Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What is this? Dukes of Hazzard?

Anyone that follows Livingston County politics, knows that the race for Sheriff will get extremely nasty this year. My prediction is already coming true. 

The Sheriff's race will be interesting to say the least. I'm going to be hearing about this comment later, but I'm expecting a repeat of the Homan vs Deering battles to be honest here. This one's going to get ugly. Bigtime. Bob Bezotte's the incumbent and is facing a primary with former deputy Tom Ash and former Michigan State Police Lt. C.J. Maier. The winner of the primary wins as no democrat is running.

It wasn't much of a stretch to predict. I'm not going to get into all of the reasons here right now, except to say that there is no way I'd be voting for him. You can find a lot of gems in the court records. Besides that stuff, one of the other reasons is this right here from today's Argus. There's even video

Sheriff candidate Thomas Ash's campaign manager asked Michigan State Police and the state elections office to investigate their allegation that Sheriff Bob Bezotte violated state campaign finance laws.
Bezotte calls the allegation unfounded and a weak attempt to make a "controversy" where there is none.
Michigan State Police Detective 1st Lt. Sean Furlong confirmed the complaint. He said "complaints of this nature don't always meet the threshold for criminal" charges and a sergeant consulted the state's attorney general's office criminal division, which indicated it would not pursue an investigation.
"We closed out the complaint, and there (is) no investigation," Furlong said.
"There's a mechanism for people to file these complaints through the (Michigan) secretary of state."
If the secretary of state's elections office determines there has been a violation, it can ask the attorney general's office to investigate.
Ash and his campaign manager, Michael Moorman, say Bezotte had campaign T-shirts in his county-issued sheriff's vehicle, which was parked at the Howell Sunday Farmers Market on Sunday while Bezotte was campaigning.
Moorman provided photographs and video snippets to the Daily Press & Argus that he and Ash say prove their allegations about the misuse of county's Chevrolet Tahoe. The material also is posted on Ash's campaign Facebook page under a heading of "Careless — or just plain arrogant?"

Moorman, what the hell were you doing fishing around his vehicle? If some stranger is sniffing around my vehicle, I wouldn't be responding too kindly to it. Bezotte may want to have a big German Shepherd in the vehicle next time, and the windows and back open.

This reminds me of a Boss Hogg and Roscoe P Coltrane type of plan."Let's go see if we can bust them by finding something in the truck. Get dem Duke Boys" "(Rosco chuckles) Yes Boss."

This provision of the law is intended to stop campaigning on company time. Did Bezotte use county money to pay for the shirts? Is he running the campaign from his truck or his office? Was this on county time? Was the shirt taped to the window? The answers to that are no. The only thing that there is are Bezotte T-Shirts in the vehicle in a box that are unseen unless Moorman sniffs around the vehicle. That's hardly campaigning on company time or using company resources. Bezotte better search the area for bugs. Who knows what this Moorman creep will do next.

In addition, they went to MSP. There's provisions through the Secretary of State to handle these. That takes a lot of time though. They want to make this a police matter instead. The last thing I want to see in my county's cop is some guy going to try and bust some political enemy with some chickenshit technicality, and then not even go through the proper channels. I've turned people in on campaign finance violations. Usually I've done it for those operating without a PAC and not reporting. If this is how Tom Ash is running the race, what's he going to as sheriff? Go after his political opponents? Charge every technicality that they can think of?

We don't need to be the Dukes of Livingston County.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

McCotter didn't make the ballot - running as write in

The speculation is confirmed in MI-11. McCotter said so himself. From the Detroit News
Having promised people I would seek another term in the United States Congress and, thereby, give them the chance to vote for or against me, the only way to clean up my mess is to run a write-in campaign for the Republican nomination for Michigan's 11th Congressional District. This I'm doing.
I have no problem with this if it is McCotter's campaign resources solely going to this. If party money jumps in, then I have a problem due to bad tactics. McCotter wants to clean up his mess, as he says. Let him and his campaign clean up their mess for the primary. The party itself needs to wait and help the general election nominee.

Keep in mind that in Michigan, stickers aren't allowed. If I was an MI-11 resident and wanted to vote for McCotter, I'd have to write Thad McCotter's name on the ballot in the Republican column. That is after all the other election races like County Commission, US Senate, and State Rep. It's a lot more convenient and easier to simply fill in the circle or draw the arrow next to the name already there.

With the grumbling right now out of Oakland County especially, I'm not sure there's not going to be other candidates. Rocky Raczkowski's endorsed David Trott already. Kowall might want to jump back in too. I think this race is now Bentivolio's to lose. When a quitter, albeit in a different district, gets 22,000 votes, what's an actual candidate going to get, even if he's not that well known. Now McCotter's not Lance Enderle, but Bentivolio's not a quitter either. If McCotter wins the write-in race, he's earned it and made up for the campaign blunder. In a big way.

If I'm Bentivolio, I'm looking to shore up my biggest weakness. Fundraising. I'd also be hitting as many doors as possible and trying to win this campaign the Joe Hune way.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Don't compound a tactical error

I'm writing this based on the assumption that McCotter won't be on the August primary ballot. If there are enough signatures, then this is a moot point. As it looks based on speculation, the only name on the ballot for the republicans in the 11th District (MI-11) is Kerry Bentivolio

Assuming McCotter is gone, there's been a lot of push for write-ins. I think it's a bad move for a party to make here. By party, I am referring to NRCC, RNC, MIGOP, 11th District Committee, Oakland County Republican Party, and the Oakland County Republican Clubs. If McCotter campaign wants to go for a write-in fine. If Trott on his own wants to go for it, fine. If Kowall wants to go for it on his own, fine. That's their right as candidates. If individuals want to help them, fine.

If party wants to jump in and use party resources, then I have a problem. I do not see much good from a Republican Party operation jumping into a primary chasing a Hail Mary Pass that is likely unable to succeed. Even if it does succeed, it will create more bad blood between establishment and tea party that is not needed. If you want already sore tea parties to hold their nose and vote for their least favorite candidate running, don't piss them off even further. Stay out, and let the best candidate win.

I'm going to argue this from a nuts and bolts pragmatic perspective.

From a logistics standpoint, we had a somewhat similar situation in the 8th District on the democrat side in 2010. Kande Whatshisnamethequitter was running for the democrats to take on Mike Rogers. Sometime before the primary and after the filing deadline, he quit. Lance Enderle ran as a write in against the quitter.  Lance lost to the quitter in the primary. He did get 1703 votes, which isn't bad for a write-in. He eventually got on the ballot because Kande Whatshisname went back to the Philly suburbs. However, the quitter still got 23,228 votes. Granted Lance Enderle had little time for a campaign, but could even Dianne Byrum, Virg Bernero, David Hollister, or Gretchen Whitmer get 23,229 write-in votes? Maybe, but I'd be surprised. Personally, I thought it was impressive that Enderle got almost 10%.

If a quitter can get 23,228 votes in a primary by just having his name on the ballot, what does that say about Kerry Bentivolio's chances in the primary? Bentivolio is a stronger candidate than the quitter, and beat four other candidates in his 2010 race, although not Kowall. Bentivolio's not going to quit. He doesn't have a lot of money, but has some networks with Republican Liberty Caucus (I met him there back in 2010), some tea party groups, and Campaign for Liberty. He's a teacher and a military veteran of Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Iraq. He'll get votes for that, along with the normal vote for whoever is on the ballot unopposed that many candidates get in primaries.

Can Trott get 25,000 write-in votes? I highly doubt it. Can McCotter or Kowall do it? Possible, but I still doubt it. In Michigan, you can't place stickers on the write in space for write ins. You have to spell out the name. McCotter isn't as tough of name to spell out as Rostenkowski, but you have to convince enough primary voters, after this blunder of epic proportions, to go into the booth, and spell out this name when there are other elections on the ballot. Even if one of them get 25,000 votes, it probably still won't be enough. That's just the minimum to have any chance.

In short, there's a very good chance if the parties get involved in this primary for write-ins, that the nominee from the 11th district will be.....Kerry Bentivolio - as it would likely be if the parties stayed out. Frankly, we can do a lot worse than that. I think he'll vote similar to Justin Amash. However, if Bentivolio wins, he'll need a lot of help raising money. That's the biggest reason why the party needs to stay out of the primary. The money spent in the primary needs to be spent in the general. Do you want Bentivolio in there, or Bill Roberts? I guarantee this much. Bentivolio won't back Pelosi as speaker or Conyers as judiciary chair.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

MI-11 - Fubar

I'm absolutely stunned at this.A MIRS report's been circulated just about everywhere. MIRS is a good source too, so this isn't looking good at all. McCotter may be ousted from Congress without even an election.

MIRS Breaking News - Movement Within GOP For Trott If McCotter Bounced From Ballot -- 8:48 p.m.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Republican sources tell MIRS tonight that there is growing movement within the Republican Party to recruit Attorney David TROTT, a Bingham Farms attorney, to run in the 11th Congressional District as a write-in if U.S. Rep. Thad McCOTTER (R-Livonia) is unable to make the ballot.

Trott is the co-founder and president of Bingham Farms-based Trott & Trott, one of the nation's largest law firms handling residential default procedures.

Trott, a long-time party activist, had flirted with running for Michigan Republican Party state chair in 2004.

While there is no official word on whether Trott or anyone else would be interested, Republicans have actively searched for candidates after noon today since they were first alerted that McCotter had "woefully fewer" than the 1,000 valid signatures needed to make the ballot.

McCotter turned in 2000 signatures according to the Secretary of State's office. Assuming that's true, how in the hell did 1001 of them get fubared?  How? If this is remotely true, I'm flabbergasted. This is after redistricting and other possible candidates gave him a huge gift. Peters is running against Clarke and Lawrence. Marty Knollenberg long said he wasn't going to run if McCotter did, and is running for Oakland Treasurer. Mike Kowall was going to run and backed out. Kowall especially has to be kicking himself.

The question is now what. Either McCotter survives the petition challenges, or he's gone. If he's in, he's the favorite to win. If he's disqualified, then it's going to be real interesting. What happens is this:

On the dems side, there's a race between Bill Roberts (D-Redford) and Syed Taj (D-Canton).

On the GOP side, Kerry Bentivolio, assuming his signatures clear, will be the frontrunner if McCotter is not on the ballot. McCotter could run as a write-in, as could Trott. In order for Trott or McCotter or anyone else to be the nominee, he'd have to beat whoever is on the ballot. Like Bentivolio. While that could and in fact sometimes DOES happen, it's rare in a congressional district. It's rare even in a township. People would have to write in Trott or McCotter in not just Bloomfields and Livonia, but everywhere else.

I think the Republican establishment here may need to swallow some pride and save its resources to help Bentivolio if McCotter gets KO'ed at the signature level. McCotter in 2008 got 40,000+ votes while being unopposed. In the primary. Even 20,000 write-ins is a very tough undertaking, even for a guy with the resources Trott or McCotter would have. There's a very good chance that Bentivolio will be the nominee if McCotter loses the petition battle. If that's the case, the establishment needs to ask themselves this. Do they want Speaker Pelosi back or not? Bentivolio is a strong tea party candidate and a bit of a libertarian republican. I think he'd be similar to Justin Amash in his views and voting. Instead of floating Trott, they should be grateful that someone bailed out the party if McCotter's out. We can do a lot worse than Bentivolio, like Bill Roberts. 

District candidate updates

Currently finished through HD-56 on candidate updates. The sidebar isn't updated, but all house district can be found easily under the labels section.

MI-01 - Congressional District 1
SD-01 - State Senate 1
HD-01 - State House district 1.

Type in the house district you want to see next to label and use that as the url. For example, my new house district is the 42nd. HD-42 would be the label.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 2012 Michigan Republican Convention

It was an interesting convention this year. I was a little miffed that it was held this time in a city that votes at least 93% Democrat each election, but it is what it is. It was definitely run much better than the infamous Breslin Center convention in 2010. Schostak learned from probably the biggest blunder in an otherwise very good and underrated chairmanship of his predecessor Ron Weiser.

Most conventions are two day affairs. Friday Night is the caucus in our districts, and Saturday morning is when all of the state delegates votes. There was a lot of grumbling in some quarters over some of the results of the national delegate system this year. National delegates to the RNC convention is more of a symbolic role in nominating the next POTUS. There are some issues with rules committee or issues committee with platform, but I really find the platform hype to be overrated. I don't care about it much and haven't read it in years. As far as the national delegate goes, it's a bigger deal to others than me this year. I went as a non-delegate to convention in 2004. It was a great experience and I may go again someday. I did not run as delegate/alternate this year. It's generally a formality for the nomination and it's going to be for Romney. I was a Santorum voter. I'm not going to go for Romney. I'll hold my nose, but my efforts are going to be concentrated on the downticket races. If someone like a Mike Pence was the nominee, I'd definitely want to go.

When I make my decisions for any position, especially a delegate position which is a big deal to those who want to go, I look at first to see if the individual running for that position has paid his or her dues. I don't mean membership dues or monetary dues, but time. It's hard to believe to some, but I'm considered an old timer in local party politics. Eleven years. I haven't been around the longest, but longer than most. I've held various titles and positions since then at either the county or district level. I say that not to brag, because I wasn't running for a national delegate position. That's the prism I have when I make my own decisions who to support as national delegate. Experience matters. The system used in district 8, was a fair system based on a gentleman's agreement between the county representation. One delegate and one alternate chosen by each of the three counties. There was some grumbling (not like 2010, but mild discontent) about it by those who weren't active in our meetings, but the plan was in effect. Each county "sub-caucus" chose its delegates. It was a fair system, and some people didn't like the results. Too bad. The process was fair, and the results were what they were. Those that do not like the results need to learn from it. 

One winner was the local tea party leader. He's a new activist, although extremely active with his group and has been at most of our events in the time he has been active.You can argue longevity, but I don't think he's going to disappear any time soon. There was a tie for second with someone I did not know at all (In my 11 years active) and one person who is sometimes at a meeting and at most conventions although most of us didn't know him well. Down in the pack were people who were active for years. I hope that the two who tied for alternate (tiebreak went to the person I've sometimes seen at a meeting/ most conventions) become more active, especially with our downticket races. My reaction is and was this to the results. Congratulations. "You have a lot of support. We have a lot of contests besides the presidential race and we need your help." I'd like to turn what many other old timers think is a negative into a positive. In other words, pay your dues. I don't mean with money, but time. I don't mean with other organizations, but with either County Party or District Party (or both). We need you.

The complaints I've heard with District 8 were relatively minor compared to what I've heard with other districts with descriptions of hostile takeovers and other stuff. I wasn't there, so I'll let others describe what happened.

I'm not that surprised at the results for RNC Committeeman. The writing was on the wall. I was a Saul supporter, but I've heard good things about Dave Agema, although I don't know him. I wish him well. Terri Lynn Land knows probably just about everybody at the convention which worked in her favor as she won her race as RNC Committeewoman.

The lesson all sides need to take from the convention is this. Organization is king. Organization doesn't start two weeks before a convention. It doesn't start two weeks before the county convention. It starts before May 15th at 4PM at the filing deadline with precinct delegates announcing their run for office. It continues with write-in campaigns for precinct delegate openings before the August primary. Precinct delegates are those who vote for state delegates to convention, who caucus in district and as a whole. They also elect our executive committee members and our district committee members, and state committee members. It was our district caucuses that elect the national delegates. It is the committee of a whole that elects our RNC Committeeman and Committeewoman.

Those who are organized, often win.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Still working on the candidate updates

It's going to take me awhile to update the primary candidate list for the state house districts. I have the congressional ones done. I have started the state rep ones, but still working on the Detroit districts, so there's a ways to go.

The updated candidate filing list is here.  That's the list by the state.

Embarrassing black eye. We were caught looking.

Caught looking. It's a baseball term I use. In politics, I use it when someone gets lackadaisical, and gets defeated because the other side outworks them. The person isn't paying attention to the tactics of the other team or the situation and watches strike three go past them, getting a bad out. "Caught napping" is another term often used. If you hear me say that we were "caught looking," this is what I'm referring to, right here.

I'm going to be hearing about this post from some unhappy people, most of whom I consider friends, but the facts speak for themselves here. I hope those people are unhappy reading this, and I'm unhappy about writing this. It's a swift kick in our collective asses, and it is needed. The first two words in our local Livingston County Republican Party/Committee are "Livingston County." Those are the two most important words in the name. It is where we live.

The Argus picked up on this as well. We got caught looking in a couple of places, and Tyrone Township was one of them. Both parties were caught looking there.

From the Argus

The filing deadline for candidates to run in the August primary came and went Tuesday, but nobody stepped up to run for four open trustee seats in Tyrone Township.According to Livingston County Elections Coordinator Joan Runyan, it is an "unusual" occurrence, but it does not yet mean that Tyrone Township's Board of Trustees will be down to three incumbent members — supervisor, clerk and treasurer — when the new four-year terms begin in late November.

From our county party standpoint, that is embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing.There is no excuse under ANY circumstance in a 59% McCain and 65% Bush Municipality where we are conceding four trustee positions due to not having a full roster. That is unacceptable. The first two words in Livingston County Republican Party are Livingston County. Just because most of that area has a Fenton or Linden address does not mean that it's not part of Livingston County. Was there research done to find out who wasn't running again? Were the outgoing trustees contacted. There's plenty more I'll have to say behind closed doors. If you know what I know, it's actually worse. If this was happening in Green Oak where openings would not be filled, at least one person would be running. Free pass in the primary, too. That's 65% of the battle in Green Oak. If no dems ran, it's be a complete free pass as third parties don't win. 

It's not just there. Unadilla Township. It's moved in our direction, but there's been some local democrat power there over the years. Lori Cowan, trustee, and democrat gets a free pass this time. I know she's popular and has a history of winning, but at least make sure work for it so she isn't out helping other candidates.Caught looking. Strike three, we're out.

The biggest fubar was in Howell Township. Four trustee candidates have filed. Two in each party. In addition, we KNEW there would be openings there as Carolyn Henry is running for prosecutor, and gave us plenty of notice. We knew democrats would be running. They filed, long before Tuesday. In a 57% McCain and 65% Bush municipality, we're giving two seats to the dems. They are tripling their representation in this county, before we even have the general election.

We couldn't get people to run in those areas? One of their residents is running against an incumbent at a higher office, but not the two democrats taking over his township. I wasn't too happy about that.

I don't like getting beat, but I don't mind as much if our side does everything they can from a tactical standpoint to prevent it from happening. Sometimes the candidates are bad. Sometimes their candidates are great. Sometimes it's just a bad year. Situations happen. However, not showing up with a full roster is unacceptable across the board in a county that has no major strongholds for the democrats, and has not voted for one countywide since either 1986 or 1990, with Frank Kelley. This isn't a case of conceding Royal Oak Township (not to be confused with the city), but three areas that all voted for DeVos and McCain in two bad years. These aren't "sacrificial lamb" seats that are being conceded, but seats that are expected to be ours most years, with the possible exception of Cowan's seat which is still winnable.

This can not be allowed to happen again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Party Switch - Roy Schmidt

I'm still periodically updating the races now that the filing deadline is in. This is causing a big stir and understandably so.

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - Rep. Roy Schmidt, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican on Tuesday, talked exclusively with 24 Hour News 8 about his reasons.
Schmidt, who described himself as someone who had always been a "moderate Democrat" now says he's "a moderate Republican."

In his first interview since the announcement, Schmidt told 24 Hour News 8 he switched parties because "I felt more and more frustrated that the people I represented for 20 years weren't being heard.

"I knew it was going to be tough to make this decision," he said, and added he's been hurt by some of the comments people have made. However, he said, he's also heard many positive remarks.
In his announcement, the two-term state representative in Michigan's 76th District said, "I believe I was sent to Lansing to serve the people of Grand Rapids, not political bosses. The simple truth is, extreme Democrat party bosses like Mark Brewer are unwilling to listen to ideas or accept my positions on issues that matter to me and Grand Rapids."
In a scathing response, Brewer said , "It saddens me that in a desperate, cowardly, opportunistic move at the 11th hour, Roy Schmidt abandoned his constituents and the values by which he was elected for the sole purpose of clinging to office and the perks of the job. Rather than face a tougher district, Schmidt cut a deal with the Republicans so that no one would run against him in an attempt to ensure his reelection."
Schmidt denied there was any bad blood with Brewer. "But I work for the people of Grand Rapids" and not the party boss, he said.

With the new HD-76 50/50 type of district which is much whiter than the old one, this strikes me as very Arlen Specter, Joe Schwarz, John Stewart, Richard Shelby, or Charlie Crist type move, kinda fitting for the 'moderates'. This time the GOP is the benefit of it. I have to admit that I'm suspicious of the timing. I'm shocked though that he didn't get a primary.

I'm also quite curious to see how Schmidt votes, although with Snyder at the governor's spot, is it really going to be much different? Anyway, I'll take the committee vote for a two year term, but I got to admit suspicion with the primary filing timing and lack of primary from the GOP.

Here's who is running in August in Livingston County - 2012

The filing deadline for the August primary was May 15 at 4PM. The unofficial filings are in. In Livingston County, our August primary will feature the following. In partisan races, the winners are those in each party with the most votes. In non-partisan races, there's a runoff with the top two.

I did not include write-in  candidates who may occur in the future. 

For the US Senate race, we have the following people in:
Rep - Clark Durant (Grosse Pointe Farms), Gary Glenn (Midland), Randy Hekman (Grand Rapids), Pete Hoekstra (Holland), Peter Konetchy (Roscommon).

Dem - Debbie Stabenow (Lansing).

Stabenow, the dangerously incompetent one is the incumbent, and anyone would be an improvement over her. All have their strengths. Durant is most known for charter schools in Detroit. Glenn is most known for running the Michigan branch of the American Family Association. I don't know much of anything about Hekman. Hoekstra is the most well known and experienced with congressional career and Herman Miller. Konetchy is first and foremost a constitutionalist, and is also a successful business owner. There's no shortage of choices in this race.

In MI-08, Mike Rogers has a primary and a general election.

In the primary, he's facing Brian Hertrick and Vernon Molnar. Hertrick's from the Brighton area. I know the name from somewhere although I can't remember off the top of my head. Molnar is either from Fenton (in the 5th) or Holly. Unless someone else has the same name, he ran against John Gleason in a Genesee County district, so I'm a little miffed at him running in the 8th. His house is on the county line.

The winner faces either Lance Enderle or Michael Magdich. Lance's hero is Alan Grayson in Florida. I don't need to say anything more than that.

The other guy is a carpetbagger. I looked up what I could on Magdich and one thing caught my eye right away. I thought based on campaign finance records that he might be a recent transplant from Warren. That was just his work address, but he is a recent transplant.....from Wayne County. That's fine, as long as you don't bring Wayne County politics here. Now he wants to bring Wayne County Democrat Politics to Livingston County. He's a guy who takes a shot at the 1% while living in a $685,000 house.That sounds like a Wayne County politician to me.

Worse, he's pushing for the same FAILED green anti-industrial (non Solundra) policies of his guy Obama.

I'm a native from Livingston County back when it truly was "the country" in more than just attitudes. Not everyone is, and that's alright. I don't hold that against them. My parents are transplants and they didn't want anything to do with the city anymore. I do have a problem when recent transplants move from the city and bring city politics with them that wrecked their county. Democrats destroyed Detroit with their policies. Now some upper middle class yuppie greenie from Wayne County who bought a nearly $700,000 house here thinks he can represent Livingston County?

For State Rep, both Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers have primary challengers. Cindy is facing Harold Melton and Bill is facing Dale Rogers. I know Melton. He's a good guy, but I'm still supporting Cindy. She has one of the best run offices I've ever dealt with. I'm no longer in HD-47, but she still does a good job, really for the whole county. Dale Rogers is a teacher in Novi. Other than that, I don't know much about him. In the general, the winners will face either People who live this way Shawn Lowe Desai or Shanda Willis, who support more spending and abortion rights.

The county races have contests as well.

The Prosecutor's race is open with Dave Morse retiring. Lyle Dickson, Carolyn Henry, and Bill Vailliencourt are all running. I knew Lyle and Bill before they were running and finally had a chance to talk to Carolyn. I haven't decided who I'm supporting yet. All of them have things they bring to the table, and all of them have different backgrounds. Lyle is a former policeman and is a general practitioner. Carolyn is an active litigator in court and is also Howell Township trustee.  Bill's currently an assistant prosecutor. The winner will face moderate democrat and defense attorney Matt Evans, who practices law in Wayne County.

The Sheriff's race will be interesting to say the least. I'm going to be hearing about this comment later, but I'm expecting a repeat of the Homan vs Deering battles to be honest here. This one's going to get ugly. Bigtime. Bob Bezotte's the incumbent and is facing a primary with former deputy Tom Ash and former Michigan State Police Lt. C.J. Maier. The winner of the primary wins as no democrat is running.

There's a primary for clerk as well, which surprises me. Margaret Dunleavy is running again and has my support. No question. Margo Heinonen is challenging her. I know the last name from somewhere, but I can't think of where offhand. I deal with the clerk's office often with election matters, and Margaret has my support.

The treasurer's race has a primary. Dianne Hardy retired and her deputy Jennifer Nash was appointed to replace her. Nash is running for election as a quasi-incumbent. Tax law attorney Brian Wutz is challenging her in the primary. I've met Brian at a few events. I think he'd do a real good job and has the right background for this. 

Sally Reynold's is challenged as register of deeds by Carole Bullion. I know Sally and I've met Carole on a few occasions. Carole's a nice person (as is Sally) and would probably do a good job, but I don't have any reason to vote against Sally based on the job she's done. I'm certainly leaning that way 

Brian Jonckheere is unopposed as Drain Commissioner.

In the commissioner districts, There's no primaries for the 1st (Kate Lawrence and Bruce Schneider unopposed for open seat), 3rd (Domas and Morris), 5th (Drick), 6th (Williams), 7th (Griffith), or 8th (Dolan and Katakowski).

In the 2nd, William Green is facing Jim Mantey. Winner faces Jeanette DiFlorio. In the 4th, Bill Call is facing Ron Van Houten in the primary. Winner is unopposed in the general. In the 9th, Jack LaBelle is facing Gary Childs. Winner is unopposed in the general.

For the townships, I'm a little irked right now at our county party. We got caught looking, and I warned the committee about it too on multiple occasions. What happened in a couple of areas is exactly what I did not want to see happen.

Brighton Township - Everyone running is unopposed.

Cohoctah Township - Same thing. Everyone is unopposed.

Conway Township - Suspected RINO Steve Redinger is facing Michael Rife for the Supervisor position. Suspected RINO Cindy Dickerson is facing Susan Buell Dietz in the primary for the Clerk's position. Redinger and Dickerson both according to my records voted democrat in the 2008 primary when there was contests on both sides. My definition of RINO isn't a liberal republican, but an actual Republican in Name Only.

Deerfield Township - There's three running for two positions. Garry Johnston, Mike Randall, and Douglas Taylor are running. The two who win the primary win.

Genoa Township - I'm not surprised there's going to be a primary here. Gary McCririe is facing Kevin Spicher in the primary. Eight people are running for four positions for trustee as well. Jean Ledford, H. James Mortensen, Linda Rowell, Todd Smith, William Taylor, Dewey Thomas, Steve Wildman, and Keli Woodall. Jim Delcamp is running for the democrats unopposed and will have to beat one of them in the fall to be elected.

Green Oak Township - The only contest here is trustee. Six running for four spots. Tracey Edry, Richard Everett, Rollin Green, George Kilpatrick, Wally Qualls, and James Tuthill.

Hamburg Township - There's much less of a battle this time. Surprisingly, Pat Hohl has a free pass, as does RINO Allen Carlson. Five trustees are running for four spots. Michael Dolan, Bill Hahn, Chuck Menzies, Jason Negri, and Michael Zeglevski. Annette Koeble is running for the dems. She has to beat one of the four winners on the GOP side in November to win.

Handy Township - Everyone running is unopposed.

Hartland Township - Shockingly considering its history, everyone running is unopposed.

Howell Township - This is where our party was caught napping. Everyone running is unopposed. That includes the two democrats who filed for open trustee seats where there was no opposition. 50% of the trustees, barring a major surprise, will now be democrat after this election. No excuse. You don't win when you don't show up. This is why you contest every race. The dems just tripled their representation of partisan offices in the county.

Iosco Township - There is a primary between Dan Delmerico and Kent Laity for clerk.

Marion Township - Eight trustees running for four spots. Les Andersen, Alexander Duncan, Bernie Gerecke, Larry Grunn, Scott Lloyd, Dan Lowe, suspected RINO (2008 vote) Jim Murray, and Robert Peter.

Oceola Township - Everyone running is unopposed.

Putnam Township - Two races here. There's a three way primary for supervisor between Jerry Balk, Ron Rau, and Bobby Stone. The winner faces democrat Mike Porath. Democrats have won in Putnam Township before, so this isn't a sacrificial lamb. For trustee five people are running for four spots. Keith Chambers, Norm Klein, Richard McCloskey, Bob Press, and Donald Speer.

Tyrone Township - Both parties were caught looking. Nobody filed for trustee. Nobody. Again. No excuse.

 Unadilla Township - Everyone running is unopposed, including the longtime incumbent democrat Lori Cowan.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Filing Deadline is TOMORROW, May 15, 2012 at 4PM

The title is self-explanatory.

All candidates for partisan office must file by tomorrow. The petitions, affidavits, or fee (depending on office) must be turned in by 4PM on May 15, 2012.That includes precinct delegates for political parties. If you want to have a say in party leadership, here's your chance. If you don't sign up for precinct delegate and are a base voter for your party, don't complain to me if you don't like the decisions made by the party.

We're going to have a lot of contested races this year, both in the primary and the general election. Whether they are serious primaries or not remains to be seen. I'll be updating the districts for congress/state rep starting tomorrow to include the candidates who have filed.

The field gets much narrower tomorrow.  Campaign season officially begins tomorrow for non presidential races. 2 1/2 months till the August primaries to make our decisions.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ridiculous Law of the Week - Part 8 - Campaign Finance Senate Style

I don't have the citation offhand outside of PDF regulations, but as you'd guess, I would know this one. I do not often agree with Rich Robinson of Michigan's Campaign Finance Network. I'm not a big BCRA fan at all and support unlimited donation limits with full disclosure. However, this is bad.

The Free Press had this out. It's not entirely accurate, but it's close.

In this digital age of immediate news and information, the U.S. Senate is still stuck firmly in 20th Century.
Under arcane Senate rules, candidates don't have to file their campaign finance reports electronically and can, instead, go through a tedious process that holds up reports for weeks, even months.
"It allows them to hide who is bankrolling their campaigns," said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks campaign spending. "When you think about the time and money they're wasting to play this stupid game, they really ought to be ashamed of themselves."
For the past decade, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and president of the U.S. and political action committees have been required to file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Elections Commission. The e-filing system, which also is used for most state office candidates, allows for almost immediate access to campaign finance reports -- which reveal who is contributing to campaigns and how candidates are spending their money.

I agree with using electronic filing for US Senate races. It makes it easier and in practicality for senate reports, we use FECFile anyway for limit checks, validation, and data entry so we can print the long reports on the computer easier. I have to make a correction. If we are treasurers for US Senate campaigns - we HAVE to go by hand. It is required. There is no "don't have to file" electronically. We are not allowed to do so and you can check the FEC's candidate committee manual to find that in the small print. I can't just send it electronically to the FEC. We aren't directly governed by the FEC, but the Secretary of the Senate. That means I have to print out the dozens of pages of data from FECFile, mail it to Virginia, and keep checking to make sure they have it. It creates more work, and worse, I'm not 100% in control of the situation. It's not like I can just drive off to DC if there's a problem unlike Howell or Lansing. 

One other thing not mentioned  with the extra day is that there's two different possible due dates. For example April 15th was the last due date. It was a Sunday, so in reality it was moved up to the 13th (unlike taxes). If the report was sent on the 13th using regular first class mail, then the committee better open up its checkbook. Under first class mail, the Secretary of the Senate needs to receive the report by the 15th. If certified mail is used, it's okay, even though it's still first class mail in delivery time. The due date under certified mail is by postmarked. Needless to day, I always use certified to be safe.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

RINO alert (Allen Carlson) and Deadline for candidates and precinct delegate filing - May 15, 2012

May 15th - Tuesday. 4PM. Save that date. It's a big one for the August primary. All candidates who wish to run in the August primary must be ready to file on that day. The petitions must be turned in, or the payment received, depending on the office. For precinct delegates, all that is needed is a notarized affidavit turned in. I've turned mine in a long time ago, and there's notaries at the county clerk's office.

You can take a look and see who has filed for most offices on the Secretary of State's page. Here's the listing of filed congressmen, state reps, and judicial offices.  The deadline has passed already for judicial offices. Most congressional candidates have not files because they take more petition signatures. State reps can get petitions or pay $100.

In Livingston County, the clerk's office posted online those who have filed so far for County and Township races. Some people who will likely run are sandbagging to the last minute. Many have filed already. Most are republicans, although a couple of those republicans I've found are RINOS in the truest sense. Republican in Name Only. Allen Carlson in Hamburg Township, running for treasurer there as a Republican, is a gigantic RINO. Allen Carlson donated to the House Democrats fund, and is running as a republican. He also voted democrat in the 08 primary when there was a contest on both sides. He also currently has no opponent. The other RINO's I've seen so far at least have contested races in primaries. I have no respect at all for that. If you're a democrat, run as one. Annette Koeble is running as a democrat for trustee. She also voted dem in the 08 primary, as you would expect. Be who you are.

Committee Name
Committee ID-Type
Received From
State Zip
Date Amount Cumul


(Address Removed)
MI 48189-0000
09/13/10 $30.00 $30.00


(Address Removed)
MI 48189-0000
02/08/06 $25.00 $25.00


(Address removed)
MI 48189-0000
04/12/06 $15.00 $40.00
Now if that's not good enough,Newsmeat has one more. Now Patricia Carlson isn't Allen, but since Allen donated to dems as well, this can give a clue of the type of democrat who is supported there.

Contributor Candidate or PAC Amount Date FEC Filing
Senate - MI

The dangerously incompetent one herself, Debbie Stabenow. So if you're in Hamburg and reading this, and don't like what you see - please find someone good with accounting or tax law background, and get them to run. I'd consider it, but I don't live in Hamburg.

I don't use the term RINO for liberal Republicans like Rudy Giuliani or Olympia Snowe or even glory hounds like John McCain or Lindsay Graham. When I use the term RINO, I save it for those who back democrats or are sore losers in primaries and run as "independents" or switch parties. Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, Larry Pressler (Obama supporter), Chuck Hagel (Obama), Lisa Murkowski (primary loser), Joe Schwarz, John Steward (former state rep) and people like that. Those are the RINOs.

Oftentimes grass roots call those in the establishment RINOs. Usually they aren't RINOs, but they are very pragmatic, sometimes correctly, and sometimes to a fault. The job of establishment republicans is to elect republicans. Period. Where I have problems with establishment is when the NRSC idiots announce that they are not contesting a race when their primary pick loses. It's a stupid move that allows democrats to stop spending there. I also have a problem when NRSC endorses in primaries. There's not much that can be done about caucus committee establishments.

However, RNC, MIGOP, District GOP, and County GOP leadership is picked from precinct delegates. Either precinct delegates choose directly, as in the case of county party, or they send delegates to state. The delegates sent to state convention caucus in district and pick their district party. They then vote on state party leadership - as well as some partisan offices at different conventions. At the next convention, we pick our RNC committeeman.

So if you are a grass roots republican and want to have some control in party politics, there's your chance. Run for precinct delegate in the August primary. If you win, you then get to vote on who goes to state conventions, as well as directly vote for county party executive committees. If you want my support however, you'd have to do more than just show up at conventions. Show up at the county meetings as minimum. I tend to reward those who do work and not just complain.

This Tuesday, we'll know officially who is in and who is out. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Today's Elections - Millages pass, and Dick Lugar just got fired

All the millages passed today in Livingston County.  Fowlerville and Hartland's renewals passed 4-1 and 3-1. Brighton's bond issue was much closer, but the organization of the millage supporters came through. On 32% turnout, the millage passed 4969-4476. That's the unofficial results from the clerk's office. The reason I think it passed comes down to one word. Athletics. Hopefully they spend the money wisely. We'll see if the current - and future - boards do that. 

We have a big win in Indiana tonight. Dick Lugar, F rated from the NRA and longtime opponent of the 2nd Amendment just got fired. Good. What somewhat surprised me is that this election wasn't even close.

From Yahoo News

Dick Lugar, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, was defeated Tuesday as Indiana Republicans chose state Treasurer Richard Mourdock over Lugar as the party's nominee.
Mourdock received about 60 percent to 40 percent for Lugar in the Hoosier state's Senate primary, marking a huge win for tea party supporters and conservatives across the country.
Mourdock, speaking at a victory rally in Indianapolis Tuesday night, said that many supporters who joined up with the tea party or other groups wondered at the beginning of his campaign if they could "do the impossible." "Tonight, you did," he said, to wild applause.

When conservatives show up, organize, and vote, good things happen. That doesn't happen as often as it should happen, particularly the organize part.

Argus pushes for judicial reform - I have mixed views

One thing that's been pushed for years from the Center For Michigan and the Phil Power crew is a change in how Supreme Court justices are chosen in Michigan. The Argus had an editorial on that today, copied in part from the Lansing State Journal. I partially agree with it, although other parts I do not agree with. Personally I think the system for the Supreme Court should be the same system used for other Michigan judges. A simple primary where the top two candidates have a run off in November. Maybe add a 10 year law practice requirement to prevent newcomers with certain Irish last names from making a run for it five years out of law school.

The task force recommends:

  • Public disclosure of all judicial campaign spending.
  • Creation of an open primary to remove political parties from nominating candidates for Supreme Court justice.
  • Creation of two citizen panels, one to screen and recommend candidates for appointment to Supreme Court vacancies and the other to monitor conduct of judicial campaigns and provide context to help citizens evaluate claims made in election advertisements.
  • Creation of a voter education guide, produced by the secretary of state, to provide voters with basic background information on judicial candidates' training and experience.
  • Ending the age-70 limit on judicial candidates. The change would require a constitutional amendment.The reforms will not be easily adopted. Interest groups — including the Democratic and Republican political parties — may well prefer the status quo. But candidates in a nonpartisan race for a job where impartiality is a core requirement should not be forced to curry favor among party activists in order to get on the ballot. It's a system that breeds distrust and must be changed.
    An impartial judiciary is in Michigan's best interests. By removing partisanship, holding interest groups accountable for their spending and their advertising messages, involving citizens more closely and supporting voter education, Michigan can improve this system greatly.

  • Addressing those points.

    1. We have public disclosure of judicial committee spending, as well as PACs.

    2. I agree with the open primary similar to our appeals court elections.

    3. Now I have a problem. Who gets on the panel? Who makes them the arbiter to decide? This looks too much like the Missouri plan which is not only political "behind the scenes" but take the picks away from the voters. As far as the conduct of judicial campaigns, we have the code of judicial ethics already in effect by the State Bar of Michigan. I'm bound by it myself when I'm part of a judicial campaign. I also do not want to see the State Bar of Michigan become a political organization, directly or indirectly.

    4. Why was age 70 (or age 75 in some cases when election is at age 65) there to begin with? It hurts in some cases when the minds are still sharp, but others no longer have it.

    5. This doesn't remove partisanship or do much of impartiality. It is, was, and always will be a factor as long as judicial philosophy is always an issue. Dred Scot. Slaughter-house. Lochner era. Roosevelt pushback and Wickard v Filburn. Warren Court (not AS bad as reputation). The Burger Court (absolutely awful). Rehnquist and Roberts balanced court today. It's become a bigger factor today largely thanks to the Burger Court's Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton and the heavy activism and increased governmental power of the 70's, some of it built upon previously bad decisions of Wickard v Filburn.

    I've seen other issues pushed elsewhere like removing voting for judges and having governors appoint with no recourse by the the voters. I have a big problem with that. I don't think party conventions should nominate Supreme Court justices however. We do not do it for appeals court races which are just as important, and have almost the same impact as the Supreme Court.

    Some of this isn't bad. Some is. I do think there will be a greater push for reforms, but let's make sure the cure isn't worse than the disease. 

    Sunday, May 06, 2012

    Livingston County Millage votes this Tuesday

    While most of the hype is for Brighton, there's actually three millage related elections up this Tuesday - May 8th.

    Fowlerville Schools has a Renewal question for non homestead property. This affects businesses, 2nd homes, and rental properties.

    Hartland Schools also has a Renewal question

    Brighton Schools is the big one. 88 Million Dollars

    I wish these measures were up for a vote in August or November, instead of costing tax money by having it in May with a lower turnout and one more favorable to someone who has a vested interest in this passing.

    I have mixed views about the Brighton millage.  I think, as John Conely said, a sinking fund would have been a better route, as well as a lesser amount. I also don't like the timing. I will give some credit that as far as I could tell, I didn't see any campaign finance violations for once, unlike the MEA's elections. I did find it interesting though that a lot of donors were construction firms. Someone wants a contract.

    Some of the things I think are needed. I do see the need for the football field (although if the plan is artificial turf I am 100% against astroturf like Jackson's field for injury reasons). Football brings in money, through sponsors, ticket sales, and even brings in students. We've gotten 8,000+ at games. Computers I can see as well. The computers when I was there were dinosaurs. Pre 286 era back when most computers were 486 and Pentiums were coming out. It's leveled off some and I don't know what's there now, but I can see the argument there. A revamp for the performing arts center? Arguable. That could bring in money, and we certainly see the advertisements for their events. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    But a new pool? Some of the other things? Are they needs, or are they wants? If they are wants, can it pay for itself through attracting students to the school, ticket sales, third party contracts, sponsorships, or other measures?

    And the amount. 88 Million, plus interest over 30 years, while our taxpayers are still paying off old bonds, in a bad economy. To put it bluntly, that's a shitload of money, unless you're the government. The other question is this. Will the new stuff be maintained properly, or will it go to hell so there can be a new bond issue 10 years from now because new stuff is needed? While the school system has been better than it was with fiscal measures, there's still a lot of work to do. There's not a lot of confidence there and still some holdovers from the Joyce Powers/Joe Carney era. That's not to mention the uncertainty of the future school boards and administrations.

    I'd like to see this defeated because of the amount, with a more reasonable amount asked for later (preferably August/November), or a sinking fund as an alternative. This isn't the 80's or late 90's economy. Michigan has been in a 10+ year period of recession or slow "recovery."

    Saturday, May 05, 2012

    I'm backing Saul Anuzis

    I'm going to get an earful from some quarters for this, and maybe even both barrels.

    I have nothing bad to say about Dave Agema. I don't really know, although I know of him, and know he's a strong conservative. I have no problems with him. I'm also not a consultant war type of guy, so I'm not voting against him because of possible associations, nor am I voting for Saul because of associations. I've backed Yob candidates. I've opposed Yob candidates. I've backed Sterling candidates. I've opposed Sterling candidates. I don't play that sort of game.

    It's well known that I'm only voting for Romney because he sucks less. So why am I backing his biggest supporter in Michigan?

    Part of it is loyalty. Saul and I go back years, long before I had the blog. His brother took me under his wing when I was a rookie in politics back when he was county chair, and IMO one of the best we've had. However the biggest thing is when push comes to shove, Saul will do what he thinks is right. He's always given me a straight answer, and sometimes a blunt answer. Sometimes that cuts in favor of where I stand, and other times it cuts against and I think he's dead wrong (Romney and the delegate battle). He isn't afraid of a battle and will stick his neck out when most bigwigs won't.

    The one thing that really earned my respect beyond a personal loyalty situation was back when he was chair. Granholm was governor and pushed the tax increases. She was demanding republicans go along with it. Many were beaten down and ready to cave. While a lot of bloggers, including many good people over on Right Michigan, are going heavy after Saul because of the aftermath in Michigan's primary (and I gave him an earful about that myself), you have to take the entire record, good, bad, and in between.

    I posted this way back in 2007. If you remember right, we got our asses kicked in 2008, after a previous ass kicking in 2006. If the politicians listened to me on fiscal issues, that would not have happened. Saul got it though.

    From September 10, 2007

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    RINOS whining about Saul's anti-tax support

    I don't use the term RINO all that much anymore. Considering some seem to want to be bailing out Granholm, I will here. Apparently, some squishes on tax policies are not very happy with Saul Anuzis. This is in the Detroit News.

    LANSING -- Republican lawmakers are increasingly irritated with their state party boss, Saul Anuzis, because they say his steady drumbeat against raising taxes is making it more difficult to work out a deal to resolve Michigan's nagging budget deficit.

    It's not that difficult. Lansing fouled things up by spending too much. Lansing now is mad that Saul isn't accepting Lansing asking us to bail them out.

    "It's a gray area at best, but it's indicative of the partisanship that exists in Lansing that keeps us from getting work done in a statesman-like manner," said Rep. Lorence Wenke, R-Galesburg, who occasionally parts with the GOP leadership on policy matters.

    "Is Saul Anuzis breaking some new ground here? It seems he is setting the new low standard."

    Anuzis said it's his role to "reflect the feeling of the party. We want real reform first before discussion of any tax increase. I think I am representing the views of our party members."

    I'll give Wenke a little credit for putting his name behind this post. That's about all the credit I'll give him. Wenke is in the state house where the dems have a majority. Why the hell is he complaining about taxes then, when it could pass without any republican votes? The anti-tax sentiment does not keep you from getting your work done, Mr. Wenke. It keeps you from taking the easy way out. The last time we had a big majority in the state house and acted "Statesmanlike" against Granholm and raised taxes with the help of 15 turncoats, we lost our majority. The people - your boss - don't want a tax increase.

    Wenke said Anuzis is doing the bidding of the national party, which wants to establish a conservative brand for the 2008 presidential election.

    "The party clearly is positioning itself for the '08 election, and this is what party leaders like Saul are paid to do," Wenke said.

    Replied Anuzis: "My job is to make sure we as a party don't lose our brand, don't lose the image that attracts people to vote for us."

    I can't speak for Saul, but I did not see a lot of economic conservatism coming from the national party recently. That's the problem to begin with and a reason why we got slapped in the side of the head back in 06 when much of our base stayed home and Reagan Democrats voted democrat. Our base understand it, and our elected officials need to understand it before they join the unemployment lines.

    One Republican lawmaker, who asked not to be named because of concerns about crossing swords with party leaders, said: "The last thing we need is somebody who is not an elected official publicly hammering on us. He's not the one who has to put his name on the line and vote for or against this. I've never seen this before, and I've been in the party a lot of years, where a party chair is dictating policy. It's inappropriate and a growing number of us are sick and tired of it."

    To the coward who didn't put his name down, let me tell you how things work, son. You are an elected official. You work for the people in your district. We as party activists do not work for you. Saul doesn't work for you. He works for the state delegates who selected him at a convention. We are the party base. People like you are the problem. You knew well in advance that you have to put your name on the line in a vote. That's your job and why you get paid the big bucks. Stop complaining, stop looking for bailouts, and start doing your job.

    If you vote for a tax increase, Saul is the last person you should be worried about. It's your base that you should be worried about. The last time our party took the safe route and caved on taxes, we lost our majority here. The last time our party went leftist, we lost our majority. It's time to take a stand, and that means no new taxes. If you're in the way and vote for it, you should be sent home as well in the August primary, if not a recall election.

    While the party caved to Granholm and got the expected results afterward, Saul at least got it. This was two years before the beginning of "tea parties" when it comes to taxes. Some things never change. Government spends too much and wants the people to bail them out. Now that was back in 2007, and I remember all the heat Saul got from that behind the scenes. It was viewed as a turf war, and Saul stepped on toes that didn't like it.

    I think this tax issue may be coming back soon. Obama is pushing the same stuff Granholm did. We all know that oftentimes republican senators are the biggest cowards in the entire country. They love to cave and then call themselves "statesmen" when voting for awful policy. (Cough Lindsay Graham)  Saul can very well give people like Graham a boot when it is needed, and at the same time be able to get away with it. He's a communications ace. He doesn't hide, and he'll take the arrows as they come in.

    Nothing against Agema, but I'm voting for Saul.

    Friday, May 04, 2012

    Ridiculous Laws of the Week - Part 7 - graffiti damage burden

    It's time to bring back the ridiculous law of the week. It hasn't been every week, although I try to get one up every week. 

    This ordinance comes from the City of Ann Arbor. I understand that Ann Arbor and other cities and townships want to fight urban blight and places with a lot of graffiti on walls and businesses are not the image city council members would like to see when people visit their city. However, this crosses the line here.

    No person who owns or otherwise controls or manages any property shall permit or allow any graffiti to be or remain on any surface or structure on the property beyond the time indicated in a notice, which shall be no less than seven (7) calendar days after the notice is posted on the property or delivered to the property owner and no less than nine (9) calendar days if the notice is mailed. If removal of the graffiti by the date set in the notice is not possible due to weather or other reasonable cause, then on or before the date set in the notice the person to whom the notice is issued or his or her agent shall contact the City as indicated in the notice to request an extension. Removal of graffiti may be by means of actual physical removal or covering the graffiti over with paint or other similar substance applied to the surface or structure.
    A violation of this subsection is not a civil infraction or a misdemeanor.
    Notice by the City to remove graffiti from a property may be made by mailing it to the property owner, as shown on assessment records, delivering it to the owner or posting it at a conspicuous place on the property.
    If any graffiti remains on the property beyond the time indicated in a notice, then the City may remove the graffiti or have it removed in any reasonable manner. The costs to the City for removal and administration shall be charged to the owner and, if not paid, assessed against the property in accordance with section 1:292 of Chapter 13 of this Code.
    The victim may proceed with any private right of action provided under law against a person who has applied graffiti or the parent or guardian of a minor.

    I didn't copy the first part of the statute. That simply bans people from putting graffiti on walls which is reasonable. My problem is the part in bold. Now, it could be worse. At least the City of Ann Arbor didn't make that a misdemeanor or felony like everything else seems to be these days. It's not even a civil infraction ticket, but part five shifts costs from the jackasses to the owners. Grafitti cleanup is not cheap. The owners probably didn't tag their walls. Others did it, and they have to pay for it in most cases unless it's the rare time a tagger gets dinged for it.

    Combating blight is a legitimate purpose, but the process in combating it is also important. I have on principle a major problem with victims being forced to pay due to the actions of criminals who do not respect people's property.

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012

    Updates (Candidate lists)

    With the state rep districts finally finished, I'm going to update the list of who is running periodically. It'll take me some time to get the sidebar updated, but you can find the districts by searching for the district number. My districts are MI-08, SD-22, and HD-42 (old HD-66). I used MI for congressional districts in Michigan, SD for state senate districts, and HD for state house districts.

    I'll have the candidates listed (so far) before I have the sidebar up. There will be more filing in the next two weeks.

    State House Redistricting - District 110 (HD-110)

    State House - District 110
    Current Rep - Matt Huuki (R - Atlantic Mine)

    GOP - Matt Huuki  (R - Atlantic mine)
    Dem - Scott Dianda (D-Calumet)

    Update 5-27-2012 - Dianda wants a rematch, but has to get past Lucius. This is a swing district.

    Update 8-30-2012 - Dianda gets his rematch.

    Old District (110th)
    Matt Huuki - 16,031
    Scott Dianda - 12,814

    This district is a swing district which leans democrat. The GOP almost took it in 2000, but the dems kept it easily most years until the 2010 massacre Up North. The district is unchanged outside of picking up Ishpeming Township in Marquette County which makes this seat more democrat. There is some republican strength in Houghton and some democrat strength in Gogebic (Ironwood) and Iron (Iron River) Counties. Iron County is starting to change, although Ironwood is still very strongly yellow dog and Joe Mack country.

    The dems have held this district for more years than I can remember. It will be one of our toughest defenses in 2012 with the yellow dog tradition in much of this district, along with Gogebic County still being a stronghold of the dems, and Iron County which was a stronghold until recently. The rest of the counties have gone dem at different times as well.

    If the GOP didn't have an incumbent, I'd call this leans dem.

    McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Baraga County 1846 1725 3571 121 51.69% 48.31% 3.39%
    Gogebic County 3330 4757 8087 -1427 41.18% 58.82% -17.65%
    Houghton County 8101 7476 15577 625 52.01% 47.99% 4.01%
    Iron County 2947 3080 6027 -133 48.90% 51.10% -2.21%
    Keweenaw County 756 610 1366 146 55.34% 44.66% 10.69%
    Ontonagon County 1823 1966 3789 -143 48.11% 51.89% -3.77%
    Marquette County:

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Ishpeming Twp  763 1163 1926 -400 39.62% 60.38% -20.77%
    Powell Twp  211 257 468 -46 45.09% 54.91% -9.83%

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 19777 21034 40811 -1257 48.46% 51.54% -3.08%

    Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Baraga County 1977 1660 3637 317 54.36% 45.64% 8.72%
    Gogebic County 3935 4421 8356 -486 47.09% 52.91% -5.82%
    Houghton County 8889 6731 15620 2158 56.91% 43.09% 13.82%
    Iron County 3224 3215 6439 9 50.07% 49.93% 0.14%
    Keweenaw County 781 630 1411 151 55.35% 44.65% 10.70%
    Ontonagon County 2262 1863 4125 399 54.84% 45.16% 9.67%
    Marquette County:

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Ishpeming Twp  845 1010 1855 -165 45.55% 54.45% -8.89%
    Powell Twp  244 264 508 -20 48.03% 51.97% -3.94%

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 22157 19794 41951 2363 52.82% 47.18% 5.63%

    Last St House GOP  DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Baraga County 1550 1090 2640 460 58.71% 41.29% 17.42%
    Gogebic County 2572 2711 5283 -139 48.68% 51.32% -2.63%
    Houghton County 7007 5157 12164 1850 57.60% 42.40% 15.21%
    Iron County 2389 2028 4417 361 54.09% 45.91% 8.17%
    Keweenaw County 632 477 1109 155 56.99% 43.01% 13.98%
    Ontonagon County 1731 1177 2908 554 59.53% 40.47% 19.05%
    Marquette County:

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Ishpeming Twp 

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Powell Twp  148 174 322 -26 45.96% 54.04% -8.07%

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 16029 12814 28843 3215 55.57% 44.43% 11.15%

    State House Redistricting - District 109 (HD-109)

    State House - District 109
    Current Rep - Steve Lindberg (D - Marquette) Not running.

    GOP - Jack Hubbard (R-Marquette)
    Dem - John Kivela  (D-Marquette)

    Update 5-27-2012 - Open seat with primaries on both sides. I'm calling this safe for the dems until proven otherwise. I saw that messed up the 04 numbers for this putting Marquette's numbers over Schoolcraft. I'll get that fixed when I have time. The numbers are close to that, and John Kerry still won the district. The district is more dem downticket than at the top as well. This is Dominic Jacobetti territory. 

    Update 8-30-2012 - Kivela and Hubbard won the primary. I still need to fix the numbers.

    Old District (109th)
    Steve Lindberg - 17,160
    John Brock - 12,496

    This district barely changed over the last district. It drops Ishpeming Township and keeps the rest of the territory. It's a safe democrat seat, the only one in North Michigan that is safe for the dems, and one of the few that's safe for either party. Marquette County (Marquette and Ishpeming) is a democrat stronghold between labor and NMU, and Alger County (Munising) also leans that way. Schoolcraft (Manistique) is a swing county. Luce (Newberry) is slightly more republican, but also a competitive county, especially in state elections with the prison influence.

    The district prefers moderate democrats, but liberals can also win here in non wave years. Even John Kerry won the district.

    McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Alger County 2188 2472 4660 -284 46.95% 53.05% -6.09%
    Luce County 1490 1191 2681 299 55.58% 44.42% 11.15%
    Schoolcraft County 2058 2184 4242 -126 48.51% 51.49% -2.97%
    Marquette County: 12906 19635 32541 -6729 39.66% 60.34% -20.68%
    Ishpeming Twp (110th) -763 -1163 -1926 400 39.62% 60.38% -20.77%
    Powell Twp (110th) -211 -257 -468 46 45.09% 54.91% -9.83%

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 17668 24062 41730 -6394 42.34% 57.66% -15.32%

    Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Alger County 2318 2395 4713 -77 49.18% 50.82% -1.63%
    Luce County 1749 1045 2794 704 62.60% 37.40% 25.20%
    Schoolcraft County 14690 17412 32102 -2722 45.76% 54.24% -8.48%
    Marquette County:

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Ishpeming Twp (110th) -845 -1010 -1855 165 45.55% 54.45% -8.89%
    Powell Twp (110th) -244 -264 -508 20 48.03% 51.97% -3.94%

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 17668 19578 37246 -1910 47.44% 52.56% -5.13%

    Last St House GOP  DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
    Alger County 1853 1842 3695 11 50.15% 49.85% 0.30%
    Luce County 1074 801 1875 273 57.28% 42.72% 14.56%
    Schoolcraft County 1569 1498 3067 71 51.16% 48.84% 2.31%
    Marquette County: 8000 13109 21109 -5109 37.90% 62.10% -24.20%
    Ishpeming Twp (110th) -487 -885 -1372 398 35.50% 64.50% -29.01%
    Powell Twp (110th)

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

    0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
    Total 12009 16365 28374 -4356 42.32% 57.68% -15.35%