green (D), who is on the democrat's exec committee. The district is almost all of Brighton Township and a small part of Hartland Township. It is one of the strongest GOP district in the county.

District 2 - Incumbent Jim Mantley (R) is challenged in the primary by Josiah Goyt (R). This is for Mike Randall's old seat. Both are Republicans and the August primary will decide the winner. Mantley is the incumbent due to being appointed by the county board. No democrats have filed here.

District 3 - Incumbent Dave Domas (R) is challenged by Adrian Campbell Montgomery (D). The Argus has a story about this race. Montgomery is most known for being in one of the idiot Michael Moore's movies. This one being sicko. That would cost my vote right off the bat after his hatchet job "Bowling for Columbine". Go Dave! The district is generally solid republican with almost all of Hartland, although Tyrone Township is sometimes erratic.

District 4 - Incumbent Ronald Van Houten (R) is challenged by Doug Helzerman (R). This race will also be decided in the primaries.

I am a bit surprised that the dems are challenging the strongest partisan districts and not the weaker partisan districts, especially the Green Oak, Hamburg, and Putnam Township based seats.

Township level I'll go into later. There's a lot of primary activity going on there.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why is this controversial?

The Grand Rapids Press had a story about concealed pistols in national parks.

Most of the old rules on guns in national parks and federal lands are due to fears of poaching. Concealed pistol holders aren't poachers. Many are not even hunters. Poaching is already illegal, should be illegal, and if I ever see a poacher, I'm turning him in as they give hunters a bad name.

However, if there is anyplace in Michigan I would want my pistol, it is in these areas in the middle of nowhere. I'd rather be carrying on Isle Royale than I would on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. I consider myself a fairly tough guy, but I am no match for a bear, a deer in rutting season, a moose, a cougar that supposedly isn't in Michigan or a pack of wolves. I'd rather not go up against coyotes or raccoons and their rabies either. Now, trouble with those critters is rare, mostly because they do not have much contact with humans. That's a good thing as they associate humans with trouble....and not food. However, many critters are losing their fear of humans associating them with food. Many a campsite has been invaded by a hungry black bear wanting to ransack thier garbage, coolers, and food they sense with their noses. Many others do not respect nature and feed them. This leads to familiarity, less fear of people, and more possible trouble down the road. Encounters happen, and preparation is a good thing.

A few years back, I saw two bears when I was deer hunting. I'm glad I was armed. They were a good distance away, about 250 yards or so away. They weren't a major threat, but it was good to be aware of them. I did not have any plans to shoot them, and did not do so. It wasn't bear season, and I was not in imminent danger of being harmed by them. These wern't camp ransackers and had a healthy fear of people. No one was hurt. No property destroyed. No bears were hurt.

Concealed carry does not lead to poaching. It hasn't here in the state, and it won't elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Election Aftermath and Newt's warning of 08 disaster

In Brighton Schools, Krause and Leach won despite low turnout. Usually the union candidates win low turnout and that didn't happen yesterday. Hillary Clinton narrowly won Indiana and was trounced in North Carolina. The fight continues.

Newt Gingrich rips the DC GOP leadership, and rightly so with the special election losses and the trend since 06. From Human Events:

House Republicans Should Call an Emergency, Members-Only Conference
Faced with these election results, the House Republicans should hold an emergency members-only meeting. At the meeting, they should pose this stark choice: Real change or certain defeat.

If a majority of the House Republicans vote for real change, they should instruct Republican Leader John Boehner and his team to come back with a new plan by the Wednesday before the Memorial Day recess. This plan should involve real change in legislative, communications, and campaign strategy and involve immediate, real action, including a complete overhaul of the Congressional Campaign Committee. The House Republican Conference would then vote for the plan or insist on its revision.

If a majority of the House Republicans are opposed to acting then the minority who are activists should establish a parallel organization dedicated to real change. This group should focus its energies on creating the changes necessary to survive despite a conference with a minority mindset that accepts defeat rather than fights for real change (which is what we had when I entered Congress in 1978).

Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand
Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if they had the will to do so.

Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by cutting domestic discretionary spending so that the transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a time when, according to The Hill newspaper, Senator Clinton is asking for $2.3billion in earmarks, it should be possible for Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could rally behind.

Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the deficit.

Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill which is coming to the floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security, pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

Establish an earmark moratorium for one year and pledge to uphold the presidential veto of bills with earmarks through the end of 2009. The American people are fed up with politicians spending their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad. This is a real opportunity to show the difference.

Overhaul the census and cut its budget radically. The recent announcement that the Census Bureau could not build an effective hand-held computer for $1.3 billion and is turning instead to 600,000 temporary workers to do a paper and pencil census in 2010 is an opportunity to slash its budget, shrink its bureaucracy, and turn to entrepreneurial internet-based companies to build an information-age census. This is an absurdity that cries out for bold, decisive reform (see my YouTube video "FedEx versus federal bureaucracy" for an example of what I mean).

Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system. The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster.

Declare English the official language of government. This real change is supported by 87% of the American people including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Latinos. It is an issue of national unity that brings Americans together in a red, white, and blue majority.

Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot. The vast majority (around 81%) of Americans believe that American workers have a right to have a secret ballot election before they are forced to join a union. Last year the House Democrats passed a bill that would strip American workers of the secret ballot. A new bill should be introduced reaffirming that right, and it should be brought up again and again until marginal Democrats are forced to vote with the American people against the union power structure.

Remind Americans that judges matter. Senate Republicans should mount an ongoing fight (including a filibuster of other activities if necessary) to get the American people to realize that liberals want to block all current judicial appointments in order to maximize the number of left wing radical judges they can appoint if they win the White House. This issue has three advantages. It reminds people that judges matter and that a leftwing radical Supreme Court would be bad for the values of most (70 to 90 percent, depending on the issue) Americans. It shows the Democrats are not engaged in fair play. It arouses the activism of those who have been disappointed by Republicans and have forgotten how bad a liberal Democratic Presidency would be.
What Is at Stake
No Republicans should kid themselves. It's time to face up to a stark choice.

Without change we could face a catastrophic election this fall.

Without change the Republican Party in the House could revert to the permanent minority status it had from 1930 to 1994.

Without change, the majorities of Americans who support the Republican principle of smaller, more efficient, smarter and fairer government will be in for a rude awakening.

It's time for real change to avoid a real disaster.

Newt's right, and I've been saying this since 06 on leadership. They should have apppointed a leader to lead the GOP house. John Shadegg and Mike Pence would have been much better choices.

Bush is no leader. That's not an attack, but a fact. He goes in his direction and damn the torpedos. That's not leadership. It's better than being a follower, but it doesn't always work, and rarely works if you can not communicate an effective plan - and the latter is Bush's biggest weakness. Right or wrong, he gets the blame for all the problems out there. He can be a part of the solution in the next six months with a veto pen, or he can be a problem. I think he wants to retire, and that can be a problem here.

I thought putting Boehner and Blunt back in charge was a big mistake in 06 since he was establishment. I told you so. The big government establishment was not working, is not working, and will not be working. Screw K Street. Screw the establishment money being everything. Screw Washington DC values and strategy. It's drying up anyway, because nobody wants to fall off the cliff. So what do you do when the truck is driving off the cliff. You don't panic. You don't keep driving in that direction giving up. You turn the damn thing around and go into a different direction. That's not happening right now. I told you so in 06 that without a change, we lose big again and replace big government with gigantic government statism. Beltwayitis is a fatal disease in politics. The GOP has split control - 1 out of three branches. They are acting like they have no control, and too many in the general public think they have control because of Bush. That's a horrific combination. Perception is reality, and they need to start leading and acting like they are in the majority, since center-right limited government conservative values are the view of the majority of the population. They got 6 months to impliment a good plan..But..but but...the committees won't bring it up for a vote. Then Bush needs to veto everything or the senate needs to fillibuster until it does. He needs to admit some bad decisions were made, and come through with this plan, as do the house minority, as do the biggest jokers of all which is the senate.

McCain gets on my nerves at times, but he's carved himself a niche as an independent thinker. That may just save the White House in 08. It won't do a damn thing downticket. I've never believed in coattails unless there is a 15 point win. Reagan had them. Bush I didn't. Clinton didn't. Bush II didn't in 2000. Bush II sort-of-did in the senate with a geography advantage since Daschle went national and forgot where he came from. Wins in Missouri, South Dakota, and the two Carolinas aren't really coattails in that sense.

Go back to the 1994 strategy. It worked for a reason. The economy was shaky. Clinton lost his signature policy. The country was in the wrong direction. Government was getting bigger. Scandal after scandal was going on. Sound familiar?

If the GOP put me in charge of strategy and message, I'll cut our senate losses at least in half (I have us down 6 there), and the house would be close to even or even a couple of gains. I'd even do this at a discount compared to what the DC consultants charge. Even better, Tom Cole needs to have Newt Gingrich run the NRCC.

Now back to my real work.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Today is Election Day - Krause and Leach for Brighton School Board

This is the 1000th post on this site. I didn't there would be that many here to be honest when it was launched in mid-05, nor after the slowdown on this site started when I decided to become a legal beagle.

Today is Election Day. The Indiana and North Carolina primaries are getting all the hype (hopefully Obama has two very narrow wins with Hillary winning the ones after this so they keep beating each other up). That is not the only election.

Closer to home, we have several school board races. Only one in Livingston County though is contested, and that is my alma matter. Brighton. Cheryl Leach and Jonathan Krause have been endorsed by the Concerned Taxpayers Group's PAC and will bring some needed fiscal restraint to the board which is currently spending the district into debt. Good luck to Leach and Krause. There are three candidates running for two positions. At least one candidate friendly to taxpayers is going to win.

Speaking of waste, May elections are a waste of money, and that goes double when the election is uncontested. This Argus reports shows that the uncontested election in Fowlerville is costing $7000. While Fowlerville is the subject of this report, it's not just a Fowlerville issue.
From the Argus
Fowlerville Community Schools will foot the $7,000 bill for today's uncontested school board elections.
On the ballot are two incumbent school trustees and five Fowlerville District Library board trustees up for term renewals, and there are no challengers for any of those seats.
While current Michigan law would allow the school district to host the election in November without incurring any costs, Superintendent Ed Alverson said paying for a May election cycle is worth it in the long run.
"Next year in May, we'll have our nonhomestead election where our 18 mills runs out," Alverson said. "When you have that cycle, that's 18 mills you shouldn't take for granted."
Alverson said having the millage voted on next May instead of waiting until November is a smart move, because the millage, if approved, equates to $2.4 million of the school system's annual budget. Michigan school districts are required to approve their annual budgets by June 30, and knowing whether or not the nonhomestead millage gets renewed will prepare the district if the millage doesn't pass.

Fowlerville is probably the least controversial school district in the county. There is almost never a contested election there. The only time the Concerned Taxpayers Group was active there was during the original countywide enhancement millage that started this organization. That's because the CTGPAC only gets involved in contested races.

However, there's another reason I'm sure he wants the elections in May. Smaller turnout. High turnout is always bad for millage elections. It's oftentimes bad for MEA candidates as well. In 10% turnout wins, it does not take a lot of votes to win. Sometimes turnout is so low, than I would have won a school race with the amount of votes I've received for precinct delegate...and I was uncontested for precinct delegate. That's bad.

$7000 is still $7000. It may be a drop in the bucket compared to $1 million, but it is never good to toss money out of the window. Fowlerville is better than most on fiscal management it and I'll generally give them a pass, but many other districts are fiscally irresponsible.

If you're in the Brighton district, don't forget to vote for Krause and Leach and bring fiscal responsibility back to the schools. No more debt.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

SAFR-PAC holding a Townhall meeting in Jackson with Congressman Tim Walberg

On May 9, SAFR-PAC, a pro-2nd Amendment organization is having a town hall meeting in Jackson featuring Congressman Tim Walberg. Walberg has been 100% for us on 2nd Amendment issues, and was endorsed in the 2006 primary campaign against anti-2a incumbent Joe Schwarz.


Jackson County Outdoor Club
3550 Hart Rd (off of US-127, South of I-94)
Jackson MI, 49201

May 9, 7:00 PM

Congressman Walberg will be discussing current and proposed legislation that will affect sportsmen and woman in Michigan, as wellas how the upcoming November election will have a major effect on theissue of firearm rights in Michigan. Please join SAFR-PAC in its study of how this election cycle will affect us all and how you can have a positive impact. Bring your questions and concerns about the most important election the 7th has seen in years.Please forward this email to any gun owner or hunter you know who maybe interested.