Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jim Slezak switches parties and runs for Congress (MI-05)

I think this will be a longshot, but not impossible to pick up if we catch a few major breaks. Here's the new 5th district. It's about the same as the old district in partisan makeup. It would take some major breaks. This district is about on par with the Scott Brown's senate race in partisan makeup. It would be about 3 points harder than the Bob Turner race in New York city. The democrats have held this district since the infamous Keating 5's Don Riegle was the rep. The old Jim Barcia district based in Bay City before merging in 2002 has been democrat since Bob Traxler has a similar district in the 70's and 80's.

Jim Slezak switching surprises me based on the partisan makeup of this district, although he was probably not all that popular with the establishment democrats there taking out Hammel in the primary.

From Flint Journal

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Former state Rep. Jim Slezak said he's confident of receiving support when he runs as a Republican in 2012 for U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee's seat, and the county's party chairwoman agrees.

Rep. Jim Slezak will run for U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee's seat as a Republican in 2012.
“I looked at the priorities of the national Democrats and the president. There hasn’t been any real leadership right now or vision of the problems Michigan, and especially Flint, is facing,” he said of his decision to change parties.

“In the past, even now and in the future, I am willing to work for everyone. I am not going to work for one person and not another. I don’t think we’re doing that right now.”

Slezak, a 45-year-old Davison Townshi resident, said he mulled over the decision with his wife and family before making the switch.

He won the 50th District state House seat in 2008, but Slezak was defeated during the August 2010 Democratic primary by Burton Mayor Paula Zelenko for the 26th District state Sentate position which was later won by Republican Dave Robertson.

I don't know if Slezak will get past the GOP primary, but even if he does, this district is a longshot. Even in 2010, Dale Kildee received slightly over 53%, winning by almost 18,000 votes (with 6000 going to 3rd parties). The top of the ticket is normally close to 60%.

Any GOP nominee would have to have to run the table to win here. It would take a year like 1994 or 2010 AND there needs to be some fallout from the primary on the democrats. The nominee would have to be an unacceptable candidate. The names I'm hearing right now for the dems are Jim Barcia or Dan Kildee (nephew of Dale?). Kildee has won countywide for smaller offices. Barcia is a congressman who runs ahead of the ticket. Barcia would probably win this district easily. Kildee would probably have to deal with some nepotism claims, but does have some record of his own. He'd be tough to beat. I'd like to see two or three more democrats run in and muck this thing up. That could give whoever the GOP nominee is an opening for a Scott Brown type of upset. If someone who is a poor campaigner, uberleftist on social issues and is elitist, and/or has a bunch of scandals squeaks with the nomination, there's a chance. Hopefully Don Williamson runs.

It will be an interesting primary, to see what happens. My money is on the dems, but people can beat themselves in districts like this. Don Sherwood did it for the GOP. Dan Rostenkowski did it in a more democrat district than this back in 94.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rise of embezzlement in campaign accounts

There's a very interesting and disturbing story in Bloomberg News that hits close to home with me. I've long been preaching about how important it is to get a good and trustworthy treasurer if you are running a campaign or forming a PAC. Some of my previous posts on this area are as follows.

Shameless business plug for my company, posted in 2009

2006 - What not to do. This was one of the inspirations of me forming the business.

From 2008 - Report on an embezzlement

From Bloomberg

Representative Susan Davis’ latest letter to supporters said: “We have been robbed!!”

Davis, 67, is one of several California Democrats whose campaign accounts were allegedly looted during the past year by their treasurer, Kinde Durkee. On Sept. 10, Davis sent out the appeal to begin rebuilding her account.

Five days after Durkee’s arrest in Burbank on Sept. 2, Representative Frank LoBiondo’s former campaign treasurer was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzling more than $450,000 from the New Jersey Republican’s campaign committee.

As candidates raise more money for their campaigns, there is greater opportunity for nefarious treasurers to embezzle campaign cash from politicians accustomed to putting their careers in the hands of consultants, aides and volunteers, said Michael Toner, a former Federal Election Commission chairman.

I'm not surprised at this at all, and it has nothing to do with partisanship. Campaigns are getting more expensive. I had sole control of a small non-political account one time and still wrote a $20,000 check. Reminded me of tuition. When you have that type of control, and the knowledge to go with it, it's not hard for a bad guy to put the money where it doesn't belong. One thing I insist on when doing this work to protect my myself is to make sure somebody else, preferably the candidate or campaign manager, sign any checks that go to my company.

Right now is in particularly dangerous time with these issues. Campaigns are in transitional mode. Candidates HATE this part of the campaign, with a passion. Fundraising they don't like. Administrative work they despise. Treasurers are often a volunteer who is very close to the candidate. Those that do the research and find out what they are in for get scared and either get bogged down and overwhelmed or look for a professional or someone who can freelance as a professional due to an accounting background elsewhere or something else. A friend of a friend. A cold call. That person often has total control. Keep in mind that this business is based all on trust. Candidates often trust campaign managers and/or treasurers with everything, and the friend of the friend is placed with the same trust. That unfortunately sometimes backfires.

Such thefts are “almost entirely preventable,” said David Mason, another Federal Election Commission chairman who is a senior vice president at Washington-based Aristotle Inc., a political consulting company. “Politicians still want to rely on trust. It’s a personal business.”

Election lawyers said thefts are increasing as campaign treasuries grow and candidates rely on the same person to pay the bills and track the expenses. The average House member spent $1.4 million to win election in 2010, compared with $840,300 a decade earlier, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending.

Some of those races are about 1/10th that amount. Others are 20 million plus. Regardless of it being a 25K race or 25 million race,, it's still serious money, and a lot of power given to a treasurer. I can do a lot with 450K. Three things I can do with that are to destroy my name and reputation, betray those who trusted me, and go to club fed. No thanks. I'll use that 450K for its intended purpose, the campaign. Others obviously haven't and are now in prison. Some are probably getting away with it.

This is one of the best quotes I've seen. Leave it to an in-house attorney to say it best.

These officeholders flip over the keys to these professional treasurers in a way they would never do for their own savings,” said former National Republican Senatorial Committee general counsel Craig Engle, founder of Arent Fox LLP’s political law group and treasurer of the firm’s political action committee. “The more time an officeholder is spending going over his spending, the less effective a candidate he or she will be.”

As a professional treasurer/record keeper, that's true. With all the requirements, candidates, especially in large areas, don't want to deal with this stuff. Neither do their campaign managers. "Dan, take care of this. Do whatever needs to be done." "Got it." Candidates want to meet people, knock on doors, and get their name out in a positive way. They want to be talking to me about in house business as little as possible. It doesn't gain them the votes they need to win.

Here's more.

Professional Treasurers

In the past, treasurers were often family friends or prominent local figures, Engle said. As record-keeping became more complicated, candidates brought in professionals, with no personal connections to them, to handle the job. They found them by word-of-mouth and recommendations; Durkee could sign checks on more than 400 bank accounts, including an undisclosed number of political committees, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit.

“As politics has become a regulated industry, the need for professional treasurers, or campaign finance officers, has increased dramatically,” Engle said. “What you see on reports now are professional political treasurers who are handling the books and records. No longer is it a friend or big wheel. It’s someone who does it for a living.”

Here's my recommendation. Put two names on the account - the treasurer and preferably either the campaign manager or assistant manager, and have the treasurer write the checks with the exception of the treasurer's fees. I don't like writing campaign business checks from the campaign to my own business. It looks bad, even if its a legitimate transaction. The lure for a bad guy to steal the campaign money is less when someone is checking the monthly bank statements, especially one that would know the companies receiving the money. "What's Shell Game, incorporated?" "Uhhh.." "Who did we work with there?" "Uhhhh." "I'm calling the feds." There doesn't need to be micromanagement, but there should be just enough of an eye on the account to know that no shenanigans are going on.

Election lawyers say it’s easy to prevent such thefts. Candidates can require two signatures on accounts, have different people responsible for depositing donations and writing checks, bring in a third person to review the books regularly, and keep an eye on campaign funds the way they would their personal bank accounts.

Beyond the lost cash, candidates and political committees can also face financial penalties from the FEC for filing what turn out to be false disclosure reports.

I'd add carbon copies of the checks as well. This is a Double whammy. Sometimes the FEC or Sec of State may give a break to a campaign for this type of stuff, but it's still just a terrible thing to go through. I don't wish it on any campaign, and I hope those that do this stuff spend a long time in Club Fed.

There's some more details about things at Bloomberg news site. It's a must read for anyone tied into the nuts and bolts of campaigning.

With the campaign season heating up, It's time for all those forming committees to think hard about how they are going to handle the treasury position. Committees need to make sure that whoever they have is someone who is both trustworthy and competent. I still do this work, and if you are interested in a good treasurer, my contact information is at my Company Website.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rick Perry for President

I expect when things to shake out for this to be a three, maybe four way race in the primary. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and possibly Michele Bachmann. Ron Paul will likely get his 5-10% with varied support for Herman Cain, Thad McCotter, Newt Gingrich, and Gary Johnson. I don't expect Sarah Palin to jump in, but I don't see her getting the nomination based on a "Can't win" worry.

Romney, Perry, and Huntsman I think are the "frontrunners." I think any of those three could win the nomination. I think of those three, two of them are very electable in the general election. Perry and Huntsman. Romney I think is less electable unless Obama beats himself.

Unless Perry drops out, I will probably not be voting for Bachmann, Cain, Paul, Newt, Johnson, Santorum, or Palin (if she runs) based on chances of winning in the general election. I protest voted in the 08 election because of Rudy McRomneyabee. I don't regret it. There's different dynamics this time.

I don't care for Romney, but he's got money and organizational skills. His organizational skills are elite. Those two things alone give him a chance. He is a former governor for one term, and has a venture capitalist background. He was the establishment favorite in 2008 and is their favorite once again this year. Working against him (I think) this time is that there's no McCain. That's hurting him with conservatives who preferred him to McCain. Huntsman may play a factor in this later on though. Despite polls, I don't think Romney is electable unless Obama beats himself. That's due to his constant shifting in positions over and over again, as well as his pandering. Where does he stand after Romneycare? Social issues, especially his shift on life issues and a consistently anti-gun record, are a factor to a degree, but Romneycare is his biggest issue, followed by the voting against it after voting for it types of shifts. Jobs is the other. His jobs record in Massachusetts isn't that stellar, and it needs to be in order to compete with Obama. His biggest weakness though isn't his views. It's his constant changing of views. There's too much John Kerry in him, although at least Romney isn't a traitor like Kerry was in his 72 senate speech. I'd probably cave if he's the nominee, but I'd really be holding my nose.

Speaking of Huntsman. Why would I support Huntsman over Romney? It's the economy stupid. Utah has been one of the brighter spots with the economy in recent years. Huntsman only had one term as governor, but there was stronger economic growth in Utah than many other places in the country. Was he responsible for all of it? No, but he didn't screw things up, although there is one major issue I have with economic issues of his that is a dealbreaker with me for any primary vote. Cap and trade. He supports it for global warming. As someone with family in the auto industry and supportive of manufacturing, that's a dealbreaker. I'm not sold on man-made global warming because A. Every study I've seen is based on an 150 year study or so, which is a drop in the bucket in earth years unless you are a young earth creationist (I'm not) or B. I'm not sold that global warming is a bad thing. Even if it is bad, how is cap and trade going to fix it? The other thing about Huntsman - good and bad - is that he's a technocrat.

Huntsman has a record of being pro-life as far as I know, but my guard is up a bit. Is he for embryo research? I'd trust him over Romney on this issue though. He is for civil unions. I oppose those and would rather have government get out of marriage altogether. That's not a dealbreak for me, but cap and trade is. However, I do think Huntsman is electable in a general election if he is the nominee. I also think you'll see a lot more from him as it gets closer to New Hampshire and Iowa. What separates Huntsman from Romney is that with Huntsman, you have a good idea what you're going to get. A moderate technocrat. I'd vote for Huntsman over Obama, but not in a primary.

Rick Perry has my support. I commented on his electability here. I think he's a center-right candidate who can win due to his experience, the economy, and the fact that people know what they are going to get from him. Perry is who he is. Do I agree with Perry 100%? No I don't. The vaccine requirement. I don't have a problem with him encouraging it, but I did with requirements. He realized his mistake and backed off. I'm also opposed to the death penalty. However, there's a lot of issues where I do agree with him.

1. Abolishing lifetime tenure for judges. Right now, there's no accountability for federal judicial decisions. There needs to be checks and balances.
2. 16th Amendment income tax. Eliminate it.
3. Balance Budget Amendment.
4. Opposition to Cap and Trade and supports of all the above energy policy which will help our economy
5. Pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment
6. Repeal Obamacare.
7. Turned down stimulus money because of the strings attached.
8. Reduced property taxes and refused to create income tax
9. Vetoes. He used the veto more times than anyone else in Texas history - despite republican control for much of his time in office.

In addition to that, the issue is experience. Obama was a junior league senator with four years of statewide elected experience. Before that, he was a state senator. He is the Peter Principle in Chief. George W Bush I think was inexperienced as well. He was a 1 1/2 term governor and his other major experience was running the Texas Rangers. I think the inexperience caught up with him in the 2nd term of his presidency. Carter was a one term governor and former state senator. He was the Peter Principle in Chief of his time, and then some. Worst president in my lifetime.

Rick Perry has a 10 year record as governor, and 10 years before that as either Lt Governor or Agricultural Commissioner. During the past 20 years, Texas has been one of the leading states in economic growth. Perry didn't do that by himself, but most importantly, he didn't screw things up. A bad governor can do a number on a state. Jennifer Granholm, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis, Kathleen Blanco, and Rod Blagojevich prove that. Rick Perry is the most conservative candidate running who can win, and he can win due to the performance of the Texas economy and jobs over the past 10 years.

Jobs is how Perry wins, and jobs is how Obama loses.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

McDowell wants a rematch with Benishek

From the Free Press

WASHINGTON – Former state Rep. Gary McDowell wants another crack at the man who kept him out of Congress last year.

McDowell, a Democrat from Rudyard on the Upper Peninsula, announced Wednesday his intentions to run again for Michigan’s 1st congressional district next year. McDowell lost in the general election to Dan Benishek, a Republican from Crystal Falls and a newcomer to politics.

Redistricting benefited Benishek slightly, I can never call North Michigan districts safe. There's the new 1st district and here's some recent North Michigan analysis from 2010.

McDowell was hammered in 2010, but won three times in a tough district previously. I'm not counting him out, and hope Benishek is ready.

GOP picks up Congressional Seat in Brooklyn/Queens

The big news is that in New York's 9th District, Bob Turner defeated David Weprin. This is bigger than the hype for several reasons.

Remember the end of 2008. The GOP was supposedly dead in the water outside of the South. It was a "Southern" party which was "behind the times" to the new Obama age. The media said so....over and over again. We knew it was crap, but it takes results to get those idiots to shut their mouths.

In fact, here's a reminder of some of that crap:

November 2, 2009 - AP

Also, the party's power center is mostly limited to the South, the one region McCain dominated last fall; Obama won almost everywhere else — including making inroads in emerging powerhouse regions like the West, although Republicans still solidly control several lightly populated states in the area.

You still hear that trash about this National party. Here's actual truth.
2009 - GOP picked up races in New Jersey (Northeast/Mid Atlantic) and Virginia (won in Fairfax County - not southern in culture). Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. Many local wins.

National Review's Jim Gehraty caught this before 2010. I expanded on that November 24 - Republican Comeback in the Northeast. That was in reference mostly to the New York and Philly suburbs. Philly's burbs are probably the 2nd most democrat in the country overall among large city suburbs. New York is probably 3rd. 1st is Boston. All of those actually were key in some of the comeback races in 2009.

2010 - Pickups:
Senate - North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Pennsylvania. Mostly Midwest. Illinois is a shocker. Obama's home state.

Gubernatorial - Pickups in Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Dems gained California, Hawaii, and Minnesota. Spread out, but a pickup in Maine.

House pickups:
South (and Texas, Maryland, West Virginia - which are arguable) - 21
1 - Alabama
2 - Arkansas
1 - Georgia
1 - Louisiana
1 - Maryland
2 - Mississippi
1 - North Carolina
1 - South Carolina
3 - Tennessee
3 - Virginia
1 - West Virginia
3 - Texas

Florida - 4 (Florida is part Southern, part Midwest, part Northeast, and part Carribean)

West - 8
2 - Arizona
2 - Colorado
1 - Idaho
1 - Nevada
1 - New Mexico
1 - Washington

Midwest - 20
4 - Illinois
2 - Indiana
1 - Kansas
2 - Michigan
1 - Minnestota
1 - Missouri
1 - North Dakota
5 - Ohio
1 - South Dakota
2 - Wisconsin

Northeast - 14
2 - New Hampshire
1 - New Jersey
6 - New York
5 - Pennsylvania

The pickups are spread out. The GOP does well in the South, but not just the South. Five seats in New York, despite the special election blunders upstate.

I put all that in background because I want to smash that media driven "GOP is only a Southern Party" (followed by bad stereotypes perpetuated by that same media) bullshit. It's a NATIONAL party. Midwest, West, Northeast, and South.

One thing I respected about Howard Dean, for all his faults is that as DNC chair, he pushed his party to have a 50 state strategy. He didn't always do it well, but he had the right idea. Whether we are able to hang on to the Scott Brown or Bob Turner seats remain to be seen. Speaking of Bob Turner, he's the new Congressman from New York City. 9th District. Brooklyn and Queens.

Bob Turner defeated David Weprin for a New York City Congessional District that had no portion of Staten Island. This is big. New York City has a reputation as a major blue city. It's well deserved. Of the five Boroughs, only one voted for McCain or Bush. Heavily White Ethnic and Catholic Staten Island, the smallest of the Boroughs is competitive but usually votes Republican. Brooklyn and Queens are usually 70-80% dem. Bronx and Manhattan are 80-90% dem. That's referring to national elections Boroughwide. It's not uniform and there are competitive portions within that district, but they are usually outvoted by other areas in the district.

Until yesterday, there was only one congressional district in New York City that often voted Republican. That would be the 13th district which is based in Staten Island and also has four mostly Italian neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The 9th and its incarnations, has been democrat since the 1920's.

If you look at big city districts in general, only a few are represented with Republicans, and fewer have two. The Bucks County district in Pennsylvania has part of Philly. It's a swing district. Miami's Cuban areas have Republican reps. Jacksonville, Cincinnati (due to burbs), Columbus (Due to burbs), part of Indianapolis, Colorado Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Wichita, small parts of Houston and Dallas, small part of San Diego, and parts of Phoenix. All those areas outside of Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Columbus also have significant democrat congressional districts. Columbus and Cincinnati would if their districts were not split.

There are 12 districts which have part of New York City.
5th - Gary Ackerman (D), Queens/Long Island - 63% Gore/Kerry. 45% White, 24.6% Asian, 24% Latino

6th - Gregory Meeks (D), Queens - 89% Obama, 84%Kerry. 54% Black

7th - Joseph Crowley (D), Queens/Bronx - 79% Obama, 74% Kerry, 45% White, 36% Latino, 19% Black

8th - Jerrold Nadler (D), Manhattan/Brooklyn - 74% Obama, 72% Kerry - 75% White, 11% Asian, 11% Hispanic

9th - Bob Turner (R), Brooklyn/Queens - 55% Obama, 56% Kerry - 71% White, 15% Asian, 14% Latino

10th - Ed Towns (D), Brooklyn - 91% Obama, 86% Kerry - 63% Black

11th - Yvette Clark (D), Brooklyn - 91% Obama, 86% Kerry - 62% Black

12th - Nydia Velasquez (D), Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens - 86% Obama, 80% Kerry, 49% Latino, 40% White, 16% Asian 11% Black

13th - Michael Grimm (R), Staten Island/Brooklyn - 52% McCain, 56% Bush, 77% White, 11% Latino,

14th - Carolyn Maloney (D), Manhattan/Queens - 78% Obama, 74% Kerry. 73% White, 14% Latino, 11% Asian

15th - Charlie Rangel (D), Manhattan/Queens - 93% Obama, 90% Kerry. 48% Latino, 34% Black.

16th - Jose Serrano (D), Bronx - 95% Obama, 89% Kerry. 63% Latino, 36% Black

17th - Elliot Engle (D), Bronx/Rockland/Westchester - 72% Obama, 67% Kerry, 48% White, 32% Black, 20% Hispanic.

You have 6-9 minority seats. Crowley, Engel, and Ackerman's districts aren't I believe VRA seats, but are still under 50% white. The districts there have strange shapes because of the VRA rules. Meeks, Towns and Clark will have their seats protected. There's a lot of old school ethnic politics that still goes on in the Northeast, and New York City in particular. New York State is usually under split control in the state legislature, and deals are often made with the factions there. Traditionally it is upstate republicans vs City democrats, but that may be changing with the upcoming redistricting as democrats are making inroads upstate and republicans inroads in the city.

The 11th is Grimm's district. That's the Staten Island seat. It also has some largely Italian areas of Brooklyn that are competitive. It borders the 9th. The 8th is Manhattan based seat that has a mix of different areas in Brooklyn, from democrat "Hipster" areas, to Orthodox Jewish and Italian areas. Crowley's district, the 7th borders the 9th on the other side. There's been some blending of the 9th and 7th districts with redistricting.

The 9th covers these areas.

Queens - Maspeth, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Middle Village, Forest Hills, Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Rego Park, Rockaway Beach, and Woodhaven.
Brooklyn - Flatlands, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Midwood, Mill Basin and Sheepshead Bay.

It has a reputation as the "Brooklyn Jewish District" because it was Weiner and before that Chuck Schumer's. That's only partially true. Most of the district is actually in Queens. The district is 40% Jewish however, and Brooklyn has a large Orthodox population in the district. There's also significant Asian, Italian, and Irish, as well as Jewish populations there. There is a large Orthodox population in the Brooklyn section however. In 2008, Turner ran almost 50/50 in Brooklyn against Anthony Weiner. Queens was where Weiner actually whipped Turner's ass and winning the district with 60% of the vote. Downticket, Weiner usually won between 60-70%, normal for incumbents against most opponents. Turner did well in 2010, holding Weiner to 60%. That was before Weiner became famous for being a Weenie.

I'm trying to find official numbers for the district and the neighborhoods, but last I've heard, it was about 67% Turner in Brooklyn, and 52-48 Weiprin in Queens. 48% in an area Weiner won by 30pts is good enough for the GOP to win because it means it is a wipeout in Brooklyn. If it was 67% in Brooklyn, he won big both in the Jewish and Irish/Italian areas. In Queens, I'm interested in seeing where Turner won and where he lost.

Regardless of anything, this is bad for the dems. While this was a seat democrat since the 1920's, more significantly, this district went for Obama, Kerry, Gore (66%), and Clinton. This was not some traditional district trending in a direction to the point of being on borrowed time. It has trended less democrat, but 55% was the minimum number for the dems, especially with the Queens portion of the district.

Why did they lose it?

1. Special elections are always tricky. Turnout changes.

2. Poor candidate. David Weprin was the nominee because Joe Crowley, basically your stereotypical urban boss politician, thought it would be a good idea. Weprin voted for gay marriage, while claiming to be an Orthodox Jew. Now I'm not Jewish, so I'm not going to comment except that he didn't sell in the Brooklyn Orthodox areas against an Irish Catholic, for whatever reason. He also didn't live in the district. He was in the 5th district. (Akerman) From what I've heard, he came off like a typical politician and panderer. Good candidates can overcome bad leads at the top of the ticket outside of a 2008 or 2010 style wave election.

3. Good candidates. Bob Turner. Bob Turner won. He held the margin in Queens down and won big in Brooklyn. He didn't do terrible in 2010, but he built on 2010 and finished with the win. He wasn't a RINO either. I don't expect him to be Mike Pence or Jim DeMint, but he's not Mike Bloomberg either. Turner gave the people there a real choice.

4. Crossovers. Ed Koch and Dov Hikind were democrats supporting Turner. Koch wanted to repudiate Obama for his Middle Eastern policies. Turner benefited from that.

5. Last but not least, the economy. This district isn't Midtown Manhattan or the Upper East Side. This isn't a trust fund Hipster District in gentrification parts of Williamsburg that the white liberals love. This is a largely Middle Class and Working Class white ethnic district with a few rich and poor areas. This is the type of district that Scott Brown targeted in his Massachusetts senate race. The current economy isn't great there in this district either. The economy and jobs is the number one factor every election.

With Redistricting (and split control), I don't know what will happen to this district. Two districts will be eliminated, probably one GOP and one dem. One of them will have to be upstate. The original plan was for the democrat to be Wiener (with Weprin as a placeholder seat). It'll be interesting to see what happens to this seat. Will Turner drop some of the Queens portion to Crowley for the rest of the Orthodox areas in Brooklyn or Grimm's Italian precincts?

At worst, this gives the GOP momentum and another house seat for a year. It also shows, once again, that the GOP can compete and win not just areas outside the South but in the Northeast and in urban areas to boot.

At best, this will be the start of taking over inner ring suburbs and even some majority non-Hipster white urban districts.

More Big Government leftism by supposed Republican Snyder

From the Detroit News

Lansing— Doctors would be asked to report children's weight information to the state under a broad health strategy to be unveiled by Gov. Rick Snyder this morning in Grand Rapids.

The plan to combat child obesity will be unveiled as part of a special message on health and wellness at the Heart of the City Health Center that will include plans for a health insurance exchange and asking lawmakers to update the state's food laws, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Tuesday.

Doctors would calculate children's body mass index and report it to the Michigan Care Improvement registry, Wurfel said. The child would remain anonymous. The registry run by the Department of Community Health is the same one used to report childhood immunizations.

Wurfel added there isn't a mechanism for the state to collect children's weight information.

"What we're going to be doing is urging them to report it, because it's a step in a very important direction" she said.

For adults, the state will focus on BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors that contribute to heart disease and other costly health problems, Wurfel said.

This is bad, especially with Obamacare crap going around. Why does big government need that information? Besides that, BMI is a flawed measurement (not to be confused with percentage of bodyfat) that does not account for athletes who weightlift or some genetic builds. According to the BMI measurements, I was considered overweight at 190lbs when I ran an under 6 minute mile which I was able to do four times. I was in the best shape of my life then. People in bad shape can't run a mile under 6 minutes. I last weighed 170 was the first year I was weightlifting at 16 years old. At that time I was gaining weight during track season when we ran 4-6 miles a day. From an effectiveness measurement standpoint, replace BMI with percentage of bodyfat. That will take away the 5'10 200lb athletes off the obese list. I'll concede that I'm out of shape and overweight today, but I won't be confused with Michael Moore and don't have a 40 inch+ waist. It's not a secret who I am, so I don't have to tell you all reading this to take my word for it.

You throw bodybuilders and most of those who played football or hockey - even in high school, into the overweight or obese category, and you're going to add to an already what will be a large list. I'm not just referring to offensive linemen either. Even some defensive backs would be on that list. That will be trouble for all of us because it will create a "crisis." If you want to enact big government legislation, no time is easier than in a manufactured crisis. One year after the government gets the lists, the news reports come out..."70% of this state is obese. We must do SOMETHING." Blue Cross along with the very strong, organized, and underrated public health lobbies (look at the smoking legislation success nationwide) will make some phone calls and flood the offices of our reps. There will be many new restrictions on what we eat, what restaurants serve, etc. Also be prepared for "pop taxes" (Virg Bernero's baby as a state senator), beer tax increases, and other punitive revenue enhancements. Afterall....government supposedly knows best.

Is there a problem with both adult and childhood obesity? Yes. Some of it is genetics. Some of it is diet. Some of it is exercise. Who is the solution? Individuals and parents. What is the solution? Self-Discipline. Government doesn't need to be a nanny. We don't need Rick Snyder or Virg Bernero's nanny state.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Peters to run in the 14th District

Interesting decision here.

From the Detroit News

Detroit— The races for Congress became clearer Thursday as U.S. Rep. Gary Peters announced he'll challenge for the Democratic nomination in the 14th District and longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers decided he will run in the new 13th District.

With the state losing a seat in Congress due to population loss, Peters was the odd-man-out as his old 9th District was carved up, leaving him without a seat. Under the same boundaries, Conyers' 14th District was redrawn to include portions of Wayne and Oakland counties, but not much of his traditional base.

Part of the logjam was resolved when U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, announced he'd run in the new 14th District, which includes areas he now represents. That opened the door for speculation about whether Conyers would then run in the 13th, a move that a source close to Conyers confirmed to The News on Thursday.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, on Thursday told supporters he'll run for office in the new 14th District.

"… Congressional districts are just lines on a map," Peters, serving his second term in Congress, said in an email to supporters. "I believe that regardless of where we call home, we all want the same things: economic security, fairness from government, and an honest chance to find success and happiness."

"I've spent my life fighting for these values."

Also eying the seat are Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence and Southfield Treasurer Irv Lowenberg.

Lines on a map, Peters? Bad choice of words when describing people's homes. I don't think people would buy that line if I ran for office in the nearby 7th or 11th districts which border Green Oak. The area Peters represents now in this district is Pontiac, Farmington Hills, Orchard Lake, Keego Harbor, and West Bloomfield. He's currently in the 9th along with Sander Levin in a district that's really mostly the old 12th. If I was Peters, I'd have instead mentioned that I represented the people in Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, and Pontiac in Congress, and am running to represent those as well as the new areas of this district.

John Conyers is running in the 13th instead, while Hansen Clarke is running in the 14th. I don't find that controversial as they are in the same city. Detroiters representing Detroit.

However, neither Conyers or Clarke is going to get a free pass. Conyers will be facing State Senator Bert Johnson (Highland Park) and also State Rep Shanelle Jackson (Detroit). There may be others, but those are in so far. I think Conyers is favored, but if someone goes after the Redford/Westland/Garden City/Dearborn Heights votes, this could get interesting. I don't think most of them care for Mr Monica Conyers. I think they would gladly consider a strong alternative candidate.

Clarke I think has a easier battle with Peters who became infamous with his Obamacare vote. If Brenda Lawrence jumps in, I think she'll have a very good chance to win (more as pro-Lawrence rather than anti-Clarke). Peters was able to win last time largely because of Pontiac, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield. Those areas all tilt democrat, but will they vote for Peters over the well known and not very controversial Lawrence? Outside of Bloomfield, I doubt it, and that includes the white folks. Over Clarke? I don't know. Clarke isn't Conyers and doesn't have as much of controversial demeanor to suburbanites. A lot of people don't know who he is, outside of a recent state legislature and the guy who beat Carolyn Kilpatrick. The fact that he beat Kwame's mom gets him some credit in his favor right off the bat.

As a Republican, I don't see a lot of difference between any of them from a voting record standpoint, only in style differences and committee differences. Conyers is on judiciary. Clarke is on science and homeland security. I wouldn't mind seeing a gun grabber off of judiciary. I'd rather see Clarke win than Peters, since Peters doesn't need statewide traction with his ambitions and Oakland County base.

Skipped the debate and the Obama jobs speech

The big political news right now is the debate and the the Obama jobs speech. I skipped them both, for similar reasons.

With the debates, it's all gotcha politics. Most candidates hate them. They hate them because it takes up their time they would rather spend knocking on doors and meeting voters. Those who go to debates are usually folks who already made their decision. Those who watch often are leaning in a certain direction. At best, they are soundbites that may catch inconsistencies.

With Obama's jobs speech, I have simply better things to do, like watch football, than be lied to. I can't believe a word this guy says to begin with, so why would I waste my time? We've had nearly three years of the Peter Principle in chief in office, as well as his four years as a Senator. Obama's record is loud and clear. It sucks. According to the low lights, his plan is more of the same Keynesian economic spending. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting better results. It's time for the Peter Principle in chief to at least get out of the way of economic matters and defer to those who are more capable. Keynesian economics didn't work, doesn't work, and won't work in the future. This was proven 30 years ago in the 70's with Nixon and Carter.

Speaking of records, that's a reason why I didn't watch the debate. The three frontrunners, Governor Rick Perry, Former Governor Mitt Romney, and congresswoman Michele Bachmann, all have records. We know what to expect from Perry and Bachmann, and in Romney's case, don't know what to expect due to consistency problems. With the others, we also know what to expect from Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson, Thad McCotter, and Newt Gingrich. The only one that doesn't have political office experience is businessman Herman Cain. Cain is quite clear where he stands on issues as well as a radio talk show host. The debates won't change what they have done, and what any of them will be likely to do if elected president.

Talk is cheap. Political talk is even cheaper. Deeds, not words.