Monday, November 28, 2011

Who is the actual RINO? (2012 primaries)

I have a hit or miss view when it comes to Joe Scarbrough. Sometimes he gets it dead on and sometimes he is way off. This one here is quite good.

From Politico

The insult du jour for Republican candidates this election cycle is being labeled a RINO, a Republican in Name Only. Unfortunately, the insult has been so overused lately it’s been rendered meaningless. The insult is even emptier because it is so detached from actual statements, campaign promises and voting records.

A candidate like Newt Gingrich can get away with supporting the biggest socialist scheme in American government over the past 30 years because he says nasty things about the press and calls Barack Obama a Marxist. Jon Huntsman, on the other hand, can have a stellar conservative record as Utah’s governor, be anti-abortion and adored by the NRA. But if he refuses to spit out angry screeds against Obama, he’s dismissed as a RINO, the facts be damned.

So as a public service to POLITICO readers, I, your humble conservative servant, have put together a “Who is the Real RINO?” test. based on voting records, candidate quotes and facts! (Shocking, I know.)

Good luck!

1. Who said, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. I am not going to change pro-choice laws in any way”?

A. Mitt Romney

C. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

I got all but two of them right. Politico didn't line up page two properly, so one of the answered I picked Newt was Mitt. I also got the Rockefeller State Chair wrong.

It's biased, heavily towards Huntsman. However Newt is hit or miss, and we all know how Romney panders to every audience. Huntsman isn't AS BAD as his reputation which he got by taking a job as ambassador. That doesn't mean he's perfect. He's on board the global warming bandwagon and supported Cap and Trade in Utah which is an automatic two strikes against him. He spent too much as governor, although he did cut taxes. (Growth helped him in Utah) He supports civil unions for gays which I mildly oppose (tax money paying for it), but really don't have strong opinions about one way or the other on that issue. Many do. I do think he's the most electable in the general election however, and have said that since the beginning. I'm worried he's a Bush Republican, but we'll see.

Back in September, I was on board the Perry camp. It was an "anybody but Romney" move. I also didn't expect to see a collapse and implosion after the immigration comments and gaffes in debates over and over again. What I was looking for was the best alternative to Romney who can beat Obama. That's where my vote is going to go. Anybody but Romney who can beat Obama. Maybe Perry can recover. We'll see.

I'm not the only one in that boat. Especially post Obamacare/Romneycare, Romney, despite his money, organization, and an attempted coronation by the political class, so far can not bust through the ceiling. A lot of candidates are jockeying for position in this horse race, but Romney has in only one poll in November broke 30%. He did that once in October, three times in July, and once in June. At least 68% are looking for an alternative if you take his high recent numbers. That going off a bunch of polls showing similar results, not just a cherrypicked one. The 32% was high number.

In July, Bachmann and Romney were 1 and 2. Bachmann collapsed. In September, Perry consistently led. When Perry collapsed, Cain took the lead. When he collapsed, Newt's taking the lead. Newt Gingrich of all people is now the "anti-establishment" candidate. How is a former speaker and pundit non establishment? Because he's not Romney, the choice of the beltway. He was also their choice last time, more than McCain.

Some say the national polls don't matter. It's state polls. The real polls start in Iowa and New Hampshire in a little over a month. The state opinion polls aren't as often as national, but the results have generally been this:

Iowa (1-3) - Newt over Romney recently, before that Cain over Romney consistently. Ron Paul gets consistently 15%-20%. Romney peaks at 20%. Newt leads around 30%

New Hampshire (1-10) - Romney leads big. Almost all polls (one outlier has Newt leading) have him at around 40% A lot of Massachusetts transplants live in New Hampshire. Despite the reputation, polls had them voting for Bush twice. Other state transplants and natives costs Bush in 2004. The "Massholes" as they are often called are going to be deciding this one.

South Carolina (1-21) - The state that won it for Bush and McCain. Romney and Cain battled in October. This month it is Newt and Cain. Newt leads in the last poll, and Cain led before that. There's still a lot of movement in this state.

Florida (1-31) - No recent polls, but Romney and Cain have battled here for awhile.

Nevada and Maine (2-4) - Caucuses. Maine has no recent polling. October had one with a 6%+ margin of error with Cain over Romney, but 6% is almost worthless. Another October poll has Mitt and Cain battling in Nevada.

Colorado and Minnesota (2-7) - Nothing recent in either state before October.

Arizona and Michigan (2-28) - One recent poll in Arizona had Newt up 28-23 over Romney with Cain at 17% Michigan is Romney's old home and where his dad was governor in the 60's. He won here last time 39-30%. EPIC/MRA had a 6.1% margin of error poll that had him leading Newt 34-20. That could mean 40-14 or 28-26. Michigan has a quasi-open primary, so that will factor in.

March 6th is Super Tuesday. It'll be likely decided by then.

Back to Romney, why isn't he catching on? People don't trust him. People also do not trust political establishments. This goes back to the end of the Bush era with the spending, bailouts, and the like. Obama the Peter Principle in Chief is deeply unpopular, but so is much of the GOP establishment, and Romney is getting the brunt of it. Some of that goes back to his record as Massachusetts governor. Some of that is due to the consultant proxy battles between Romney/McCain/Palin in the post 2008 blowups. Much of that goes down to trust. People don't trust Romney. He campaigned and was a liberal, and all of a sudden "became a conservative" when he ran for president. I don't think so. Actions not words. People don't trust a tax raising, gun grabbing, Romneycare enacting individual. If organization and money equal automatic wins, Romney would have already won. He's king there, and he still trailing nationally.

There's a big opening for someone to take out Romney. However, somebody has to take it. Either someone new has to come in (Newt rising from the ashes, Huntsman, or maybe even Ron Paul, but he'll likely get his 5-15%) or someone who collapsed has to rehab enough to get a couple of upsets. Bachmann, Perry, Cain. That is what has to happen, and it may or may not happen. Much like 2008, nobody is running away with this. Too bad that Mitch Daniels didn't run.

Right now the search is on for who can beat Romney - but also can beat Obama. (for the record, I think Obama beats Romney easily unless Obama beats himself) The search is ongoing. Anybody but Romney in the primary.

Friday, November 25, 2011

State House Redistricting - District 42 (HD-42)

State House - District 42
Current Reps - Bill Rogers (R-Genoa Twp)

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Bill Rogers (R-Brighton)
Dem - Shanda Willis (D-Brighton)

Update 5-26-2012 - Bill Rogers has a challenger from Novi Teacher Dale Rogers, who often posts on the Livingston Post website. Bill's favored to win, although I think Dale has the potential with his background to be a strong challenger if he really knows how to run a state rep campaign. Adding Hamburg and Putnam Twps did not do Bill any favors. While most MEA teachers are democrats, there are many who are swing voters or sometimes weak GOP because of some issues. I noticed that from other campaigns, including some names I recognized that I'd never expect to be on a GOP list until I saw one major indicator that would explain it. I'm not going to bet against Bill here, but I don't expect this to be a repeat of Joe Hune vs Paul Rogers.  

Update 8-30-2012 - Bill Rogers wins the primary. 

2010 Results - Old District (66th)
Bill Rogers - 23,480
James Delcamp - 8,246

The new 42th is descended from the old 66th district in Livingston County. This district changed slightly with redistricting. It dropped Milford to the 44th district. It dropped Oceola Twp and Marion Twp to the 47th district with Cindy Denby. It picks up Hamburg and Putnam Townshops from Denby. This new district is much less republican than it was previously, but Brighton and Genoa Townships will carry this even in bad year barring a Don Sherwood level of disaster. I think the last time a dem won this district was maybe  1990 or more likely 1986 for Frank Kelley.

Bill Rogers has one more term left, then this district will open up.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Brighton 1984 2097 4081 -113 48.62% 51.38% -2.77%
Brighton Twp 6589 4188 10777 2401 61.14% 38.86% 22.28%
Genoa Twp 6592 4502 11094 2090 59.42% 40.58% 18.84%
Green Oak Twp 5522 4395 9917 1127 55.68% 44.32% 11.36%
Hamburg Twp 6355 5922 12277 433 51.76% 48.24% 3.53%
Putnam Twp 2210 2157 4367 53 50.61% 49.39% 1.21%
Total 29252 23261 52513 5991 55.70% 44.30% 11.41%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Brighton 2226 1763 3989 463 55.80% 44.20% 11.61%
Brighton Twp 6977 3525 10502 3452 66.43% 33.57% 32.87%
Genoa Twp 7081 3608 10689 3473 66.25% 33.75% 32.49%
Green Oak Twp 5779 3618 9397 2161 61.50% 38.50% 23.00%
Hamburg Twp 6933 4933 11866 2000 58.43% 41.57% 16.85%
Putnam Twp 2417 1792 4209 625 57.42% 42.58% 14.85%
Total 31413 19239 50652 12174 62.02% 37.98% 24.03%

Last State House GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Brighton 1747 950 2697 797 64.78% 35.22% 29.55%
Brighton Twp 5585 1827 7412 3758 75.35% 24.65% 50.70%
Genoa Twp 5692 1806 7498 3886 75.91% 24.09% 51.83%
Green Oak Twp 4603 1888 6491 2715 70.91% 29.09% 41.83%
Hamburg Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Putnam Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 17627 6471 24098 11156 73.15% 26.85% 46.29%

State House Redistricting - District 41 (HD-41)

State House - District 41
Current Reps - Open, Marty Knollenberg termed out

Declared Candidates:
Rep -  Martin Howrylak (R-Troy)
Dem - Mary Kerwin (D-Troy)

Update 5-25-2012 - Three way primary here. I've heard the name Matt Pryor from somewhere, although I'm not 100% sure from where. I also don't follow Troy politics closely.

Update 8-30-2012 - Martin Howrylak wins the primary.

2010 Results - Old District (41st)
Marty Knollenberg - 22,751
Ed Spillers - 11,571

This is an open seat based in Troy and Clawson. It's unchanged with redistricting. Troy leans republican but is getting more competitive. Clawson is very competitive and voted for Gore, Bush, and Obama.

I'll be surprised if this seat flips, even in an open seat. However, it could be a darkhorse if 2012 is a disaster. I know there's been county commissioner seats competitive in this area in the past. This area does generally lean republican with Troy, McCain/Obama  being a big exception.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Clawson 2998 3912 6910 -914 43.39% 56.61% -13.23%
Troy 21230 21517 42747 -287 49.66% 50.34% -0.67%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 24228 25429 49657 -1201 48.79% 51.21% -2.42%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Clawson 3584 3471 7055 113 50.80% 49.20% 1.60%
Troy 24171 18175 42346 5996 57.08% 42.92% 14.16%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 27755 21646 49401 6109 56.18% 43.82% 12.37%

Last State House GOP Dem Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Clawson 2407 1677 4084 730 58.94% 41.06% 17.87%
Troy 20047 11571 31618 8476 63.40% 36.60% 26.81%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 22454 13248 35702 9206 62.89% 37.11% 25.79%

State House Redistricting - District 40 (HD-40)

State House - District 40
Current Reps - Open or Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), Chuck Moss termed out.

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Michael McCready (R-Bloomfield Hills),
Dem - Dorion Coston (D-West Bloomfield)

Update 5-26-2012 - Four way primary here for an open seat. Brown's not running here either. Potts is probably a favorite to win being a county commissioner, but others aren't rookies. Lawrence is on the school board, McCready is on Bloomfield Hills City Commission and an ex-mayor. Wolkinson is the only candidate from West Bloomfield. This is going to be a primary to watch.

Update 8-30-2012 - Michael McCready wins the tough four way primary with several strong candidates. Big win for him, and he'll be favored in the general, although this is not a gimme of a district.

2010 Results - Old District (39th)
Lisa Brown - 17,137
Lois Shulman - 17,051

Old District (40th)
Chuck Moss - 27,622
Julie Chandler - 13,346

This district become much more potentially competitive. The old district covers Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Orchard Lake, and Southfield Twp. It drops Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, and Orchard Lake to the 29th District, Southfield Township to the 35th District, and adds Eastern West Bloomfield to the district.

Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township are solidly Republican. Birmingham leans our way but can be competitive. This portion of West Bloomfield is extremely democrat. Dave's Redistricting has this seat at a little over 52% for Obama. On paper, this district is like the new 39th in partisanship, but I think this is the weaker district now. Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township's population demographics are slightly less favorable than Commerce Township.

I do think this district should stay ours, but I'm not going to count this one for us in 2012 just yet.

State House Redistricting - District 39 (HD-39)

State House - District 39
Current Reps - Open or Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield)

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Klint Kesto (R-Commerce),
Dem - Pam Jackson (D-Commerce)

Update 5-26-2012 - Interesting matchups. There's a primary on both sides.  I think this open seat leans slightly GOP without Brown, but with a six way primary, this is going to be interesting. Jackson on the dem side ran for state senate in 2010. She lost big, but that was partly due to the district and the year.

Update 8-30-2012 - Pam Jackson and Klint Kesto won the primaries. This one I think should stay ours, but keep an eye on it.

2010 Results - Old District (39th)
Lisa Brown - 17,137
Lois Shulman - 17,051

Redistricting split West Bloomfield more as a East/West split instead of a North/South split so I'm not sure if Brown is in the 39th or 40th district.

This race has been down to the wire the last three elections. West Bloomfield is usually solidly democrat and Commerce Township is usually solidly Republican. The new district adds Wixom and takes slightly less of West Bloomfield. Wixom used to be leaning republican, but went democrat in 2008 due to a high turnout in the apartments area. Wixom is split politically with the republican north and the democrat south.

Dave's redistricting has this seat at about 52% Obama. I think the Dem/GOP numbers in reality are lower than that. In an "average" year, West Bloomfield is about 56% dem overall and Wixom probably 54-55% GOP. The parts of West Bloomfield dropped from the old district run about 65%+ Obama. I wouldn't be surprised if the GOP takes this seat in 2012.

State House Redistricting - District 38 (HD-38)

State House - District 38
Current Reps - Hugh Crawford (R-Novi)

2010 Results - Old District (38th)
Hugh Crawford - 22,873
Jeffrey Gedeon - 10,998

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Hugh Crawford (R-Novi)
Dem - Chuck Tindall (D-Novi)

Update 5-25-2012 - No primary here. It's a one on one battle.

This district is one of the more Republican leaning districts in Oakland County, although not quite as much as it used to be. The new district contracts some because of population growth. It covers Novi (city/Twp), Lyon Twp, Walled Lake, South Lyon, and the Oakland County portion of Northville. It drops competitive Wixom.

Obama came close in that big 2008 year, but even McCain won this district. It would take a perfect storm for this district to flip.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Lyon Twp 4120 3009 7129 1111 57.79% 42.21% 15.58%
Northville 1127 1001 2128 126 52.96% 47.04% 5.92%
Novi 13264 14397 27661 -1133 47.95% 52.05% -4.10%
Novi Twp 52 57 109 -5 47.71% 52.29% -4.59%
South Lyon 2983 2712 5695 271 52.38% 47.62% 4.76%
Walled Lake 1517 1823 3340 -306 45.42% 54.58% -9.16%
Total 23063 22999 46062 64 50.07% 49.93% 0.14%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Lyon Twp 4082 2274 6356 1808 64.22% 35.78% 28.45%
Northville 1269 866 2135 403 59.44% 40.56% 18.88%
Novi 14484 10612 25096 3872 57.71% 42.29% 15.43%
Novi Twp 67 40 107 27 62.62% 37.38% 25.23%
South Lyon 3191 2236 5427 955 58.80% 41.20% 17.60%
Walled Lake 1664 1580 3244 84 51.29% 48.71% 2.59%
Total 24757 17608 42365 7149 58.44% 41.56% 16.87%

Last State House GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Lyon Twp 3638 1255 4893 2383 74.35% 25.65% 48.70%
Northville 1057 467 1524 590 69.36% 30.64% 38.71%
Novi 11987 6072 18059 5915 66.38% 33.62% 32.75%
Novi Twp 56 28 84 28 66.67% 33.33% 33.33%
South Lyon 2461 1055 3516 1406 69.99% 30.01% 39.99%
Walled Lake 1223 809 2032 414 60.19% 39.81% 20.37%
Total 20422 9686 30108 10736 67.83% 32.17% 35.66%

The politics of anti-bullying laws

I think everyone reading agrees that bullying is bad. Those that don't agree can be subjected to a bunch of Swirlies.

The controversy is the solutions. Some think it requires a legislative solution. I think that legislative solutions are worthless. There's a lot of controversy regarding one bill that passed the senate that I think makes the mistake of trying to be all things to all people.

There's a lot of bad press regarding Senate Bill 0137. It's the bill passed by the senate regarding "bullying." The text of the legislation is here. The house is according to reports rejecting the language of the senate bill. One of the fights is over listed classes and protected classes. The one that passed had listed of protected classes.

This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian.

The issue was worries about someone who is Catholic or Evangelical getting busted for bullying due to a statement like "Homosexuality is wrong. It's against my religion." That's why the language was included. However, there's the problem of unintended consequences. The left has gone crazy with that language, and they actually have a point with that. This opens up a whole other can of worms. Wahhhabi Islam doesn't have much use for "Infidels." Westboro "Baptist" "Church" hates everybody. Those could be considered "sincerely held religious beliefs." That doesn't get to moral convictions which can cover anything. Some of the Westboro types may be able to chant at somebody over and over and over again in their face "God hates fags." There's a fine line between "Homosexuality is wrong. It's against my religion." and "God hates fags."

The senate bill makes things blurry. Other proposals may classify the former as bullying. Those that use the latter aren't going to give a damn what any law says anyway.

What the legislature is doing is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Bullying is a problem. It's a school society issue. It can not be fixed by a law. This proposed law does NOTHING. It sets up some guidelines for schools telling them to do something - things they probably have already. Other than that, it's a way for politicians to pat themselves on the back and tell voters they are going after bullying. Then, this is forgotten about and nothing changes. Same as it ever was.

School officials care about one thing and one thing only. Order. Order over anything else. It doesn't have to be good order either. If a few people are bullies and the bullies don't cause too much trouble for the schools, it's a price the schools are willing to pay without controversy. Protecting the bullies is a policy against self defense. That's because in their minds, violence is always wrong for any reason. Both parties get suspended equally and it doesn't matter who starts it. It's wrong, but it is what it is. It's easy for people years removed from grade school to say don't worry about getting suspended for that. However, for most folks in school, a suspension is a big deal.

How can that be changed? By laws? Not much, unless they want to push a self defense immunity provision. By school policies, put in a policy allowing for self defense against bullying. Would that be perfect? No. But it damn well will help. The one thing bullies need more than anything else is an ass whooping and humiliation. Preferably, by a target, and preferably in front of all the bully's friends.

How can it be changed by us? The one thing needed more than else that bullied folks need is mental confidence. Easier said than done, but there are ways to help.

The first way is parents. Don't accept bullying behavior from your kids. That's the easy part.

The other part is toughness, especially mental toughness and confidence.

In the old days of the UFC almost 20 years ago, there were no weight classes. The earliest tournament winners weren't Dan Severn or Ken Shamrock. Big guys who were very good fighters and looked the part. The winner was a skinny 6'0 170lb guy named Royce Gracie. Gracie's family introduced Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training is a great way for smaller folks to be able to defend themselves against larger opponents. The Gracie family changed martial arts forever. In today's UFC, there is a combination of Muay Thai kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

With the rise of the UFC's popularity, kickstarted by Royce Gracie showing the value of techniques, MMA classes have sprouted up nationwide. Leaning those techniques and the discipline lead to mental confidence. Getting stronger and lifting weights also leads to mental confidence. At the same time, nobody want to mess with a Royce Gracie or a Urijah Faber. Those that do, will learn not to do so.

Bullying can be reduced if society wants it to happen. It won't be reduced by politicians passing laws, patting themselves on the back, and having things be the same as it always is.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

State House Redistricting - District 37 (HD-37)

State House - District 37
Current Reps - Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills)

Declared Candidates:
Dem - Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills)
GOP - Bruce Lilley (R-Farmington)

Update 5-25-2012 - No primaries here. It's strictly a one on one battle. 

2010 Results - Old District (37th)
Vicki Barnett - 20,750
Christopher Atallah - 12,633

This district has been unchanged for 20 years. It covers Farmington Hills and Farmington. It's been democrat for 10 years when Rocky Raczkowski was termed out, and with demographic changes, is likely to stay that way barring a surprise. Aldo Vagnozzi held the district after Rocky, and Vicki Barnett replaced Aldo. Bush ran almost 50/50 in 2000, lost this district in 2004, and Obama won it big in 2008. The reason I think is largely migration. This was once fairly republican territory and Joe Knollenberg country. A lot of the Republicans in Farmington Hills are now out in places like South Lyon or Livingston County. More and more of Southfield is now here. This is now a 30% minority district.

If it's a good year, I can see maybe more strong attempt at this seat when it opens up, depending on candidates. It'll take the right year and the right match up to possibly steal this district back.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Farmington 2416 3183 5599 -767 43.15% 56.85% -13.70%
Farmington Hills 17026 26862 43888 -9836 38.79% 61.21% -22.41%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 19442 30045 49487 -10603 39.29% 60.71% -21.43%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Farmington 2873 2680 5553 193 51.74% 48.26% 3.48%
Farmington Hills 20019 22931 42950 -2912 46.61% 53.39% -6.78%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 22892 25611 48503 -2719 47.20% 52.80% -5.61%

Last State House GOP Dem Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Farmington 1657 2351 4008 -694 41.34% 58.66% -17.32%
Farmington Hills 10976 18399 29375 -7423 37.37% 62.63% -25.27%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 12633 20750 33383 -8117 37.84% 62.16% -24.31%

State House Redistricting - District 36 (HD-36)

State House - District 36
Current Reps - Pete Lund (R-Shelby Twp)

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Pete Lund (R-Shelby Twp),
Dem - Robert Murphy (D-Romeo),

Update 5-25-2012 - There's a primary and general on both sides. Murphy wants a rematch.

Update 8-30-2012 - There will be a rematch between Lund and Murphy.

2010 Results - Old District (36th)
Pete Lund -25,523
Robert Murphy - 11,027

This district doesn't change much. The old district covered Shelby Twp, Bruce Twp, and Washington Twp. The new district covers the same areas, but a slightly less portion of Shelby Twp due to population changes. Partisanship doesn't change much. This is probably the safest Republican district in Macomb County.

The new district is approximately 55% McCain.

State House Redistricting - District 35 (HD-35)

State House - District 35
Current Reps - Rudy Hobbs (D-Southfield)

2010 Results - Old District (35th)
Ruby Hobbs - 28,729
Michael Weinenger - 3,932

GOP - Timothy Sulowski (R-Southfield)
DEM - Rudy Hobbs (D-Southfield) ,

Update 5-26-2012 - A four way primary here. Hobbs is the incumbent and favored to win.

Update 8-30-2012 - Hobbs won the primary. 

This district expanded from the old district which covered Southfield and Lathrup Village. It still covers those two areas, but also adds "Southfield Township." You never hear about Southfield Township because usually it's referred to by the village there. Bingham Farms, Franklin, or Beverly Hills. It drops part of Oak Park and Royal Oak Twp.

It's gotten "less" democrat, but it's still a black majority 75%+ district. The race is the primary.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Lathrup Village 471 2433 2904 -1962 16.22% 83.78% -67.56%
Southfield 4701 38000 42701 -33299 11.01% 88.99% -77.98%
Southfield Twp 4570 4925 9495 -355 48.13% 51.87% -3.74%
Total 9742 45358 55100 -35616 17.68% 82.32% -64.64%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Lathrup Village 686 2169 2855 -1483 24.03% 75.97% -51.94%
Southfield 7269 33827 41096 -26558 17.69% 82.31% -64.62%
Southfield Twp 5245 4346 9591 899 54.69% 45.31% 9.37%
Total 13200 40342 53542 -27142 24.65% 75.35% -50.69%

Last State House GOP Dem Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Oakland County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Lathrup Village 394 1724 2118 -1330 18.60% 81.40% -62.80%
Southfield 3370 24184 27554 -20814 12.23% 87.77% -75.54%
Southfield Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Total 3764 25908 29672 -22144 12.69% 87.31% -74.63%

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jason Bauer pleads no contest in BSTP vote fraud case

This is the second plea in the BSTP related case. Michael McGuinness already pleaded no contest, which for sentencing purposes counts the same as a guilty plea. If you click on the BSTP tab, you'll find a list of a bunch of previous stories on what I called the Bullshit Tea Party or BSTP. Others were more polite and called it the fake tea party.

From the Oakland Press

The former political director of Oakland County’s Democratic Party pleaded no contest Monday to charges related to voter fraud.

Jason Bauer, 27, is scheduled to return to court in January for sentencing.

Bauer and co-defendant Michael McGuinness, the former chairman of the Oakland County Democratic Party, were charged earlier this year with three counts of uttering and publishing and three counts of perjury. Both have now pleaded no contest, which not an admission of guilt but treated as such for sentencing purposes.

Bauer was also charged with three misdemeanor counts of violating the Michigan Notary Act.

Authorities accused the two men of fraudulently entering the names of three people as “Tea Party” candidates for county commission and state Senate seats to appear on the November 2010 ballot

I wonder how far up this thing goes. Of all the people involved in this scheme, only two of them got caught, and that's due to the forgery. Dumb. Breakdown - Takedown - You're busted!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

House passes national reciprocity

HR 822 passed the house and will be going on its way to the Senate.

From Thomas

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011'.


(a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:

`Sec. 926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms

`(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)), a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person, that--

`(1) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

`(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

`(b) The possession or carrying of a concealed handgun in a State under this section shall be subject to the same conditions and limitations, except as to eligibility to possess or carry, imposed by or under Federal or State law or the law of a political subdivision of a State, that apply to the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun by residents of the State or political subdivision who are licensed by the State or political subdivision to do so, or not prohibited by the State from doing so.

`(c) In subsection (a), the term `identification document' means a document made or issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals.'.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926C the following:

`926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.'.

(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.


(a) The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an audit of--

(1) the laws and regulations of each State that authorize the issuance of a valid permit or license to permit a person, other than a resident of such State, to possess or carry a concealed firearm, including a description of the permitting or licensing requirements of each State that issues concealed carry permits or licenses to persons other than a resident of such State;

(2) the number of such valid permits or licenses issued or denied (and the basis for such denials) by each State to persons other than a resident of such State; and

(3) the effectiveness of such State laws and regulations in protecting the public safety.

(b) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the findings of the study conducted under subsection (a).

There were several votes on this, including amendments. Nine amendments. All of them failed, as did the "motion to recommit"

The Final Bill passed 272-154 with 7 not voting. This was a mostly party line vote. 43 Democrats voted yes and 7 Republicans voted no. The Republican no votes were Justin Amash, Robert Dold, Michael Grimm, Peter King, Dan Lungren, Bob Turner, and Rob Woodall. Interesting, three of the no votes were from metro New York City.

Among the Michigan Delegation on the final Bill
Yes - Huizenga, Camp, Rogers, McCotter, Benishek, Upton, Walberg, Huizenga, Miller, Dingell
No - Amash, Peters, Levin, Clarke, Conyers,

Not good, Amash. Not good at all.

Roll Call has the amendments listed

Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), to protect the right of states that already have reciprocal agreements in place to continue enforcing those pre-existing agreements. Failed 140-280
. 14 Republicans supported, 63 dems opposed.
Michigan Delegation's yes votes voted no and vice versa.

Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), to specify that the legislation can only go into effect in states that have passed legislation enacting the bill. Failed 147-274.
That effectively kills the bill. 4 Republicans voted yes. 43 Democrats voted no. Republicans voting yes were Amash, Dold, Woodall, and King.

There's a few others amendments in the same mold. The Roll Calls are all here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

State House Redistricting - District 34 (HD-34)

State House - District 34
Current Reps - Woodrow Stanley (D-Flint)

Dem - Woodrow Stanley (D-Flint)
GOP - Bruce Rogers (R-Flint)

2010 Results - Old District (34th)
Woodrow Stanley - 13,416
Bruce Rogers - 2,719

This district covers most of Flint, especially the North and East Side. It's approximately 60% black and voted approximately 89% for Obama. Rogers actually ran almost double percentage-wise of what McCain did in the old district. That's because Stanley is well known as a recalled mayor. Rogers won a couple of precincts. Adam Ford, who was Stanley's previous challenger, also won a couple of precincts. It doesn't make a difference in the whole scheme of things with the partisan nature of the district, but it shows how flawed a candidate is if a democrat with straight ticket help gets beat ANYWHERE in the City of Flint. Stanley's predecessor, Brenda Clack, won every precinct. Virg Bernero won every precinct in Flint despite getting blown out. John Engler won 10 of them in 1998 against Fieger in a blowout.

The primary is the election here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

State House Redistricting - District 33 (HD-33)

State House - District 33
Current Reps - Ken Holke (R-Ray Twp) and Andrea LaFontaine (R-Richmond)

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Ken Golke (R-Ray Twp)
Dem - Martha O'Kray (D-Macomb Twp)

2010 Results - Old District (32nd)
Andrea LaFontaine - 16,101
Jennifer Haase - 14,354

Old District (33rd)
Ken Golke - 24,469
Andrew Prasiloski - 12,339

Redistricting wasn't kind to either Ken Golke (Ray Twp) or Andrea LaFontaine (Richmond). They were both placed in the same district (33rd). That makes a potentially incumbent v incumbent fight. Golke is in small Ray Twp but represents more of the district by population with Macomb Township. LaFontaine represents more of the land area, but also represented most of the area in the neighboring open new 32nd district.

The old 32nd District covered Armada, Chesterfield, Lenox, and Richmond Townships. It also covered the cities of Memphis, Richmond, and New Baltimore. In St Clair County, it covered Columbus, Ira, Kimball, and Wales Twps.

The old 33rd District covered part of Clinton Township, Macomb Township, and Ray Township. Goike won them all big, but that seat is safely republican for almost any rep.

The new 33rd drops Clinton and a small part of Macomb Townships. It keeps most of Macomb Twp, and Ray Twp and picks up usually GOP leaning Armada, Richmond, Macomb's portion of Memphis, and democrat leaning Lenox Twp (New Haven).

With the Macomb Split, I can't give exact numbers, but Dave's Redistricting has the district at 51% McCain (not including Armada Twp). I think they should have helped out the neighboring district a big more by putting LaFontaine's home base there, but we'll see what happens here. The old 33rd district was safe for republicans. This one is slightly tougher with Lenox Township added, but I'll be surprised if it flips, even if Jennifer Haase tries to make a comeback.

State House Redistricting - District 32 (HD-32)

State House - District 32
Current Rep - Quasi Open, Andrea LaFontaine represented much of the district.

2010 Results - Old District (32nd)
Andrea LaFontaine - 16,101
Jennifer Haase - 14,354

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Andrea LaFontaine (R-Richmond)
Dem - Sheri Smith (D-Columbus)

Old District (33rd)
Ken Golke - 24,469
Andrew Prasiloski - 12,339

Old District (81st)
Jud Gilbert - 19,882
Carol Morrissette - 8,590

Update 8-30-2012 - LaFontaine took a lot of nasty shots in the primary from Shmina, who claimed among other things that she supported the pension tax. She did not so. Smina got his ass kicked in the primary, and I suspect his tone and attacks had a lot to do with it.

Redistricting wasn't kind to either Ken Golke (Ray Twp) or Andrea LaFontaine (Richmond). They were both placed in the same district (33rd). That makes this an open, or at least quasi-open district in a tough spot. LaFontaine's closer to the new district and represents much of the new district, but also represents in land area most of what is now the 33rd.

The old 32nd District covered Armada, Chesterfield, Lenox, and Richmond Townships. It also covered the cities of Memphis, Richmond, and New Baltimore. In St Clair County, it covered Columbus, Ira, Kimball, and Wales Twps.

The old 33rd District covered part of Clinton Township, Macomb Township, and Ray Township. Goike won them all big, but that seat is safely republican for almost any rep.

The old 81st district covered most of St Clair County outside of Port Huron and the portion covered in the 32nd district.

The new 32nd District covers New Baltimore and Chesterfield Twp in Macomb County. In St Clair County, it also covers Ira, Casco, Columbus, Kimball, Wales, Riley, Kenockee Townships, along with part of the City of Memphis.

It drops most of the Macomb County portion outside of New Baltimore and Chesterfield Twp to the 33rd. It picks up a couple of townships from Gilbert's district. The new district voted slightly for Obama. I hope that doesn't bite us later with the redistricters seemingly trying to avoid a rematch with Haase.

As I often said, nothing comes easy in Macomb County (same applies in St Clair County to a lesser extent). This is the epidomy of that. The dems took this seat in somewhat of an upset when it opened up in 2008. LaFontaine then defeated the incumbent Haase in the 2010 wave election. Those changes happened despite John McCain defeating Obama in the district. That's why even though on paper this district is slightly Republican leaning, I'm still calling it a swing district. LaFontaine showed her strength defeating an incumbent. Hasse showed strength in taking the open seat two years earlier. As such, I'm going to post the 2008 numbers as well as 2010 numbers of the new district (Hasse's win in 08 and LaFontaine's win in 2010).

I think our chances here will be determined by what the matchups will be among the candidates. Taking Richmond and Armada Twps out of this district makes me nervous.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Macomb County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Chesterfield Twp 10019 11050 21069 -1031 47.55% 52.45% -4.89%
New Baltimore 3003 2971 5974 32 50.27% 49.73% 0.54%
St Clair County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Casco Twp 1134 834 1968 300 57.62% 42.38% 15.24%
Columbus Twp 1227 865 2092 362 58.65% 41.35% 17.30%
Ira Twp 1310 1178 2488 132 52.65% 47.35% 5.31%
Kenockee Twp 615 597 1212 18 50.74% 49.26% 1.49%
Kimball Twp 1767 2198 3965 -431 44.56% 55.44% -10.87%
Memphis 93 77 170 16 54.71% 45.29% 9.41%
Riley Twp 975 696 1671 279 58.35% 41.65% 16.70%
Wales Twp 842 788 1630 54 51.66% 48.34% 3.31%
Total 20985 21254 42239 -269 49.68% 50.32% -0.64%

Bush  Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Macomb County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Chesterfield Twp 10533 8853 19386 1680 54.33% 45.67% 8.67%
New Baltimore 3103 2440 5543 663 55.98% 44.02% 11.96%
St Clair County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Casco Twp 1209 826 2035 383 59.41% 40.59% 18.82%
Columbus Twp 1344 827 2171 517 61.91% 38.09% 23.81%
Ira Twp 1483 1176 2659 307 55.77% 44.23% 11.55%
Kenockee Twp 669 499 1168 170 57.28% 42.72% 14.55%
Kimball Twp 1960 1938 3898 22 50.28% 49.72% 0.56%
Memphis 104 64 168 40 61.90% 38.10% 23.81%
Riley Twp 1008 610 1618 398 62.30% 37.70% 24.60%
Wales Twp 894 647 1541 247 58.01% 41.99% 16.03%
Total 22307 17880 40187 4427 55.51% 44.49% 11.02%

Last St House GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Macomb County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Chesterfield Twp 6435 6172 12607 263 51.04% 48.96% 2.09%
New Baltimore 1847 1850 3697 -3 49.96% 50.04% -0.08%
St Clair County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Casco Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Columbus Twp 895 473 1368 422 65.42% 34.58% 30.85%
Ira Twp 868 593 1461 275 59.41% 40.59% 18.82%
Kenockee Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Kimball Twp 1176 1257 2433 -81 48.34% 51.66% -3.33%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Riley Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Wales Twp 614 444 1058 170 58.03% 41.97% 16.07%
Total 11835 10789 22624 1046 52.31% 47.69% 4.62%

2008 St House GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Macomb County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Chesterfield Twp 9143 10481 19624 -1338 46.59% 53.41% -6.82%
New Baltimore 2732 2954 5686 -222 48.05% 51.95% -3.90%
St Clair County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Casco Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Columbus Twp 1155 857 2012 298 57.41% 42.59% 14.81%
Ira Twp 1213 1156 2369 57 51.20% 48.80% 2.41%
Kenockee Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Kimball Twp 1772 2008 3780 -236 46.88% 53.12% -6.24%

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Riley Twp

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Wales Twp 811 747 1558 64 52.05% 47.95% 4.11%
Total 16826 18203 35029 -1377 48.03% 51.97% -3.93%

State House Redistricting - District 31 (HD-31)

State House - District 31
Current Rep - Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser)

Declared Candidates:
Dem - Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser)
GOP - Lynn Evans (R-Fraser)

2010 Results - Old District (31st)
Marilyn Lane - 12,710
Dan Tollis - 10,874

8-30-2012 - Lynn Evans won his primary.

The old district was always in the "good enough to lose" category. The GOP has fought for it heavily several times, but couldn't break through. It covered most of Fraser, Mt Clemens, and part of Clinton Township. Lane won the open seat narrowly replacing Fred Miller who also often won close races.

In 2010, Lane won the Fraser portion narrowly, Mt Clemens easily, and the Clinton Township portion by a relatively close margin. While the race was close, she won all municipalities. Fraser went GOP in 04 for state rep, but it didn't change the district.

Redistricting made the district expand and take the rest of Fraser from the 42nd district. The portion of Clinton Township in this district is the Southern Portion. It used to be the eastern portion. Dave's redistricting has this district at about 58% Obama. I wish I had the Bush/Kerry numbers for this one as well. I expect the old and new numbers to be similar from a partisanship standpoint.

I think this may be winnable with a great candidate in a great year, but I'd have to see it to believe it here. There's just a real strong Bonioresque labor influence still in this area.

State House Redistricting - District 30 (HD-30)

State House - District 30
Current Rep – Jeff Farrington (R - Utica)

Declared Candidates:
Rep - Jeff Farrington (R-Utica),
Dem - Joseph Bogdan (D-Utica),

Update 8-30-2012 - Americans with Chaldean ancestry have taken some bitter election defeats with both the new and old HD-30 district. On the dem side this time, many thought Nick Najjar was the favorite in the primary. In 2010, most thought Michael Shallal had an even/up chance to win against Farrington. Both finished behind some guy in his 20's after they ran good campaigns. Shallal in 2010, and Najjar in 2012. I don't know Najjar, but Michael Shallal is a stand up guy, a hard worker, solid conservative, and deserved better. The good guys don't always win. That's politics.

Update 5-25-2012 - Primaries on both sides here. I know Michael Shallal from the 2010 campaign trail. He's a good guy, hard worker, and principled individual who served our country well.

2010 Results - Old District (30th)
Jeff Farrington - 15,732
Ken Lampar - 12,502

This district changed a bit with redistricting. The old district covered Northern Sterling Heights and Utica. This one covers western Sterling Heights, Utica, and the Southeastern part of Shelby Township. That makes this district more republican, although it's still probably competitive.

Utica and Sterling Heights overall went for Bush twice and Obama. Shelby Township overall went for Bush and McCain. According to Dave's Redistricting, the numbers here are 50.4% for Obama, with about 1000 vote spread. Nothing comes easy in Macomb County, but this probably makes the district safer than it was.