Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Election Day November 3rd

There are some elections on November 3rd this year. The big one is the State Senate, district 19. It's a swing district that covers all of Calhoun County and part of Jackson County. Mark Schauer held that district before going off to screw us in Congress.

The two candidates are Mike Nofs, who was a republican in the most democrat part of the district (Battle Creek and Albion) and Marty Griffin, the former mayor of Jackson who was then a state rep in a swing state rep district. This one can go either way.

Detroit has a mayor election that day.

In Livingston County, we have several elections as well. I'll have more on these closer to election day.
Brighton and Pinckney Schools have elections. So do South Lyon and Webberville, which have portions of their districts in Livingston County.
Howell and Brighton Cities have elections. I saw a couple of signs in Brighton.
Those in a Washtenaw ISD have elections as well. (Whitmore Lake, maybe Dexter) There is a 2 mill tax increase on the ballot.

The big election here though is in Hamburg Township. Matt Skiba's recall election will be on the ballot. That will be a strict yes or no vote with no other opponents. The moment of truth will be decided then.

For those who want to know what's on this November ballot, go to the link from the Secretary of State's site. It will show which communities have an election.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are you running or managing a campaign, PAC, or ballot committee? Hire the best.

Normally I prefer to talk about topics here instead of myself, but this is a shameless plug. If your committee needs a treasurer, let me know. Here's my business website. Republican Michigander Consulting LLC.

This is a personal blog not tied to the business, so I'll go into a little more detail and bluntness here which I did not post on the business website. There is an excellent FAQ there that can answer many questions.

Campaign finance compliance. It is where I started in politics as a 22 year old "kid" on a PAC and it is what I do best today at nearly 31 years of age. I am quite good at keeping committees out of trouble. I have not been fined for campaign finance violations, neither by the FEC, Secretary of State, or county clerk. Ever. That has been the case for nearly nine years and eight accounts/committees. I've not had an errors/omissions notice (similar to a "fix-it" ticket) since 2002. I get the job done right the first time. I've treasured skeleton crews to major operations of tens which rake in tens of thousands of dollars. The only committee type I have not treasured is a gubernatorial committee. One of my tri-annual reports for a PAC was 79 pages. I know what to do. I know what not to do.

Almost all candidates and campaign managers, even those who are very knowledgeable about this issue, absolutely despise the reports. It's tedious. It's time consuming if you are not experienced. There's a lot of laws and rules that the committee must know in order to be compliant. Candidates or managers often do the treasury job themselves, or often have some volunteer who is inexperienced do it. In some cases it works. It worked for me back in early 2001 because I was ambitious and always had an interest at the information available in campaign finance. I still wasn't perfect then and got error/omissions noticed and had to do extra work to fix it. I could probably do that work in one third of the time today that it took me back in 2001 without a "fix it." That's experience. Even then, there were no failure to file, late filings, or other disasters. Besides the fines, late filings and failure to files are oftentimes news. Edmund Senkowski's campaign finance problems were a big story in the Argus. The MEA's lawbreaking made the Argus. Others make the AP wires.

Several times in the past, I've written about campaign finance things on this blog.

In 2007, I turned the MEA in for not disclaiming who paid for their ad. The Argus picked up on this and ran with the story. I had to make sure my I's were dotted and T's were crossed when filing. It turned out the story was true, but the HEA (Howell) took the blame for it in public. I was hoping Lansing would get nailed. The follow through is posted here, and the third story was here.

For those who want to know who owes the big money there's the story on that from 2006. Mr. Senkowski still owes the fines from his campaign and is racking up more fines as we speak by ignoring it. It's up to over $6000 now.

This was my post in February of 2006. Why a Good treasurer is a must for a campaign. The same holds true nearly four years later.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Why a good treasurer is a must for a campaign
Dan Meisler and the Argus today set its sights on Edmund Senkowski, who was Joe Hune's opponent in 2004.

""Edmund Senkowski, the Democratic candidate who ran unsuccessfully against state Rep. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, in the 2004 election for state House, owes the state more than $4,000 in fines for not filing campaign finance disclosure reports.
The Michigan Department of State has sent Senkowski six notices of past-due fines totaling $4,075 for either filing documents past the deadlines, or not filing them at all.""

I briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but I didn't fire both barrels at Edmund Senkowski on this. I knew about this back in 2004, but decided to hold my fire since Senkowski had no chance to win with the campaign (or lack of) that he was running. I told Joe Hune and a few others I personally knew, but that's about it. Joe had a good record to run on and was going to coast to a 70-30 win, and as far as I knew, Senkowski wasn't being a jerk, so a negative attack wasn't going to help either Joe or myself.

The lesson from this story is that candidates (both republican and democrat) need to know what they are getting into when they are running. The other lesson is that they need to have their most competent and trustworthy individual be their treasurer. From what I could see from a distance, Senkowski had no clue whatsoever on filing matters, and neither did his treasurer, presumably a family member. If anyone here knows Senkowski, they should tell him to call the Sec of State and get this taken care of ASAP. Sometimes they will drop or reduce fines, but ignoring them isn't going to help matters. Mistakes happen and can be corrected with amended reports, but "failure to file" is the worst possible choice to make.

For future candidates, one thing that helps is the waiver box for extremely low budget campaigns (under $1000). Those who check that box and raise less than $1000 do not have to file reports. Those who check the box and raise over $1000 need to file them.

One thing I can say is that I've never been fined on anything I have treasured, and I've done treasury and filing work off and on for five years. Everything's been turned in on time, and anything with mistakes has been corrected with a pain in the neck Amended report. I hate amendment reports and haven't had to do one since I was a rookie. I don't play games with this stuff. They've seen it all, and even Geoff Fieger got caught.

Part of knowing what to find and not find regarding campaign finance is not just related to filling out the reports and knowing the disclaimers are posted. Two committees were tied up with raffles. That's illegal in Michigan. The Livingston Democrats planned a 50/50 back in 2008. In 2006, Citizens for Wildlife Conservation got nailed rightly so (unfortunately) for a raffle.

My last campaign finance related post was commenting on a weasel of a bill that allowed violators to wait a year before paying their fines. That needs to go nowhere.

In campaigns there are two things. There are things you can control, and things you can't control. Campaign finance situations are things that can be controlled. The most important thing a candidate can do is to have a good treasurer.

Michigan has full disclosure. That's something that is very important to know. There are a few people whose money I will stay away from if I am running for political office. I will have a lot of explaining to do if I report donations from people like Mark Foley (obvious reasons), Josh Sugarmann (for anti-2nd Amendment views), or illegal sources. (Corporations, foreigners). Good treasurers can screen this, and that goes double on the illegal sources.

If you run or manage a campaign, know what you are getting into and be prepared. All it takes is one major controllable error to destroy the entire campaign. A good treasurer will make sure it is not on the campaign finance side of the campaign. In nine years, that has not happened with me, and I have every intention of keeping that streak alive to twenty-five or more years.

If you are interested in running for office, managing a campaign, forming a PAC, or forming a ballot question committee, contact me through my business website if you are interested in a good experienced treasurer. I have a no fine guarantee with my work.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mackinac 2009 and updates

It was interesting up at Mackinac this year.

Unfortunately, I didn't catch the speaking dinners because of price constraints. Contrary to the myth, Republicans aren't all rich. I didn't care about Charlie Crist or Romney, but I did want to hear Tim Pawlenty speak. The best panels there were pundits and pollsters, which is there every conference, and the series on "Fixing Michigan." While I didn't agree with everything, there was a lot of good information there, and it wasn't a bunch of Richard Florida "cool cities" tripe either that I was afraid of hearing.

State party has a recording of the panels and speeches. Best of all is that they did not get me on camera. The two best panelists I heard were Tim Leuiette and Richard McLellan. This was the first time I heard Leuiette speak at a panel and he was one of the favorites who stuck out. Some wanted him to run for governor after the panel. He's the President of Dura Automobile systems. McLellan is a prominent attorney in the Lansing area and also was the head of John Engler's transition team. I've heard McLellan speak on a few occasions and he's one of maybe five or six people that I put in the category of "When he speaks, I shut up and listen." He knows his stuff, and backs up his points very well. He also had the best lines about there being too many laws.

The Straw Poll is one of the bigger topics. Rick Snyder was the Straw Poll winner. How did he win? He brought a lot of people up to the conference, got them registered, and made sure they voted. It was a good show of organization. Whether it continues remains to be seen. Mike Cox finished 2nd and had a lot of support as well.

Speaking for the pollsters and pundits panel, Steve Mitchell released a poll there which was reported in the Detroit News. It's still way early, but Cox is leading in the poll.

In other news, Bill Ford is backing Snyder. I wonder if Matt Millen will be next? Hoekstra was endorsed by former Speaker Craig DeRoche and RNC Committeewoman Holly Hughes. Hughes endorsement was not surprising since Hoekstra is her congressman. DeRoche endorsement is interesting because he's an east-sider and Hoekstra is a west sider. I think the East vs West Michigan divide is a little overblown myself, but it does happen.

Go to the state party links and take a look at the panels. They were a lot better than your run of the mill politicalspeak.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Plaxico Burress - Two years in prison. You have to be kidding me.

Two years in prison. That's what former Spartan and Giants Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress got for the infamous incident where he shot himself in the leg at the bar. He plea bargained to that after facing 31/2 to 4 years if he was convicted in New York City on firearms charges. From the AP

NEW YORK (AP)—Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress(notes) was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub and later reaching a plea deal on weapons charges.

The former New York Giants star tearfully told his family goodbye as he surrendered to begin his prison stint for attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

Burress was indicted on two counts of weapon possession and one count of reckless endangerment and pleaded guilty Aug. 20. He had faced a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years on those charges if convicted at trial. He pleaded to the lesser charge and agreed to the two-year term.

With time off for good behavior, Burress likely will serve 20 months. He will be monitored an additional two years after he is freed from prison, which could come as early as the spring of 2011.

Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress(notes) carries his son, Elijah, as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court for his sentencing ,Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, in New York. Burress was sentenced to two years in prison for possessing a gun at a night club.

The Giants released Burress in April, but the 32-year-old told ESPN he hopes to resume his NFL career when he completes his sentence.

Before the hearing began, Burress played with his preschool-age son, Elijah. Then he hugged and kissed his wife, child, father, grandmother and stepmother.

Burress was so soft-spoken during his apologetic courtroom address that onlookers could not understand him.

Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafton said, “This is a very real tragic case in many, many ways.” He called Burress “a fundamentally decent man.”

Did Burress shoot someone else? No.
Did Burress point the firearm at somebody? No.
Did Burress brandish the firearm in a threatening manner? Not that I'm aware of. He wasn't charged with that.

If Burress did those things, I could support prison time. In addition, as far as I know, he didn't in trouble at Michigan State during his time there, or in big trouble outside of back taxes while in the NFL. Is this guy such a threat to society that he needs to spend two years in prison? I don't think he is. I wouldn't go with him to the firing range, but it's not like he's Rae Carruth. Burress is less of a threat than violent offenders like the jerk in Marion Township who pointed his rifle at a girl and then shot her dog. Those people belong in prison. Thiefs and robbers belong in prison. Guys who beat up women belong in prison after receiving a beating of their own from family. Those are the people who are threats to society, not Burress.

I think it is gun grabber Michael Bloomberg and his DA team wanting to make an example out of a famous athlete from Virginia so he can campaign to the white yuppies on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for his re-election campaign.

Burress made three errors, and none of them should be a prison sentence. He violated NYC's gun laws for possession which any judge with a brain should find unconstitutional following the Heller precedent. He carried concealed in an area he's not allowed to do so. He was likely drinking around guns considering he was at a nightclub.

He was already punished severely for the third provision. He shot himself. I don't know from experience, but I'm sure that hurts. He took a ton of bad press for that.
For the others, he was ignorant of NYC's gun laws, or at least the severity of them.

The best thing for Burress would be to get probation, community service, and some gun safety classes. Prison should be reserved for real threats to society.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recent 2012 Straw Poll (Family Research Council)

I found this interesting out of Politco

Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy victory in a presidential straw poll taken among attendees at a social conservative conference, beating a group of four other Republican contenders by an over two-to-one margin.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a 2008 presidential candidate, won with just over 28 percent of the 597 votes cast by attendees at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up, narrowly edging out Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. and Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and House Minority Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.). The four all received about 12% of the vote.

There was a fairly large political conference with the Family Research Council which is a social conservative organization. I didn't hear much about it, but they said it drew 1800 registrants. Their event was called the Values Voter Summit in DC. I ally with them heavily on abortion and the courts, but I do clash with them heavily on censorship/FCC issues with my less government views.

I went to their website and found the official straw poll results. They were interesting to say the least.

1. Mike Huckabee 170 28.48%
2. Mitt Romney 74 12.40%
3. Tim Pawlenty 73 12.23%
4. Sarah Palin 72 12.06%
5. Mike Pence 71 11.89%
6. Newt Gingrich 40 6.70%
7. Bobby Jindal 28 4.69%
8. Rick Santorum 15 2.51%
9. Ron Paul 13 2.18%
10. Undecided 31 5.19%
11. Other 10 1.68%

While nobody got a majority, Huckabee ran away with it with twice the votes of the nearest competitor. That's not a surprise. He was the favorite in 08 among a large number of social conservatives who voted mostly on those lines. The gripes on him were on economic issues.

It's not surprising to see Gingrich, Jindal, Santorum, and Paul back in the pack. Newt and Jindal's bread and butter are on fiscal issues. Santorum lost bad in 2006. Ron Paul is a libertarian.

What's interesting is numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5.

2. Mitt Romney 74 12.40%
3. Tim Pawlenty 73 12.23%
4. Sarah Palin 72 12.06%
5. Mike Pence 71 11.89%

I thought Palin would have challenged Huckabee. I wonder if her gubernatorial resignation hurt her. I did not support that decision at all if she's running for president. I'd have no problem if she decided not to run in 2010, but if you are planning a 2012 run, finish your term that ends two years earlier. Palin has her die-hard supporters who defend everything she does and her fanatical obsessed detractors that need to check into a mental hospital, but finishing behind Mitt and Pawlenty showed something.

Mitt likes to flood people in to events to win these straw polls, so he usually does well at them. A second place finish at one of these events helps him, but he already had high name recognition and with his organization, should have been able to close the deal back in 08. The nomination was his for the taking, and frankly for whatever reason. He blew it. He lost to McCain in a republican primary (so did Huckabee). That says something, and it's not positive. It wasn't just "democrat crossovers" like many on the right complain about either.

The big winners here were two Midwesterners. Tim Pawlenty and Mike Pence. I'm glad to see these two do well. I'm strongly looking at new blood for 2012. Nobody from 08. No retreads. Pawlenty is Minnesota's governor. I like seeing that name moving up if for no other reason than this. Governors become presidents. Senators rarely do. The last sitting senator to win before Obama was Kennedy (Nixon/LBJ were senators at one time, but also VP's), and Obama beat another senator. Pawlenty has a good shot to make a move on the 08 retreads.

Mike Pence I've talked about about on this blog before. It was good to see Pence do well here as he's more known for the economic issues than social issues. Whoever is the nominee in 08 will have to unite enough of the budget hawks, anti-tax and spenders, social conservatives, libertarians, anti-federalists (often what is called federalism today is really anti-federalism), second amendment supporters, national security conservatives, law and order types, and the rest of the base, and the independents who support some, but oppose other of the base issues.

My comment when Mark Sanford wrecked his career was this. "Damn. Maybe Mike Pence will run." If Pence runs, he'll have my support. Pence fought the bailouts that killed us. When Bush and the congressional leadership destroyed the GOP credibility on economic issues that is taking so long to gain back (more due to democrats than anything else - and it's still not what it was in the mid 90's), it was Pence fighting in the trenches. In 2006, Mike Pence and the Republican Study Committee proposed get this....a balanced budget. What happened to that? It got voted down by both parties, but the GOP was in control then. How many Republicans were tossed in 06 and 08? A lot. Who's still standing, in a district that Obama might have won and a district centered in a county (Delaware County - home of Ball State) that Obama did win? Mike Pence. With 65%.

It's still three years away from 2012, and a lot can change, especially with 2010 around the corner, but it is good to see new names going near the top of these 2012 lists.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Governor race updates, Mackinac Conference

Mike Bouchard named Terri Land as running mate. WDIV reporting. That's not a real surprise since Land decided last July she was not running and endorsed Bouchard almost immediately. Does it effect the race? Maybe to a small extent. This is from the David Bonior playbook back in 2002. Alma Wheeler Smith was running, dropped out, and ran with Bonior. Bonior finished 2nd to the then so called "rock star" candidate Matt Millen, I mean Jennifer Granholm. Bouchard's biggest weakness is his 2006 performance against Stabenow. He's a good guy and it wasn't all his fault, but numbers don't lie. I'd like to see Bouchard run against Gary Peters. I think he can win that race. I have doubts whether he would win the governor's race. My reponse to the Bouchard for Governor campaign? Bouchard for Congress!

On another note there was a dustup about the invitation (or not) of Tom George to a gubenatorial debate. From Crain's Detroit Business.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Tom George, R-Kalamazoo, is back in the debate.

After hearing from the chair of the Michigan Republican Party and some other candidates, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance has reconsidered its decision to cut George from a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate at the Sept. 26 Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island.
Earlier in the week, George said that the MTA rescinded their invitation for him to participate and cited the reason that WJR AM 760 is only able to air the debate for one hour and Drolet and the MTA’s board felt that they should limit who can participate in the debate.

On Wednesday, Drolet said the Republican Party is responsible for negotiating with radio stations for coverage and he would have welcomed more time that would have enabled George’s initial inclusion.

He said that when the alliance learned it only had an hour of air time, the board initially felt it needed to limit the debate to “the perceived top four candidates running statewide campaigns.”

My view. Let him in. Anyone on the ballot or with a committee on the GOP side should be in. I'm not voting for Tom George (I'm not against him like I am against Snyder), but he's as much a candidate as anyone else in the race. It's not like little known state senators have never won the governorship. Ask John Engler in 1990.

The Mackinac Conference is coming up. This is the big GOP event in Michigan every two years. Presidential wannabes usually show up, but the big thing right now are the state level races. Governor. Attorney General (undecided) and Secretary of State (also undecided). There's a lot of inside baseball going on right now. I'll be posting a report after the conference or during if I get access.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Business Leaders for Michigan plan - Some of it good, some of it horrible

The group that used to be Detroit Renaissance is now "Business Leaders for Michigan." Some hype came out about the business plan it endorsed. The Detroit News has its proposal out.

From the Detroit News

A newly formed coalition of Michigan CEOs announced Thursday it would support extending the sales tax to most services if it is lowered. Business Leaders for Michigan, an expansion of Detroit Renaissance that includes 25 corporate captains from across the state, would cut the 6-percent sales tax rate to make the change initially revenue neutral. But the plan would raise additional revenue in the future as the state continues its shift away from a goods economy and toward a service economy. David Brandon, chairman of the group and CEO of Domino's Pizza, said a "sales tax on services has to be part of the equation" as the state modernizes a tax code built for the 1950s.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposed a 2 percent tax on services two years ago but the plan died in the Legislature. Lawmakers passed a tax on some services late in 2007 but the levy was scrapped.

"The governor welcomes all ideas," said Liz Boyd, spokeswoman for Granholm. "But it is ironic that the business community is now calling for a sales tax on services when two years ago they're the very ones who killed it when the governor proposed it."

Past studies have indicated the state could reduce its sales tax rate to about 5 percent, if it were extended to services, and generate revenue that the 6 percent sales tax on products raises today.

The Matt Millen of governors Granholm's got a point. That's because this services tax plan is a Matt Millenesque idea from this group. NO NEW TAXES. I don't care which side it is from. This will factor heavily in my voting plan if David Brandon ever does decide to run for office. No vote here.

There are the rest of the idea.

The group also proposes:

• Cutting the state government workforce 5 percent to 10 percent and lowering compensation, including benefits, to reflect the national average. - I agree to a point, but I think we need to take a longer look at government in general, not just salaries and workforce.

• Eliminating the state tax on business equipment once the economy starts growing again.- Agreed.

• Scuttling the 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax and reducing the corporate levy by 60 percent overall. - Agreed.

• Enacting prison management and sentencing reforms to save $400 million. - Agreed if the plan is what I think it is. Good luck selling it.

• Eliminating binding arbitration for local police and firefighters. - Undecided. Will the alternative cost more or less?

• Ending optional state services, such as programs for Medicaid recipients not required by the federal government. - Agreed.

• Consolidating administration of the state's 500-plus school districts by cutting per-student funding to districts that don't share services. - Agreed to an extent, but this will be real tough to sell.

• Reducing the number of colleges and universities "to a number the state can afford."- Is this state schools only?

• Adopting a funding formula for roads and bridges and supporting mass transit services in urban areas.- Agreed with the first, the latter only if it pays for itself. No more people movers or Wally trains with government money that does not get used.

Business Leaders for Michigan has its own website. They will likely be, for good, bad, and in between, a significant power in Lansing with the new budget issues.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Granholm wants to raise taxes again

I'm shocked that Granholm, the Matt Millen of Governors, wants to raise taxes yet again after promising that it won't happen.

There are three plans out. House Republicans plan (cuts), Senate Republicans (which passed and balanced the budget without raising taxes), and Granholm Democrats. Granholm was the last to announce a plan and it is the typical democrat plan. More taxes. Even tax raising Andy Dillon who saved her in 07 so far publicly opposed the plan. I wonder if Dillon is planning a gubernatorial run or something.....

From the AP

"The governor should know that showboating a proposal that has no chance of passing is not a way to solve the state's fiscal crisis," Dillon said in a statement. "All parties need to put theatrics and demands aside and get back to the hard work of negotiating a budget solution."

A spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester said the governor making her revenue plan public helps "move the ball forward" on negotiations, but added he doubts some of her proposals will get a warm welcome.

"A half-billion dollars in new revenues is certainly not the course chartered by Senate Republicans," Matt Marsden said.

Personally, I think that's just good cop Dillon and bad cop Granholm. Granholm probably wanted to push the big tax increases hard at first and then cave in on a smaller increase. This is a typical lawyer contract/settlement negotiation ploy. Go for the farm first, bluster, and back off. This is the right place for that technique, since neither side wants to walk away from a budget negotiation.

Granholm's budget does have some cuts, but not enough. The only two good things are that she supports eliminating the MBT surcharge over three years, and wants to allow bars to stay open past 2am for a fee (I won't be there after 2, but I support that option). That positive is negated in spades by this negative.

To balance next year's budget, she'd raise $546 million in tax revenue by slicing 12 percent from some business tax breaks — including a popular film credit — and hike the cigarette tax rate from $2 a pack to $2.25 while doubling taxes on other tobacco products.

She wants to place a 1-cent tax on each bottle of water sold in Michigan, lower a tax credit for the working poor, increase liquor license fees, and expand the 6 percent sales tax to service contracts, vending machine sales and live entertainment, including sporting events.

Note that the Detroit News said it was 1 PERCENT tax on bottled water.

I'll sign on board to some of the credit elimination that picks winners over losers (and make it just a tax cut), but I am damn well against these.

1cent tax on bottled water. There goes some jobs. I drink tap water, but I'm still against this crap on principle. What's next? Pop? Carbs? Booze? Greens? Meat?

Lower tax credit for working poor? How about cutting their taxes so they aren't as poor?

Services tax? Screw you. That affects me directly. Guess what? Costs past down to consumers. I'll just write it up as the Granholm Services tax required by law.

Entertainment and sporting events - There's Michigan's culture taxed. That Bob Seger, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, or Motown concert is costing a lot more money now. So are the MSU and Lions games. Let's bankrupt this like manufacturing.

Vending machines. Those aren't cheap to begin with. Let's put them out of business. She also wants tax increases for 2010-2011 as well.

Another $0.25 tax increase to a pack of smokes. Double the smokeless tobacco/cigar tax. Where's the money coming from when smokers quit.

Liquor license fees - The restaurant industry is already struggling. That's not what they need.

Freeze in income tax deductions - Basically, an income tax increase. If we pay more, it's an increase.

This Granholm incompetence and multiple tax/fee increases over her time in office has destroyed this state. It will take some good sound leadership to overcome this Matt Millenesque disaster.

Like the sign at the tea party said. "Democrats destroyed Detroit." They are now in the process of destroying Michigan, and want to increase the same policies that are destroying this state and think it will lead to another result. That's insanity.

This Granholm budget must be stopped. NO new taxes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Brighton takes a stand against big government

Holy Smokes. I didn't expect this big of a crowd.

It's the joker.

The Three Stooges, Larry, Moe and Curly, and the crowd.

I debated whether to go to the tea party or not, but decided to do so. With the punk and Joker Mr. Obama's latest proposal, it was the last straw. He now wants to fine individuals $3800 for forgoing health insurance. Whether or not one wants insurance is none of your damn business. Bastards. In other news, he wants to raise the debt ceiling to 12 trillion. We got to pay that off somehow. China will collect eventually.

It's time to run the big spenders, taxers, and regulators out of DC and Lansing. This tea party needs to be a first step to run the clowns out, whether it be local, state, or federal. Unfortunately, we don't have a big chance federally until 2012 when the Dangerously Incompetent Debbie Stabenow is next up. A major difference can be made at the state level when we have an open seat for the Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Senate positions. John Cherry spent 8 years as Granholm's LT. Nice guy, but wrong for the job. Valde Garcia is term limited out. Joe Hune was solid in his six years against the big spending, tax raising, fee raising, and regulations that were pushed in Lansing. He'll be solid as a senator.

The estimates of the crowd range from 2000 to 4000. I'm not sure of the exact number, but it was wall to wall of people on all sides of the Mill Pond going back from Main Street to St Paul to the Gazebo to the Imagination Station Playground border. I haven't seen this many people in one spot in Brighton since the old football games in the mid 90's against South Lyon. Parking? Forget it. It was a clustermuck.

The speeches were basic less government and more freedom talk. I've heard them before as a political junkie, but it was cool for those who haven't heard them. The crowd numbers sent the biggest message. One other good thing I saw was that there wern't many idiots. Out of the thousands there, only two signs I saw that did not belong there because of Godwin's law. That's not a bad ratio. Less than 1%.

My favorite sign was this:

Democrats destroyed Detroit, now Michigan. That is the absolute truth. The liberal democrats - starting with WHITE democrats in the 1960's destroyed that city (riots were on his watch), moved out, and now want to inflict what they did there here. If you want what happened to Detroit to happen here, vote the same bums in, the Jerry Cavanaugh's of today, and continuing with the Coleman Youngs afterward.

That is what will happen if the same jokers are elected here in Livingston County. That is what will happen to the state if the same jokers are elected in Lansing once again, and what will happen to the entire country if the current fools in DC are brought back again in 2010 and 2012. Send them home. Cherry, Whitmer, Stabenow, Levin, Schauer, Peters, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Baucus.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Skiba faces recall election, November 3

The Argus confirms what is expected. Matt Skiba, Hamburg Township Clerk, is facing a recall election.

Hamburg Township voters will decide whether or not Hamburg Township Clerk Matt Skiba retains his position during the Nov. 3 election.

The Livingston County Clerk’s Office reviewed 10 pages of challenges issued by Skiba to the 3,042 signatures submitted by recall efforts.

In total, the clerk’s office determined the validity of 3009 signatures, well above the minimum 2,455 valid signatures required to officially put recall language on the ballot.
Skiba will be allowed up to a 200 word rebuttal statement on the ballot, which he said he intends to fully take advantage of. He has until Tuesday to present that language to the Livingston County Clerk’s Office.

What will happen? I think Skiba is in a tough go right now, and needs to start defending himself more than he has been. If the election was tomorrow, game over, he's out. This is going to be a real nasty campaign.

So what happens if Skiba is recalled? I have to check to see if things have changed, but I don't believe they have been. The county political parties executive committees choose the nominees for replacement. That means the Livingston GOP and the Dems pick a candidate for Skiba's replacement. I am not on the County Executive Committee, but a different committee, so I have no vote on the replacement. I can give my two cents one way or the other in who to support/oppose, and go with that. I can say that I don't think that works to Hardesty or Hohl's advantage, since they aren't exactly active in the county party. Who's fault is that????? To use one of my favorite sayings, you don't win when you don't show up.

The nominated candidates will then run for the rest of Skiba's term, and face a major battle in August/November 2012.

That is unless Skiba frankly surprises me and wins. He just might, but he better start defending himself to voters and say what he's been doing in office.

Updates (SCOTUS, Snyder, Tort Reform, tea party)

A few things to mention.

The Hill mentions that Justice Stevens may retire next year. That would be bad. We don't need the jerk in chief who despises the constitution to pick any more replacements. I think the 2nd pick will be more radical and maybe even more statist than Sotomoyer.

The Argus reprinted a Free Press Editorial on Rick Snyder. I find it interesting that for all of Snyder's talk about not being a politician, that he gives the most political answers out of anybody. Where's the specifics?

One thing not mentioned in any health care bill out there. Tort Reform. My defense leanings isn't limited to criminal defense, but civil tortuous defense as well. Politico has a good piece here from Newt Gingrich. One of the highest costs is malpractice insurance and the extra tests that are require because of malpractice claims. Not only are judgment costs passed over to patients, but so is the extra tests that are given to avoid those claims.

Defensive medicine is one of the largest contributors to wasteful spending, and it can manifest in many forms: unnecessary CT scans, x-rays, MRIs, cardiac testing and inappropriate hospital admissions. A 2005 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 93 percent of doctors reported practicing defensive medicine. These unnecessary and expensive tests and procedures are not ordered to advance the care and treatment of a patient or help the physician diagnose a medical problem. These tests and procedures are ordered exclusively to protect a physician from a potential and likely frivolous lawsuit.

In a recent speech before the American Medical Association, even President Obama said that doctors shouldn’t “feel like they are constantly looking over their shoulder for fear of lawsuits.” The president recognized that defensive medicine is “a real issue” but there is nothing in the bill to protect physicians from frivolous lawsuits. And, there is nothing in the bill to help stop defensive medicine.

Lastly, September 8, 3:30 PM is the tea party in Brighton. There are also tea parties earlier in Jackson and later in Troy. I'm not sure if I can make it, but I'm just passing at along. A message needs to be sent that less government is more freedom. Lower taxes AND spending.