Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is David Leyton too busy to be AG?

Who is David Leyton, besides the democrats choice for AG. He's currently the Genesee County prosecutor. Flint, Beecher, Mt Morris, Burton, Flint, Beecher, Flint, and Beecher. Why do I keep mentioning Flint and Beecher? Because there's been a stabbing problem there.

From the Detroit Free Press

A serial killer suspect, who allegedly went on a multistate stabbing spree, was arraigned on one charge of assault with intent to murder in Flint’s 68th District Court.

Elias Abuelazam, 33, is accused of stabbing 14 men in the Flint area, including five who died, and attacking four others in Virginia and Ohio. All of the attacks were on men and most were African American.

Abuelazam appeared for his arraignment via video from the jail. He was charged in one nonfatal attack in the Flint area and being held in the Genesee County Jail. Judge Nathaniel Perry III ordered he be held on no bond.

Abuelazam will be back in court Aug. 31 for a pretrial hearing.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in court that more charges – including murder charges for the deaths of five Flint-area men – will be filed against Abuelazam.

“I believe he is not sick,” Leyton said of Abuelazam at a news conference after the hearing. “He is evil.”

Now he is innocent till proven guilty. It's the prosecutor's job, to prove cases beyond a reasonable doubt if there is probable cause. A key part of that is getting information. Here's the problem with Leyton.

While police and prosecutors in three jurisdictions publicly describe cooperation as they build cases against serial stabbing suspect Elias Abuelazam, WTOP has learned the top prosecutors in Flint, Michigan and Loudoun County have never talked to one another.

"You'd think they'd return my phone calls, especially since I have information that will help them," says frustrated Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman.

Plowman described leaving a detailed message for an assistant prosecutor, asking to talk directly with Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton.

He's still waiting.

"I know multi-jurisdictional cases are tough," says Plowman. "But I should be able to get my counterpart on the phone."

More than two weeks after police linked three August attacks of black men in Leesburg to a string of fatal stabbings in Flint, Mich., a spokesperson confirms Leyton has never spoken with Plowman, saying "I can't explain it."

After that story, they finally got in contact today. Finally. If this guy is guilty, the last thing needed is for someone to botch the case OJ style.

DCCC's first ad defense - Wisconsin's 7th District (WI-07)

I saw this in Politico, and it was interesting for a whole different reason.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its TV ad campaign Monday – the beginning of a nine-week spending barrage that the party hopes will mitigate losses this fall.

In its first missive, the House Democratic campaign arm is up with a 30-second spot slamming Wisconsin Republican Sean Duffy.....

Wisconsin’s 7th District, where Democratic Rep. David Obey is retiring after 20 terms, is one of 60 districts the DCCC plans to invest in this fall. The committee has outlined plans to spend over $49 million in 60 districts nationwide, in an effort to protect the imperiled Democratic majority.

It's an interesting first defense choice because that seat's been in democrat hands for over 40 years with retiring Dave Obey. The district covers North Central and Northwestern Wisconsin, including the major democrat stronghold of Superior (Think Marquette or Duluth, MN). Gore and Kerry won the district narrowly, and Obama won it easily.

That's good news seeing this picked by the DCCC. That's good news for us.

Court of Appeals squashes the BSTP

Right Michigan has the story

For the fake Tea Party of Michigan.

Mark Steffek's puppet masters,the Democrats are likely a little hung over this morning. Mark Brewer is likely cleaning off his hand and counting the pennies left after suffering another failure of epic proportions in an attempt to deceive Michiganders. The Detroit News reports that the ballot will not see the Gadsden symbol on it this November:

"In light of the plaintiff's failure to strictly comply with the requirements (of state election law), plaintiff fails to establish a clear legal duty on the part of the defendant to certify the petition," the court ruled.

Short of an expensive and approved emergency challenge to the MI SC, its done, over.. fin.

Keep in mind that Oakland County Democrat chair Mike McGuinness, who is tied to the BSTP with his roommate and political director Jason Bauer, was until recently an employee of Secretary of State candidate and convicted criminal George Soros backed Jocelyn Benson.

Ruth Johnson for Secretary of State.

If this is really the case, then we are looking at another 1994

I'm not sold yet on this being a 1994 type year, and I have an "I'll believe it when I see it" view on this poll, but I got this in an email.

If Election was held today:

John Dingell - 51%
Rob Steele - 42%

If those numbers are true, than this is a winnable district with the right turnout. I have heard of a lot of discontent though in this district, even in Ypsilanti of all places. Ypsi is the 2nd most democrat part of the district outside of Inkster. There was a five way primary for this seat. That alone tells me there is some discontent.

Again, I'll believe it with Dingell when I see it since this district is normally 62-38 at the top of the ticket. The only one to win it somewhat recently was Engler against Fieger. Is the anti-incumbency movement strong enough to beat the guy who always survives, and survived 1994 easily despite having a potentially competitive (in the right year) district in the 90's.

Rick Snyder may help in the Washtenaw County portion, although he could hurt the ticket downriver. Dr. Rob Steele is probably the best candidate Dingell's faced since 94.

Dingell's weakest numbers were in 94, 96, and 92. 59%, 62%, and 65%. The old district was strictly most of downriver and Monroe and going off memory, was I believe a 53% Gore district. The current district was 60% Gore.

It would take a Scott Brown type of effort to beat Dingell, a lot of hard work and a lot of help. I said that I'd believe Massachusetts would vote for a Republican Senator when I see it. I saw it.

Monroe County is winnable. Bush won it. Bush won Dearborn in 2000. I'll be shocked if Dingell loses there. That's his home. If Dr. Steele can do the impossible and cut his losses in Ypsi and Ann Arbor, while winning Monroe and Huron township and the Washtenaw townships big, and some of the more competitive areas downriver, it's possible. If, if, and if. If Scott Brown can somehow win Quincy...

In reality, this should be close, and polling now has it close for this district.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reason number 5838523 to not donate a dime to the NRSC

I've long had gripes with the NRSC. As a rule, I do not donate to national political organizations and parties. I usually limit my donations to local committees I know and support or better yet - individual campaigns.

The latest from the clowns at the NRSC shows that they do not give a damn about winning in November. They care about preserving their own jobs only before the party. They are incumbents first, party 2nd, challengers to democrats 3rd.

From Redstate

Dan Riehl put up the letter outlining the complaint Joe Miller has raised over a Murkowski “observer.”

You can read the letter here. In short, the observer used a government computer with access to voter data, transmitted information via his iPhone, and generally flouted the rules to do so.

Turns out the “Mike” who did this is Mike Roman — an NRSC affiliated lawyer who has been hired by the Murkowski campaign. The NRSC made a grand spectacle of pulling back its Chief Counsel from Alaska, but I’m told the NRSC arranged for Mike Roman to help Murkowski in this matter.

The job for the NRSC, RNC, and NRCC is to elect republicans in November. It's not to have coronations for their favorites in primaries. They need to stay the hell out of the primaries. Until they do this, donors should refuse to donate to them and put the money into their own candidates instead.

Let's look at the NRSC's recent history.

2005/2006 - They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads in the Rhode Island Senate race. True RINO and Obama/Kerry supporter Lincoln Chafee ran against True Moderate Steve Laffey in the primary. The NRSC spent hundreds of thousands in negative ads against Laffey. Chafee won, and then lost in November to another leftist democrat.

2009 - They endorse Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist. Both are now party switchers as their fiscal liberalism did not coincide with their party's grass roots. They were unable to win their primaries to they are now running as democrats or quasi-democrats. Specter lost his democrat primary, and Crist will lose as a so called "independent." Good riddance to both of those clowns, but this is yet another reason the NRSC is worthless and wasting our money.

2010 - Now they got involved in yet another primary. Lisa Murkowski v Joe Miller. Murkowski is apparently defeated in Alaska, but NRSC lawyers are now working to change that. Since it's close, I don't fault Murkowski for lawyering up, but the NRSC should not be involved here. It's job is to try and retake the senate. Period.

I went in depth on this back in April on why the NRSC sucks.

I've long said that the biggest joke in American politics is the US Senate. That's true now more than ever with clowns like the NRSC, Reid, Levin, Stabenow, Feinstein, Durbin, Corker, Shelby, Dodd, McCain, Biden, Obama, and Leahy, all current or recent senators.

If the NRSC is unwilling to use its time effectively to get a Republican senate, its job, then individuals will have to do its job for them. That means picking the right individual candidates to support in US Senate races. While no Michigan races are up, there are several prominent races worthy of our support. In order, I'd back through a combination of pragmatism, chance to win, and ideology (not all perfect):

1. Pat Toomey - Pennsylvania (Pickup)
2. Marco Rubio - Florida (Defense)
3. Ken Buck - Colorado (Pickup)
4. John Raese - West Virginia (Pickup)
5. Dino Rossi - Washington State (Pickup)
6. John Boozman - Arkansas (Pickup)
7. Winner of Wisconsin Primary (Pickup)
8. Winner of New Hampshire Primary (Defense)
9. Rob Portman - Ohio (Defense)
9. Sharron Angle - Nevada (Pickup)
10. Dan Coates - Indiana (Pickup)
11. Rand Paul - Kentucky (Defense)
12 Linda McMahon - Connecticut (Pickup)

There's no way I could send a dime to Carly Fiorina, Mark Kirk, or Mike Castle even if I was a millionaire because in most years, I could not even vote for them, but those are competitive races, and their committee votes matter and this year would be an exception on that rule. Adding those three would be 12 pickups. I didn't add John Hoeven in North Dakota who is likely to replace Byron Dorgan. That's another pickup, which would be 13. That would give the GOP 54 seats. Do I expect that many wins. No. It would take 10 to pickup the Senate. Do I expect that? No. I expect 52-48 Dem after this race, but I hope I'm wrong. Colorado, Nevada, and Kentucky got tougher after the primary winners there.

If I had to pick two, Toomey and Rubio. Those are two of the most competitive races, along with the two that will piss off the DC establishment the most. Toomey and Rubio got screwed by them, and they will remember.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Michigan Republican Convention - 8-28-2010

It was a long, long, long, long, day today. I didn't get much (any) sleep for today, so this may come off as a little ornery. Today was the Republican convention. It was a little different than most conventions and probably has the most contentious floor fights since a couple of the Youth Chair fights a few years back.

The nominees are as follows:

Lt Governor - Brian Calley
UM Regents - Andrea Fischer Newman and Andrew Richner (Uncontested)
Wayne State Trustee - Danialle Karmanos and Diane Dunaskiss (Uncontested)
MSU Trustee - Mitch Lyons and Brian Breslin
State Board of Education - Dr. Richard Zeile and Eileen Weiser (Uncontested)
Supreme Court - Justice Robert Young and Judge Mary Beth Kelly
Attorney General - Bill Schuette
Secretary of State - Ruth Johnson

The first sign that this wasn't going to be an average convention is the rumors and hype about what the rules were going to be, etc. Much of that was yesterday. I was asked to be alternate for the rules committee. If I was voting on changes or potential changes to the rules, I wanted to know what the facts were and not what the hype was. I was not elevated to being on the committee, and based on what I found out, I'm kind of glad I wasn't because I was going to be dodging a bunch of arrows no matter what I did. I left when that committee started because I heard there was rumor of possible 8th district caucus beforehand, and with at least three high ranking 8th district committee members tied up in the rules meeting, I wanted to make sure I was ready if needed for votes as I'm an officer on 8th district. I didn't stay in the rules meeting for the whole thing, but I know the proposed changes failed on a close vote. I was opening to altering one rule, and was completely against altering most of them. One alarming rumored rules proposal was straight out of the union. No secret ballot. That was a problem in the past, and I'm glad that we have had a secret ballot for the last couple conventions. It needs to stay, and I will be raising hell here if that ever changes. More on the rules later.

My biggest complaint was the lines. I knew this was going to be a tough convention because there are a lot of new people with tea parties, longtime local activists who now were going statewide, and the longtime activists and normal factions who were there. We knew there was going to be a high turnout. That's part of the reason why this was at the Breslin Center. However, there should not be hour+ lines going on to start the convention. That's going to put people in a foul mood to begin with. I understand the need for security, but there should have at least been multiple lines (A-L/M-Z etc), or credentials mailed. That would have saved at least 2-3 hours today.

The first interesting battle was over Lt Governor. The West Michigan Tea Party faction opposed Brian Calley as Snyder's pick, or wanted to send a message of some sort and wanted Bill Cooper, who ran for Congress in the 2nd District, to be the Lt Governor. The big battle was over the voting process on this. The party wanted a show of hands. The tea party wanted roll call. It was getting very contentious until Cooper withdrew from the race and gave his speech. It was a good speech, and if there is a lesson to learn from that, it is to learn the processes of conventions, its rules, how the committee members are selected and elected, and how they are changed. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Personally for this race, I'd like to have seen this go to a secret ballot vote with the others which were on there, even using "candidate A and Candidate B" ballots. It could have been done that way. The raise of hands votes can be shady at times. Oral roll call would have taken 10 hours and I would have staunchly opposed that. I know traditionally that the Governor candidate historically picks the LT candidate which is almost always confirmed easily, but there needs to be preparation when the gubernatorial candidate gets 35% in the primary. I didn't have a problem with Calley, especially when some of the other names I've been hearing were much, much, worse. However, there is a virulent backlash against anything these days that comes off as old boys club, whether it is or not.

After that start, there was a bunch of uncontested races that were uneventful. I was waiting for one to have some possible headaches, but that didn't happen.

Then came the contests. Most were done right. Two of them were one on one. Winner wins. That's how the AG and Supreme Court races were. The Supreme Court race was civil with Mary Beth Kelly winning easily with the support of the justices of what used to be considered the best State Supreme Court in the country. The AG race was for awhile, but I think Bill Schuette nearly lost what was at one time a massive lead when his camp drew first blood and went negative through a surrogate (when there was an extremely negative SoS campaign). I expected better from him. I like both Schuette and Bishop and can easily vote for either of them this fall. Schuette won in a very close race, and will be facing Genesee (Flint) County Prosecutor. Judge Schuette v Prosecutor Leyton. It should be an interesting race.

One major contentious race was MSU trustee. It turned out the way the rules were set up worked better for the candidate opposed by many of the establishment anyway. They wanted all candidates up with people voting for the top two of the three. The way the rules were set up split the MSU trustee seats. These were rules from either February or last year. They've been there for awhile. I didn't like this particular one, but the process should have been set then, not today. Anyway, it wasn't the way I was concerned it would be. I was concerned that incumbent Don Nugent, whom I did not support due to tuition increases and too much of a willingness to go along with the more liberal decisions of the board, would be getting a free pass. Nugent was openly supported by most of the state party due to being an incumbent. It turned out that Nugent did not get a free pass. He announced his re-election for what was classified as either "seat A" or "seat B". I'm not sure which was which. Breslin ran for the seat currently held by democrat Colleen McNamara (Airport Ed McNamara's daughter). Lyons ran as well and had to choose one seat or the other. He chose, whether planned or not, Nugent's seat. Breslin got the pass. Going into the convention, I thought it was going to be vote for two out of the three. That's how it should have been, just like the November ballot. For me, at least I could have done that in that I could vote for both Breslin and Lyons as planned.

What really riled up the crowd was when one individual introduced a motion. That was poorly handled, and may have actually contributed to costing Nugent his trustee position. The motion was combining the two seats and having the top two of the three candidates moving on the ballot, just as we vote for two candidates in the November election. The parliamentarian said that the motion was for Mitch Lyons to run on two ballots, once against Breslin, and once against Nugent. That was not the motion. Not at all. That could have been explained better through the rules and procedures that they were not allowed to do things as stated in the motion and that the alternative allowed under the rules that had to be approved before convention only allowed this instead. Do you still support this motion? That really riled up the crowed and looked like incumbent protection to many of the newcomers there, as well as some of the old guard who were not procedure junkies. The vote came in, and Lyons won. It wasn't even all that close.

There was contention of the Secretary of State race procedures. Some wanted multiple votes where the last place candidate dropped out. The rules stated two votes. The highest two vote-getters run off Southern Style for the winner (unless one gets 51%). I happen to support the current rules in place for this race, else we'd be there all night. Runoff system works great here. It worked well here, and it was fair.

It was an interesting convention, and it foreshadows the future and what we as activists need to prepare for AFTER the November elections. Bill Cooper hinted at this to his tea party supporters. Those who are tea party activists, long time republican activists who aren't tea party, establishment supporters, and your classic convention unpredictable swing voter like me need to know how things work. Marco Rubio said it best in Florida when he was battling RINO Charlie Crist, then supported by Florida's state party. If you don't like the job the establishment is doing, pick a better establishment.

We as republicans choose our establishment. My own view on establishment is this. When they are right, I support them. When they are wrong, I don't. Today they were both. They were dead right in the Secretary of State race, and dead wrong in their quasi semi-official support of Don Nugent (whom the majority believed did not deserve re-election). Regardless of that, the establishment is elected. That goes for State Party, down to county party.

Precinct delegates make the decision. Their number one job is to choose party leadership. They(we) need to be informed in what goes on. That means they need to show up at meetings. They need to show up at conventions. They need to know who is running for the party positions, and make informed decisions as to who they support.

All Precinct Delegates go to county conventions. County Conventions choose the county executive committee. I happen to think that Livingston County's executive committee, the "establishment" here does a pretty good job. The county conventions choose delegates to different state conventions. After the election, there will be a state convention for party leadership. Those delegates chosen go to state convention and caucus with congressional district. This chooses our district committee. Until this current term, the 8th district committee was just a bunch of fancy titles that didn't do jack squat outside of procedures at state. This term, we've built the committee from nearly scratch and it will be a player in some races this fall.

It is also at these conventions were state committee is chosen (outside of county/district chairs - which are also elected by delegates). This is the big one. State Committee. There's also state party officers - chair and vice-chair which are also elected by state delegates.

Know the processes. Know how things work. Work through the processes to create good change when needed, and prevent bad change (Ie, the Hamburg problem spreading to the county party) when it isn't needed. Prior planning prevents piss poor performance. That goes for everybody. Establishment. Tea Party. Candidates. Delegates.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pre-convention updates

There's some interesting developments.

1st. Nationally, it looks like another incumbent may be toast. Lisa Murkowski is trailing in Alaska's senate primary. The pundits are shocked, but I'm not. She barely won with 49% in the general election during her last term. Her dad was fired in the primary in 2006. If Murkowski is sent home, that she can add to the list of incumbents losing in primaries. Parker Griffith. Bob Bennett. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. Arlen Specter. Bob Inglis. Alan Mollohan. Seven incumbents have already been fired.

2nd. Justice Betty Weaver has finally quit. I'm not unhappy about this. First, it can actually lead to better relations on the court, even with a Granholm opponent. Secondly, at this point, I'd vote for Justice Cavanaugh over Weaver. Cavanaugh is more liberal, but at least has some good legal arguments that can be made, whether or not I agree with him. I respect Cavanaugh and how he argues his opinions. Weaver's opinions often have be thinking "What the hell is this?" Weaver has personal grudges against Justices Young, Markman, and Corrigan and lets that get in the way of justice. I'd rather have her simply not run for another term, but that certainly wasn't going to happen. She wants a parting shot because she knows there's no way in hell she would be nominated at the convention, nor did she want to split votes causing a nominated candidate to win.

However, the Republican Party needs to get off its ass when it comes to judicial elections. Mark Brewer has been going apeshit about the Supreme Court races for years, ever since 2000. The GOP has sit back and done nothing. Anyone remember Brian Zahra's race? Mark Shulman? While the GOP sit back, leaving the entire job to the Chamber of Commerce, the democrats went all in for Hathaway and won. Yes, incumbent judges can be defeat. It just happened. Go after Granholm's appointee.

The GOP needs to go all in for Justice Bob Young, who is one of the best on the entire court. However, just as important is the other nominee. Whether it be Mary Beth Kelly (where I'm leaning) or Jane Markey. We need a strict constitutional court, and not have the courts be another political arm for being whatever the winds decide it is. Without a strict constitutional court, we would not have had Concealed carry in Michigan.

3rd. Brian Calley is Rick Snyder's pick for LT. I don't know a lot about him, but what I do know is mostly good. I don't have a problem with it. It's much better than a lot of the other names I have heard suggested. This pick won't scare conservatives.

Lastly, for MSU trustee, I'm backing Mitch Lyons and Brian Breslin. Nugent voted for "significant" (his word) tuition increases.

I haven't decided the other trustee races.

As far as AG and Sec of State goes, I'm still undecided. I was leaning in a couple of directions until I got tired of the negative emails I've received. All this crap does is help Benson who would be an absolute disaster for voter integrity.

There may be some interesting Livingston County election developments soon. Until then, I'll just say that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bush league border security from Obama

When it comes to border security, I don't know who is worse. George W Bush or Barack Obama. Both of them did and are doing an atrocious job at border defenses. I missed this awhile back, but to think this will help is a joke.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a $600 million border security that will put more agents and equipment along the Mexican border.

Obama signed the bill in the Oval Office alongside Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The measure will fund the hiring of 1,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas along the border, as well as more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It also provides for new communications equipment and greater use of unmanned surveillance drones.

1000 agents. What a crock. Just the state of Texas alone is almost 1000 miles east-west. New Mexico, Arizona, and California aren't small states either. Let's not forget the Canadian border either. I don't want to just pick on Obama here either. This is the same type of crap we got from George W Bush on this issue.

It's not just Mexican workers crossing the borders. Besides illegal day laborers (depressing our own wages), we have MS-13 gangbangers from El Salvador and Zetas gangbangers (mostly ex Mexican army) from the Mexican border towns coming across. Worse, Hezbollah terrorists are crossing through the Nogales Arizona border. and coming up to Dearborn. They go to Mexico, then cross the Southern border, and arrive here. The unsecured border largely contributes to the gang violence on both sides of the border, especially on the Mexican side.

Worse, Arizona has had enough, passed their own law (parts I support, parts concern me, but I understand it) on this because the feds refuse to do their jobs, and the feds are suing them for it, and will probably win based on the Supremacy Clause.

If I was president (which will never happen), I'd start by closing and phasing out most of the bases abroad that aren't needed (Germany), and reassigning to border control. While we law abiding citizens have to go through all this TSA crap at airports, the misnamed Patriot Act, and other so called security measures, MS-13 waltzed across our border. That needs to stop ASAP. No immigration reform until border security. Those should be separate bills because those are separate issues.

As for immigration reform. No amnesty (Reagan's biggest mistake). No path to citizenship for illegals. Go home first. Revoke the incorporation papers of those who knowingly hire illegals. Those who follow the rules should get first crack at a path to citizenship and/or visas. I have no problem with LEGAL immigration and it should be encouraged. Illegal immigration is unacceptable and the tolerance for that by our government needs to end.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Election Fraud with the democrats and the BSTP? (Bullshit tea party)

A bombshell today posted at RightMichigan. This is another reason not to vote for Jocelyn Benson as Secretary of State.

From Right Michigan

Apparently, on July 23, 2010 a man calling himself Aaron William Tyler filed signed paperwork to run on the November ballot as a "Tea Party" candidate for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, District 2 seat. The candidate also filed paperwork to form a campaign committee, Citizens for Aaron Tyler. He listed a Springfield Township address and gave his birth date as Feb. 26, 1983.

However, when Johnson's office notified Aaron Tyler, now living out-of-state, that he had a $30 late fee for failing to file proper paperwork for his committee, he told Johnson's Director of Elections, Joe Rozell, that he had no idea what they were talking about and that he had never filed paperwork to run for office. Tyler's signature on the apparently falsified candidate filing, which had been notarized, does not match his signature on file in the State's Qualified Voter File.

At a press conference Friday, Johnson read a letter she received today from Aaron Tyler. His signature on today's letter did match Tyler's signature in the state's Qualified Voter File:

"This letter is in regards to the elections filing with the OaklandCounty Clerk's office. I was shown a document that states my intention of being placed on the ballot for this fall. I have been in Phoenix, Arizona since July 27, 2010 for a new job. I did not sign this piece of paper. I have been receiving calls in regards to various aspects of this election process and have been confused as to why I was getting those. I figured it must have been some sort of mistake. I finally took the initiative to call the Clerk's office to investigate and they have helped explain the situation to me. I have no intentions of running for elected office. I believe a fraud was committed." - Aaron Tyler, Aug. 20, 2010

Legitimate Tea Party organizations across the state have condemned the state's new Tea Party as a "Fake" Tea party which does not represent them or their beliefs. Election experts have called the state's new Tea Party a ploy by Democrats to confuse voters.

There's more at Right Michigan, and it's a must read. Whoever said that vote fraud is not a problem is either mistaken or a liar. Jason Bauer is the one who was behind that application.

As far as the BSTP and Bauer goes, I covered them here and here and here

To all the Secretary of State campaign camps - Cut the bullshit

I'm still undecided on the Secretary of State campaign. I am less and less likely to support some candidates based on some of these emails I've been receiving lately from "friends of program" with names like "Trucker Randy Butler" and "Fellow Conservative." These emails aren't telling me what their candidates are going to do, but tell me how bad so and so sucks, and are not even using good arguments.

The enemy is Jocelyn Benson, an ACORN supporting, George Soros "Secretary of State Project" supported, "Vote protection"(who thinks vote fraud is a myth) supported, SEIU supported, Goldman Sachs supported, candidate for the democrats.

The enemy isn't Paul Scott, Ruth Johnson, Cameron Brown, Anne Norlander, or Michelle McManus. The enemy is ACORN, SEIU, vote fraud, and Benson. If we get a Jennifer Brunner or Mark Ritchie clone (other Sec of State Project winners) then good luck winning anything in the future. If I had to pick between a gubernatorial win or a secretary of state win this year, I'll take the Secretary of State win. It is that big of a deal with elections administration.

If you want my support, tell me how you plan to stop or reduce vote fraud and potential vote fraud. That's what I want to see happen.

Stop Vote Fraud. Anyone but Benson.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Haley Barbour in 2012?

It's early to think about 2012. Back in 06 and 07, I was hoping Mark Sanford was going to run, and look what happened to him. He became a joke.

Anyway, Politico floated this today in its "Arena" section where talking heads give their take.

I'd definitely vote for Barbour over Romney, Palin, and Huckabee. Romney won't be getting my vote at all for several reasons, not the least of which is Massachusetts care, gun grabbing, flip flops, and the way many of his national leadership trashed Palin before the election was over in 2008. Palin lost me when she quit as Alaska governor, along with the cult of personality that is so prevalent in politics these days. Huckabee's fiscal issues are my main problem.

I'd rather not see a 2008 crowd in 2012. McCain beat all of them except Palin. That says a lot right there.

I'll consider Barbour if he runs, a lot more than the 08 crowd.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Democrat county commissioner candidates push for WALLY Train to Nowhere

Here we go again. Democrats want to bring this to the county:

From Judy Daubenmier at "Living Blue"
And they urged the county commisison to at least study the proposed WALLY commuter rail line between Howell and Ann Arbor -- a project supported by chambers of commerce in Brighton and Howell, as well as by the city of Howell and Hamburg Township.

Good ole WALLY trains. It's like Eminem or the band Green Day and that awful voice. When you think it goes away, it comes back and gets worse.

We had studies on WALLY. The county commission, rightly so, said no tax money goes to WALLY. There's been several estimates on WALLY costs. The latest from AA Chronicle is 9 million for trains, 4.3 million for station fundings, 7.1 million annual funding. They expect 1300 passengers a day. 1300 passengers a day? That covers jacksquat.

In 2009, they asked for 32 million in startup. Their 07 budget said the budget was 5 million a year.

According to the startup budget given in 2007, which was increased, I said you needed 1814 commuters a day, including weekends to break even.

"4.9 million will cover what? You have salaries, security, normal wear and tear, energy costs, and runs. 2.9 for startup? Between the trains, parking lot construction, training, etc? I'm skeptical. Even using that number, will you get a profit on that. 15,000 people (estimated number of commuters from Livingston to Ann Arbor at $225 a month (rumored price) will get you 3.37 Million a month - that's if EVERY commuter in the county uses it and pays that amount. I'm guessing most of the commuters to Ann Arbor are in Brighton, Hartland, and Hamburg. Hamburg has 20,000 people. I'll guess that 4000 of them commute to Ann Arbor, with 1000 in Howell (city has 10000 people) commuting. That'll give 5000 of the areas covered from the train. 5000 * 225 - 1.125 million a month - if all commute on the train. Anyone familiar with Hamburg knows how spread out it is. Part of it is "Brighton", most of it is "Pinckney", part of it is "Lakeland", and part of it is "Whitmore Lake". I'll be shocked if most of the commuters are going to drive a few miles to wait for the train. This area is spread out. Howell is denser, but has much less population - and it too is spread out a bit in its eastern and northern most areas near 59 - and forget about getting much help from Genoa (even with the Chilson stop - that area is flat out country), Marion, Howell Twp, and Oceola.

In order to cover the estimated operation costs from regular commuters - you need 408,334 a month - 1814 commuters a day (including weekends, so weekend warriors are very important). That leaves 2.9 million in debt from startup costs which can be paid for over a few years with good profit.

Can you get 15-20% of county's Ann Arbor commuters to use the train EVERY DAY - despite cutting out Brighton and Hartland from the route? If you can, then I'll cook up some fried crow.""

This train does not cover Brighton, Hartland, Fenton/Tyrone, South Lyon, or Pinckney. The railroad tracks in Brighton are from the C&O railroad, not the Ann Arbor Railroad. The only area covered with ANY density is Howell. The rest is all spread out. They spin by calling Chilson Rd "Brighton", which is a stretch to say the least. That area is flat out country. Whitmore Lake is spread out outside of a small part. Hamburg is very spread out. All these people who consider the train have to drive to the station.

From where I live in Green Oak, I can get to Ann Arbor in 20 minutes, in rush hour, avoiding US-23. I don't commute there anymore, but that's the route I took for years if 23 was a problem.

If you want to enact more mass transit in Livingston County, busses are more efficient and cheaper. That's too low brow for the leftist yuppies though. This is what they think constitutes "Smart leadership and Smart Growth." The democrats criticize the county airport (and may have a case there), but push for higher costing WALLY?

County Parks. Dane Morris talks about that, but we have plenty of parks here. Brighton Rec area. Island Lake. Kensington. Pinckney Rec area. Do we need more county spending on that? Money that we don't have right now.

Smart Growth. Kelly Raskausas (My old district) and Barry McBride (my current district) keep mentioning those and other similar buzzwords without detailing them in their speeches (at Living blue). For those who don't know, "Smart Growth" is a new urbanist theory that comes from the coasts, especially the left coast (Portland). It pushes for central city development, compact neighborhoods, mixed use housing (apartments, not detached homes), car unfriendliness, and lots of restrictions on what we can do with our land.

Be aware of what the buzzwords really mean.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Allen doesn't ask for recount. Benishek wins in MI-01

Talk about taking one for the team. Jason Allen had every right to ask for a recount after losing by 15 votes (official certification). He decided not to do so and conceded the primary to Dan Benishek. This greatly improves Benishek's chances to win the district vacated by Bart Stupak.

From Right Michigan

"A 15 vote separation through a recount and validation process might easily be overcome if there was a decision to do so. There are compelling reasons to follow through and honor the wishes of those 27,000 voters who thought I might represent them. I am humbled, and honored by their support, but at this time feel they might be best served without a recount process that would be damaging to both campaigns and would not serve the district well."

Dan Benishek has his own statement in response.
"After a hard fought six way primary where many good candidates, who care about their country, stepped into the arena to fight for a new direction for our country, I am proud to be the Republican nominee for Congress in Michigan's 1st district. All of the candidates are to be commended for their hard work and for the massive number of voters that turned out to vote in our primary on election day- twice as many as voted on the democrat side. When the votes were tallied the count between Senator Jason Allen and myself came down to one of the closest margins in history.

Today Senator Allen demonstrated that he is a man who puts his country, his conservative principles and his party ahead of his own interests. While I am new to this political arena, I have learned very quickly how invested you become in winning, along with your family, your friends and your supporters. It is not easy to step back and do what is in the interest of the party, and ultimately the country, and to give Republicans the best chance of winning by laying down arms as adversaries and moving forward together as allies. To make the decision to step aside when your instincts are to fight, takes great courage and selflessness.

I will never forget, nor should the voters of this district forget, the courage that Jason has shown. Today we stand together as Republicans. I greatly appreciate Jason’s support and would be honored to have him and his supporters stand with us as we work to defeat Gary McDowell and take back our government from the failed policies of Nancy Pelosi and her liberal friends in Congress.”

Gary McDowell is a strong candidate. Benishek will need to run an A+ campaign to take this district. His weakness is money. We have the chance to take at least 3 seats this election. MI-01. MI-07. MI-09. MI-11 is a potentially tough defense we need to be on the watch for.

County Conventions, Inside baseball, tea parties, Hamburg, power politics, and future warnings

I don't usually post much inside baseball here, especially local related. It usually isn't constructive. It puts me in the line of fire in areas where I'd rather not be.

Last Thursday, August 12th, was the Republican Party County Conventions. The convention is the same day in all counties. The purpose of THIS convention is to choose the delegates for State Convention. The real power though isn't decided at this convention. This one does matter for Lt Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Supreme Court, and university races, but ideologywise, it's not that big of a deal (depending on Snyder's LT pick). This time. The big one is AFTER November. We have two conventions there. One to pick county party leadership, and one to pick the leadership for state committee and district committee.

The process is different for each county. Most are "at-large" while I believe Oakland is "caucus."

A conservative teacher - Oakland County

Mason County

Jason Gillman - Grand Traverse County

Here in Livingston, our chair Mike Murphy and the election committee here did a very good job of a potentially terrible situation. The committee worked to make sure the what would otherwise be competing interests from getting into a major fight. There was a combination of old guard, somewhat newer conservative activists who are involved, and tea party participants. Previous conventions in Livingston were easy. Who wanted to go to state went. This one had about 2-3 times the normal turnout.

The one group left out was the Hamburg clique which wants to take control of the party. They were the filibustering ones there. Here's a newsflash for the Hamburg gang and their takeover attempt. You're not that important. We don't care that you are elected officials. We don't care that one of you are related to the Romneys. We don't care about your personal vendettas against a couple of activists due to local Hamburg politics. We do care however, that we don't want the soap opera embarrassment coming to County Party. We got on track internally in the last four years and do not need your clique to screw it all up. One of the clique members was running his mouth at about how bad the county party is for not doing enough to back recalls etc in Hamburg. This was about the umpteenth rant and fillibuster from the clique, and the rest of the 125 people there in the packed house was tired of it. I had enough myself and admit, somewhat rudely interrupted the individual with a five word comment. "Because you don't show up."

Despite not being on County Executive Committee in four years (I'm on district instead), I go to most of the meetings. I'm on a strategy committee. I do behind the scenes work for them. I don't see that Hamburg clique at any of those events. They then come here, and run our mouth about us at an event for state convention delegates, after not doing anything except put us in the papers? The rest of the crowd wasn't impressed with most of that clique either, as they finished way back in the pack in voting for convention delegate, barely making alternate. My choices were made quite easily in voting. Humble the clique.

We need to be prepared though when the county party leadership is going to be picked. We can not allow Livingston to turn into Hamburg Township Government. We need to make sure that the next committee takes what is best from the past four years, and improves on it, and represents the county well and does not become a soap opera. I think the county did that well with the tea party groups in the area for this meeting and hope that continues to be the case. I don't expect that from the Hamburg clique based on the behavior I saw Thursday.

Leave the soap opera politics back in township. I don't like it there, but I don't live there. It's not really my business outside of periphery. Pushing this on county makes it my business and county doesn't have time for that BS.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Can a Democrat win in Livingston County?

I meant to comment on this editorial awhile back and never got around to it. Rich Perlberg wrote an editorial -
How Could a Republican Lose in Livingston County.

It's a rather snarky superficial article that tries to be sarcastic and deserves an eyeroll. I get that. He's trying to sell papers.

Reality - the answer to his title is yes, and so is the question on this blog. It can happen. It has happened, and was more comment in the early 90's and 80's. I'm not referring to RINO's or nonpartisan races either. Jim Blanchard won the county in 1986. Richard Austin and Frank Kelley won in 86 and I believe 1990. Jake Donahue won his county commissioner seat in the 90's. Putnam Township and Unadilla Township has elected several democrats over the years, and Lori Cowan and Kevin Dobis still have their seats. Green Oak went democrat in the 70's. Brighton Township even elected some in the past, and that's the most conservative part of the county today. Usually democrats win because of local foulups. Warning to Hamburg and Hartland.

Over in a Pennsylvania seat, Chris Carney in a seat as Repubican as Livingston County beat incumbent Don Sherwood. Sherwood deserved to lose because of his personal scandals, a real one, not some Judy Daubenmier drummed up BS. That's the easy way to lose.

Other than that, the best chance is for an arrogant Joe Schwarz clone running who is anti-life, anti-2nd Amendment, and for higher taxes and spending running against a democrat who gets the NRA and RTL endorsements.

I don't think a far left Ann Arbor liberal like Judy Daubenmier has a chance here. Someone like Matt Evans is a different story depending on the situation. Debby Buckland almost won Hamburg, and Evans ran ahead of the top of the ticket in Green Oak Township. Putnam and Unadilla Townships are always competitive.

I wrote up on the commissioner seats here when the filing happened. A farmer, a Jim Barcia type, or a blue dog has a shot in some of those districts. A Massachusetts or Ann Arbor democrat, less of a chance despite good campaign organization. There's four seats I'm watching. I think two of them are pipe dreams unless our guys screw up, despite the campaign organization of one of the two. Two other darkhorses will be tougher defenses IMO. They should all stay ours, even with the anti-incumbent moods overall.

As for the other races, Snyder will at worst in county, match Sue Munsell's 53% in 98 against Stabenow, and probably do better against Bernero who is weaker than Stabenow. How well Snyder improves on that depends on how much of the GOP base he wins over. (Still undecided myself).

Joe Hune and Bill Rogers should win easily. Cindy Denby is getting more of a challenge than expected, but I think that's a pipe dream for the democrats, more so after Hune's easy win.

New polls are up

Gubernatorial and Congressional.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mass Transit Light Rail - Trains to Nowhere

One major topic right now in Livingston County is the local WALLY train, or one I've referred to as the "Train to nowhere." Light rail mass transit is a favorite project of urban planners, "cool city" advocates, Richard Florida gurus, and government contractors. It also costs a lot of money, is heavily subsidized, runs overbudget, and is a waste of our tax dollars. I am strongly opposed to government funded WALLY trains in Livingston County.

I've posted my thoughts on the WALLY "Train to nowhere" on several occasions.
March 2007 - People Mover Pt 2

Howell Approves - June 17 2007

October 07 - 2.3 million subsidy

October 23 07 - Federal money denied to train to nowhere

October 30 07 - County money denied

2009 - Authority seeks 32.4 Million

The "in" thing isn't always the right thing. New Geography had a great comparison piece today on light rails called Mass Transit: The Great Train Robbery

Despite promises that the $8 billion invested in rail lines over the past two decades would lessen L.A.'s traffic congestion and reshape how Angelenos get to work, the sad reality is that there has been no increase in MTA transit ridership since before the rail expansion began in 1985.

Much of the problem, notes Tom Rubin, a former chief financial officers for the MTA's predecessor agency, stems from the shift of funding priorities to trains from the city's more affordable and flexible bus network. Meanwhile, traffic has gotten worse, with delay hours growing from 44 hours a year in 1982 to 70 hours in 2007.

This doesn't shock me. Bus systems have a reputation as being for the so called "lower class" people while rail is a favorite topic for upper middle class white people that the urban planners love.

Sadly, this situation is not unique to Los Angeles. In cities across the country where there have been massive investments in light rail--from the Portland area to Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., and a host of others--the percentage of people taking transit has stagnated or even declined. Nationwide, the percentage of people taking transit to work is now lower than it was in 1980.

Then why are we still pushed for WALLY?

None of this is to argue that we should not invest in transit. It even makes sense if the subsidy required for each transit trip is far higher than for a motorist on the streets or highways. Transit should be considered a public good, particularly for those without access to a car--notably young people, the disabled, the poor and the elderly. Policy should focus on how we invest, at what cost and, ultimately, for whose benefit.

I don't disagree, if it is handled at local or regional levels. One system I thought that isn't all that bad was the CATA system in East Lansing/Lansing. It's good for those who have "one too many" at the bar, and also takes students who live increasingly away from campus over to MSU. It's needed there.

In some regions with large concentrations of employment, downtown major rail systems often attract many riders (although virtually all lose lots of money). The primary example would be the New York City area, which is one of only two regions (the other being Washington, D.C.) with over one-fifth of total employment in the urban core. In the country as a whole barely 10% of employment is in the city; and in many cities that grew most in the 20th century, such as Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles and Phoenix, the central business district's share falls well under 5%.

Some other urban routes--for example between Houston's relatively buoyant downtown and the massive, ever expanding Texas Medical Center--could potentially prove suitable for trains. But most transit investments would be far more financially sustainable if focused on more cost-efficient methods such as rapid bus lanes, which, according to the Government Accountability Office, is roughly one-third the cost of light rail.

Do you go with what looks good or works best in the situation? Dallas, Miami, LA, Phoenix, and Detroit are sprawled out areas. A large number of Detroit area residents commute to Oakland County, not Detroit. All those areas also have millions of people. Keep in mind that this Wally Train proposal covers an area less than 500,000.


Ultimately the choice to invest in new subways and light rail as opposed to buses reflects both a class bias and the agenda of what may best described as the "density lobby." The people who will ride the eight-mile long Second Avenue subway, now under construction for what New York magazine reports may be a total cost of over $17 billion, are largely a very affluent group. The new subway line will also provide opportunity for big developers to build high-density residential towers along the route. In contrast, the bus-riders, as the left-of-center City Limits points out, tend to be working- and middle-class residents from more unfashionable, lower-density districts in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Put your noses up in the air, snobs.

Clearly we should not spend our ever more scarce transit resources on a nostalgia crusade to make our cities function much the way they did in the late 1800s. Instead, we need to construct systems reflecting the technology and geographic realities of the 21st century and place our primary focus on helping people, particularly those in need, find efficient, economically sustainable ways to get around.

The first thing the Richard Florida types need to figure out is reality. Outside of a select few areas, people aren't moving to cities. Cities still shed population. New rail projects, lofts, and snobbishness isn't going to bring people in. Jobs not Fluff

Friday, August 06, 2010

A look at the MI-02 primary (Huizenga v Riemersma)

I first wrote about the 2nd district back in January. Ottawa County is the base of the district, and in primaries, it's the base on steroids. It is about 40% of the district in the general election's population, but in the 2010 primary, it was almost 1/2 of the vote.

If things stand as they look, Bill Huizenga will be the next Congressman from the 2nd District. He won Ottawa County, and the district overall. Ottawa County was the difference. It knocked out Bill Cooper. It edged out Jay Riemersma, who finished a close third in Ottawa County. Cooper pushed hard in Muskegon County, his home, and won it by a gigantic margin. Muskegon is the 2nd biggest voting area in the district, but also has a lot of democrats. Only about 16,000 voted in the GOP primary in Muskegon County. They didn't turn out.

Here's the numbers.

  Bill  Bill  Wayne  Chris  Field  Jay  Ted  TOTAL 
COUNTY  Cooper  Huizenga  Kuipers  Larson  Reichardt  Riemersma  Schendel  BY 
03 ALLEGAN 658 2,767 2,260 129 300 2,618 104 8,836
10 BENZIE 573 460 162 143 140 578 413 2,469
41 KENT 380 829 1,302 149 68 1,001 101 3,830
43 LAKE 346 298 185 78 34 260 70 1,271
51 MANISTEE 716 816 243 161 189 776 269 3,170
53 MASON 849 1,276 466 205 162 1,193 184 4,335
61 MUSKEGON 8,211 2,054 1,788 306 474 2,885 206 15,924
62 NEWAYGO 1,528 1,610 1,305 198 175 2,224 164 7,204
64 OCEANA 840 988 641 119 110 912 70 3,680
70 OTTAWA 5,549 14,833 14,412 479 2,555 12,825 595 51,248
83 WEXFORD 936 1,116 463 363 318 1,117 230 4,543
  Bill  Bill  Wayne  Chris  Field  Jay  Ted  TOTAL 
COUNTY  Cooper  Huizenga  Kuipers  Larson  Reichardt  Riemersma  Schendel  BY 
===============  ==============  ==============  ==============  ==============  ==============  ==============  ==============  ============== 
Totals  20,586 27,047 23,227 2,330 4,525 26,389 2,406 106,510

And the Percentages.

% % % % % % %

Cooper Huizenga Kuipers Larson Field Riemersma Schendel

03 ALLEGAN 7.45% 31.32% 25.58% 1.46% 3.40% 29.63% 1.18%
10 BENZIE 23.21% 18.63% 6.56% 5.79% 5.67% 23.41% 16.73%
41 KENT 9.92% 21.64% 33.99% 3.89% 1.78% 26.14% 2.64%
43 LAKE 27.22% 23.45% 14.56% 6.14% 2.68% 20.46% 5.51%
51 MANISTEE 22.59% 25.74% 7.67% 5.08% 5.96% 24.48% 8.49%
53 MASON 19.58% 29.43% 10.75% 4.73% 3.74% 27.52% 4.24%
61 MUSKEGON 51.56% 12.90% 11.23% 1.92% 2.98% 18.12% 1.29%
62 NEWAYGO 21.21% 22.35% 18.11% 2.75% 2.43% 30.87% 2.28%
64 OCEANA 22.83% 26.85% 17.42% 3.23% 2.99% 24.78% 1.90%
70 OTTAWA 10.83% 28.94% 28.12% 0.93% 4.99% 25.03% 1.16%
83 WEXFORD 20.60% 24.57% 10.19% 7.99% 7.00% 24.59% 5.06%

Total 19.33% 25.39% 21.81% 2.19% 4.25% 24.78% 2.26%

25.39% was your winner. Huizenga took Ottawa by slightly over 400 votes against Kuipers, who did not run well Up North. That took Kuipers out. He almost tripled Cooper in Ottawa, taking him out. Huizenga edged Riemersma in Ottawa by about 2000 votes. That offset the lead in a couple of Up North counties.

I don't know Huizenga, but I've heard good things about him from some people that do know him. The question is if he can pull the numbers Hoekstra had in Ottawa County and Allegan County to offset Muskegon County. If he can do that, we have nothing to worry about with this district.

Congratulations to Huizenga, and good luck to him this November.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

MI-01 - The Amazing near tie between Allen and Benishek

This is one of the most interesting races in one of the most interesting congressional districts in the country. Troll vs Yooper. A "Troll" for those who don't know live below the Mackinac Bridge. A Yooper is someone from the Upper Penninsula. In this primary, Two trolls faced four yoopers. The candidates are:

Dan Benishek - A doctor from Crystal Falls in Iron County. (Yooper)
Jason Allen - A state senator who moved from Traverse City to Emmet County (Troll)
Tom Stillings - A township trustee and activist from Eastport/Torch Lake in Antrim County (Troll)
Linda Goldthorpe - A frequent candidate and attorney from McMillan in Luce County. (Yooper)
Don Hooper - A frequent candidate from Iron River (Yooper) in Iron County.
Patrick Donlon - A candidate from St Ignace in Mackinac County (Yooper)

Yoopers took 54% of the vote. Trolls took 45% of the vote.
Benishek - 38.12% - leading by one vote before possible recount.
Allen - 38.12% - trailing by one vote before possible recount.
Stillings - 7.63%
Goldthorpe - 7.03%
Hooper - 5.59%
Donlon - 3.57%

Geography was a major factor in this race. Allen did very well in his state senate district. He did poorly in the UP - except for three counties in his state senate district. Alger. Mackinac. Chippewa. They voted for the troll. This continues Allen's state senate strength in his district. Benishek did very well in the Central/Western UP and it carried him to a one vote lead. Allen won the other lower peninsula votes, but by a smaller margin. I wish I had the inland/coastal breakdowns in places like Antrim and Charlevoix counties, but I don't have the time to go into that detail yet. I divided the area up into three areas with almost equal populations.

Here's Allen's District:

Allen's District Allen Benishek Donlon Goldthorpe Hooper Stillings Total Allen Benishek
ANTRIM 2,549 910 134 232 176 793 4,794 53.17% 18.98%
CHARLEVOIX 2,282 907 153 198 150 534 4,224 54.02% 21.47%
CHEBOYGAN 2,228 1,293 114 219 120 228 4,202 53.02% 30.77%
CHIPPEWA 1,788 921 109 223 131 176 3,348 53.41% 27.51%
EMMET 2,634 1,186 121 184 111 319 4,555 57.83% 26.04%
MACKINAC 763 591 55 206 49 92 1,756 43.45% 33.66%
PRESQUE ISLE 845 828 41 77 36 61 1,888 44.76% 43.86%

13,089 6,636 727 1,339 773 2,203 24,767 52.85% 26.79%

It's a whooping there. 53% to 27% Interesting enough, much of that is also Gary McDowell's district and he's the opponent. The question is this. Who did Tom Stillings and Linda Goldthorpe take votes from? Stillings took 16% in his home county of Antrim, , 13% in Charlevoix next door, and 7% in Emmet just north of there. He also took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa. Goldthorpe took 12% in Mackinac County, next to her home. She took 5%+ in Cheboygan and Chippewa counties. Nobody else broke 5% in this area. Presque Isle has always been Allen's most hostile county in the district.

The competitive northern lower outside of Allen's district was also interesting. Nobody ran away with this:

Allen Benishek Donlon Goldthorpe Hooper Stillings Total Allen Benishek
ALCONA 559 545 107 165 86 112 1,574 35.51% 34.63%
ALPENA 1,293 1,424 104 171 91 125 3,208 40.31% 44.39%
ARENAC 498 450 133 149 117 122 1,469 33.90% 30.63%
BAY 904 776 141 328 253 211 2,613 34.60% 29.70%
CRAWFORD 834 376 69 221 89 195 1,784 46.75% 21.08%
GLADWIN 941 624 128 313 208 160 2,374 39.64% 26.28%
IOSCO 721 988 163 280 169 265 2,586 27.88% 38.21%
MONTMORENCY 803 365 78 135 70 113 1,564 51.34% 23.34%
OGEMAW 679 644 95 253 102 167 1,940 35.00% 33.20%
OTSEGO 1,769 1,022 175 223 124 480 3,793 46.64% 26.94%
PRESQUE ISLE 845 828 41 77 36 61 1,888 44.76% 43.86%

9846 8042 1234 2315 1345 2011 24,793 39.71% 32.44%

Allen won here too, but not by the 2-1 margin in his district. He ran 13% here behind his district numbers, and Benishek ran 6% ahead of his numbers in Allen's district. About 28% here voted for a different candidate than the top two, compared to 20% in Allen's district and 21% in Benishek's yooper base. Interesting enough, Goldthorpe, a yooper, broke 10%+ in 7 counties here. Benishek won Alpena and Iosco on the sunrise side. Donlon's three best counties are all in this area as well. Stillngs did his best in the Standish area it seems, but his best area was by his home.

The UP outside of Allen's district made its choice very clear.

ALGER 527 469 42 99 54 43 1,234 42.71% 38.01%
BARAGA 159 497 23 50 84 39 852 18.66% 58.33%
DELTA 568 1,892 74 165 290 210 3,199 17.76% 59.14%
DICKINSON 533 2,322 34 76 146 133 3,244 16.43% 71.58%
GOGEBIC 146 523 32 57 88 52 898 16.26% 58.24%
HOUGHTON 422 1,883 40 121 304 113 2,883 14.64% 65.31%
IRON 165 897 27 29 150 43 1,311 12.59% 68.42%
KEWEENAW 26 223 9 32 39 13 342 7.60% 65.20%
LUCE 219 337 17 157 28 17 775 28.26% 43.48%
MARQUETTE 1,101 2,351 75 273 320 211 4,331 25.42% 54.28%
MENOMINEE 248 708 41 64 123 61 1,245 19.92% 56.87%
ONTONAGON 133 321 27 42 126 94 743 17.90% 43.20%
SCHOOLCRAFT 278 541 38 156 77 49 1,139 24.41% 47.50%

4525 12964 479 1321 1829 1078 22,196 20.39% 58.41%

It was almost a 3-1 margin. Benishek took an impressive 58% to Allen's 20%. Goldthorpe did well in Luce (home) and Schoolcraft counties. Hooper did well out west near his home. Stillings did well in Ontonagon for some reason. Allen did win Alger County near Marquette, although Benishek took Marquette itself and all the other counties there. Dickinson was his best county, getting 70%+ there. That's Benishek's neighboring county. Iron, Houghton, and Keewenaw are his other best areas.

All this adds up to a near tie. 1 vote. 31 counties. I don't the final result because of the recount. The two sets of questions for the general are this:

1. Can Dan Benishek carry his area in the general against McDowell? Can get get the votes out of Allen's district, normal base areas. Can he match or beat McDowell on the sunrise side?

2. Can Allen survive his UP loss to McDowell in the general with his district? Can Allen get the big numbers out of Emmet needed to win? Can he win the sunrise side?

I think Benishek is the stronger candidate in the general, but Allen's Mackinac, Luce, and Chippewa County wins are significant. I think he has a shot in the general, and that's more than I thought before.

Good luck to the winner.