Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interesting blurb on the open County Commissioner seat

As Jay Drick resigned to become magistrate, a county commissioner district is now open.

I saw this on and it was quite interesting.

1/29/13- Interviews for an interim commissioner were held at last night’s meeting for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. The seat became vacant when Jay Drick stepped down from his District 5 position to accept an appointment as magistrate. Candidates were asked a number of questions that educated the board on their intent as a commissioner, their experience and skills, and their involvement in the community they wish to serve.Candidates for the seat include Pastor Tom Huff, educator Mike Brennan, Howell Township Trustee Michael Tipton, and Howell attorney and former commissioner Don Parker. Parker (pictured on the left) served on the board from 2002 to 2010. The candidates will be reviewed by the board and voted on at Monday, February 4th’s scheduled meeting. (SO)

We'll have a special election for this spot. About the names mentioned.

Don Parker (R) - He was the commissioner here before Jay Drick took office in 2010. He wants his spot back now that it's open. I personally thought overall he was a good commissioner during the time I lived in Howell.

Mike Brennan (L) - He's a  Libertarian and runs a tutoring program.

Tom Huff (?) - Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church. I don't know much beyond that as I'm not Lutheran. He does have some name recognition in the area being a pastor. His wife donated to Shanda Willis (D) for state house, Bill Rogers opponent.

Mike Tipton (D) - I'm a little surprised that Mike Tipton's angling for a promotion to a temporary gig as commissioner literally right after he takes office at Howell Township. Tipton was unopposed for Howell Township trustee and won. Maybe this is due to making sure there is at least more than one interview. It'll be interesting if he runs for the special election. He doesn't have to give up his township spot to run, but would have to give it up if he won. Don't laugh when I say "if he won". He won once already in a shutout. I will however make sure that an R files for this seat this time.

One of these four will be appointed barring a surprise. There will also be a special election primary and general for the remainder of the term. We'll see who files likely in February.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Geography hits the nail on the head

One of the few democrats I agree with more often than not is Joel Kotkin of New Geography. He may be a dem, but he's an old school FDR type and certainly not a new urbanist or a modern day "progressive." New Geography is one of the better social/political blogs out there and concentrates on the old school areas like actually building things.

From New Geography

This shift stems, in large part, from the movement from a predominately resource and tangible goods-based economy to an information-based one. In the past, political struggles were largely fought over how to divide up the spoils generated by the basic productive economy; labor, investors and management all shared a belief in the ethos of economic growth, manufacturing and resource extraction.
In contrast, today’s new hegemons hail almost entirely from outside the material economy, and many come from outside the realm of the market system entirely. Daniel Bell, in his landmark 1973 The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, may have been the first to identify this ascension to “pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.” This new “priesthood of power,” as he put it, would eventually overturn the traditional hierarchies based on land, corporate and financial assets.
Forty years later the outlines of this transformation are clear. Contrary to the conservative claims of Obama’s “socialist” tendencies, the administration is quite comfortable with such capitalist sectors as entertainment, the news media and the software side of the technology industry, particularly social media. The big difference is these firms derive their fortunes not from the soil and locally crafted manufacturers, but from the manipulation of ideas, concepts and images.
Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are far from “the workers of the world,” but closer to modern-day robber barons. Through their own ingenuity, access to capital and often oligopolistic hold on lucrative markets, they have enjoyed one of the greatest accumulations of wealth in recent economic history, even amidst generally declining earnings, rising poverty and inequality among their fellow Americans. Last year the tech oligarchs emerged as major political players. Microsoft, Google and their employees were the largest private-sector donors to the president.

That's one wing of the dem base. The other two are closely tied to that industry. Academia and Foundations. A lot of the foundations have academia and politicians as trustees. I learned about the foundations from back in the late 90's and early 2000's in the 2nd Amendment movement as these big money foundations are often the biggest funders of the gun grabbers. They were propped up by the Joyce Foundation (Obama was trustee), Soros, Tides Foundation, MacArthur Fund, and other similar "C3's." Interesting, Obama's campaign organization is reforming into either a C3 or a C4. 

An even greater beneficiary of the second term will be the administrative class, who by their nature live largely outside the market system. This group, which I call the new clerisy, is based largely in academia and the federal bureaucracy, whose numbers and distinct privileges have grown throughout the past half century.

Indeed the clerisy accounted for five of the top eight sources of Obama’s campaign funding, led by the University of California, the federal workforce, Harvard , Columbia and Stanford. Academic support for Obama was remarkably lock-step: a remarkable 96% of all donations from the Ivy League went to the president, something more reminiscent of Soviet Russia than a properly functioning pluralistic academy.
To understand the possible implications of the new power arrangement, it is critical to understand the nature of the new clerisy. Unlike traditional capitalist power groups, including private-sector organized labor, the clerisy’s power derives not primarily through economic influence per se but through its growing power to inform opinion and regulate everything from how people live to what industries will be allowed to grow, or die.
The clerisy shares a kind of mission which Bell described as the rational “ordering of mass society.” Like the bishops and parish priests of the feudal past, or the public intellectuals, university dons and Anglican worthies of early 19th century Britain, today’s clerisy attempts to impart on the masses today’s distinctly secular “truths,” on issues ranging from the nature of justice, race and gender to the environment. Academics, for example, increasingly regulate speech along politically correct lines, and indoctrinate the young while the media shape their perceptions of reality.
Most distinctive about the clerisy is their unanimity of views. On campus today, there is broad agreement on a host of issues from gay marriage, affirmative action and what are perceived as “women’s” issues to an almost religious environmentalism that is contemptuous toward traditional industry and anything that smacks of traditional middle class suburban values. These views have shaped many of the perceptions of the current millennial generation, whose conversion to the clerical orthodoxy has caught most traditional conservatives utterly flat-footed.
As befits a technological age, the new clerisy also enjoys the sanction of what Bell defined as the “creative elite of scientists.” Prominent examples include the Secretary of Energy, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist David Chu; science advisor John Holdren; NASA’s James Hansen; and the board of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In the words of New York Times hyper-partisan Charles Blow, Republicans have devolved into the “creationist party.” In contrast Obama reigns gloriously hailed as “the sun king” of official science.

In reality, once you stop testing theories, you're no longer a scientist, but a cult. The "sun king" fits perfectly.  This cultist collectivist mindset reminds me of the Eugenics push and racial social darwinism of the early 20th century which lead to Planned Parenthood (Margaret Sanger) and Fascism. It was bad when I was in school, and it has gotten much worse since then.

So who loses in the new order? Certainly unfashionable companies  – oil firms, agribusiness concerns, suburban homebuilders — face tougher times from regulators and the mainstream media . But the biggest losers likely will be the small business-oriented middle class. Not surprisingly Main Street, far more than Wall Street, harbors the gravest pessimism about the president’s second term.
The small business owner, the suburban homeowner, the family farmer or skilled construction tradesperson are intrinsically ill-suited to playing the the insiders’ game in Washington. Played up to at election time, they find their concerns promptly abandoned thereafter, outliers more than ever in a refashioned political order.

This is what we are up against.  We need to A. know the enemy and B. be prepared to counterpunch a knockout when they swing for our heads. Today's left wants to control our lives because they they know what is best for us. Think back to the Thomas Frank (academia) mantra when they complain that we all "vote against our interest." Our interest is actually controlling our own destiny and not being handcuffed by the zillions of regulations out there.

They need to get out of our way. If they don't, they need to be fired. That's all there is to it. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to the cameras.

As the new disclaimer at the top of the site says, "Opinions on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Livingston County Republican Party. That was certainly true before January 4th. It still is today, even though the line has somewhat blurred to the point where it is harder to separate the two. The old Reagan 11th Commandment will be used for the most part from this point on with this blog, along with less push in primary elections due to not being allowed to endorse (as chair) in primaries. I can't be the bad cop as much as I used to. I have to be the good cop.

One thing that is great and bad about the internet and the blogs is that there's a record of greatest hits. That record, in the case of this "no holds barred" blog goes back 7 years. I started this site in my 20's and I knew I was going to have to be ready for them when I talked to Chris Behnan in the Argus last week. That's part of the responsibility as chair. Some of those greatest hits I may have to answer for now that I'm in a different capacity. Behan posted some of these in the article.

Today's Argus

Republican Michigander blogger Dan Wholihan plans to make his well-followed, no-holds-barred blog more encompassing of the Livingston County Republican Party platform.
Wholihan feels he has to: He was elected county Republican Party chairman just after the start of the new year.
"Before, I was speaking for myself only. As a chair, I have to keep in mind that even when I'm not intending to speak for the party, it sounds like I would be," Wholihan said.
"I'm probably going to be more into the details. It will be less controversial than I've been at times," he added. The Green Oak Township resident, 33, was elected by his colleagues to a two-year term as party chairman, taking the reins from former Chairwoman Lana Theis
 He was nice and said I was 33 (I was in the interview). The major difference now and then is the role. I'm not just a blogger, a contractor, a treasurer, or a consultant. Those positions don't speak for the party. I can wear those different hats then. If Joe Hune, Cindy Denby, and Bill Rogers all of a sudden shock me and turns into leftists (not going to happen), I can't call him out on the blog, at least in the same way I otherwise could. Why? Because they are good Livingston County Republicans. Any issues I'd handle behind closed door. Even before on this blog, I was usually one to call them first instead of just firing way. The difference now is that I'm going to extend that to Snyder and the rest of those statewide. As for comment. Rove and some of these national consultants will still get called out though.

I'm going to address some of things mentioned in the article here adding more context.

I knew an old Snyder quote would be there. My stance on Rick Snyder in 2010 is and was well known, as was my support of Mike Cox who did as AG exactly what he said he was going to do. I was never a fan of Nafta/Gatt. Still am not. I'm not a fan of corporate speak. Snyder has gotten much better on the evasive comments. Since becoming governor, there no question where he stands on issues. Some I like and some I don't. His signing of Right to Work improved my opinion. He also signed (and vetoed) pro-life legislation. I'm glad the MBT is gone, although I agree with our own Joe Hune instead on the pension tax and gas tax.

As for how that effects county party, I have my responsibilities. My job is three things as county chair, and that doesn't change based on the names involved.

1. Elect Republicans to Livingston County.
2. Overperform in Livingston County so Republicans win statewide.
3. Build the party.

In an August 2010 post, Wholihan criticized spending under former Republican President George W. Bush, calling Bush "the best Democrat the Republicans ever had on fiscal matters."

Well, that's true. Obama broke his records and was worse on that issue. I knew a "Peter Principle" quote would be on there as well.

"When it comes to budgets and spending, Peter Principle in Chief Obama hasn't earned the right to say anything. He hasn't shown the intelligence, ability, experience, trustworthiness, or record to say anything regarding spending. He broke Bush's records on spending, and now demands a tax increase to bail himself out."

I coined that term because Mr.Obama has talked about deficits for then 3 years and the spending increases every year. He was a 1/2 term junior senator, caught lightning, and now thinks he's a king.

In with the "Greatest hits" from the blog was a quote that I'm glad made the papers.

While Republicans are heavily favored in the largely conservative county, he noted there were no GOP challengers in November for two open seats on the Howell Township Board of Trustees. Two Democrats automatically won two of the four board seats because only two Democrats and two Republicans ran for the positions.
He said wins by Democrats in neighboring Oakland County in November give him pause, given ongoing movement of Oakland County residents into Livingston County.
"The newcomers to our county do not have the same history of good local officials on the Republican level, and we need to educate our newcomers that there's a reason why Livingston County's a great place to live," Wholihan said.
"We have to earn their votes," he added.

The first two words in our party are Livingston County. What scares the hell out of  me with Oakland is that the longtime migration patterns continue and now affect downticket, not just presidential. Wayne County to Oakland. Oakland to Livingston. Southfield voted for Dukakis by 5000 votes. It's now 80-85% Dem. Farmington Hills voted for Rocky three times. It's becoming Southfield 20 years ago. Novi was 60% R, now it's close to 50/50. After Novi is South Lyon and Milford. After that is my home of Green Oak Township on the county line.

Livingston County is a great place to live. Those who move here agree. I stayed here instead of settling in Lansing. Part of the reason Livingston County is a great place to live is due to our local county republicans who do a great job for us. That is what we have to make sure our newcomers understand. Oakland is slipping. People who are moving there are taking Wayne County politics with them. All that's left are some commissioners, Brooks, and Bouchard. A few bad democrats in the minority can be covered up by the majority. However, the dems aren't usually like Unadilla's Jake Donohue anymore or even Jim Barcia or Joel Sheltrown. They are more apt to be the "progressives" like you'd see in the big cities. Liz Brater, Gary Peters, SEIU, and George Soros.

As far as my plans for county party, it is to first use the tools we have to reach our potential. This is a conservative county. While radio talk show hosts always mention that "conservatism works when it is tried" here is a case of it working in action over a period of years. IMO, we don't do a good enough job of explaining that, particularly with the issues with DC. Things get done here, with low taxes, and a balanced budget every year. It's not talk, like Obama with the deficit. It's action. Livingston County is a safe place to live as well, unlike many democrat havens out there.

Whom we elect, especially locally, makes a big difference. Let's not forget what brought us here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hathaway resigns. Snyder will appoint Supreme Court Justice.

We went from Justice Cliff Taylor, a real good man, to this.From WXYZ

(WXYZ) - Legal experts are saying that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway may have avoided suspension by the Judicial Tenure Commission by announcing her retirement , but that doesn't mean she won't face criminal charges.
Channel 7 legal analyst Tom Cranmer says that is the big question and he believes it's a possibility.
This all surrounds allegations Hathaway shuffled properties in Michigan and Florida to enable a short sale on one. It was a story first reported by the 7 Action News Investigators.
Both the JYC and the US Attorney's Office have alleged fraud against Hathaway-- the US Attorney's claim is civil for now.

With Hathaway's resignation, Rick Snyder will appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. Personally, my first choice would be Wayne County Circuit Judge Dan Ryan if he wants it. I have no idea if he does. Another suggestion would be Colleen O'Brien who ran last time. O'Brien had a close loss to McCormack. This would follow the path of Justice Brian Zahra who lost in 02 or 04 and was later appointed and won his retention race. 
I hope Snyder picks someone good and someone with judicial experience. Supreme Court Justices need to be judges first.

The appointee will have to run in 2014 for the rest of the partial term. We have to be ready to go.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The New Livingston County GOP Chair

Hard work pays off. The new Livingston County Republican Party Chair is yours truly. I didn't win this alone and had some good help and friends in high places helping me, but I earned this position through experience, good campaigning, hard work, planning, organization, and developing long term relationships. A lot of the local county elected officials - all in different wings of the party - supported me for LCGOP Chair. What stood out to me is that none of them asked me for a favor outside of doing a good job. My promise was to do the best job possible. There was no "you back me for this or that and I'll support you." Now not surprising those candidates I've helped out in the past directly supported me, but many candidates I did not directly help in the past also supported me. Some of them I've known for 12 years. Others I've known for about a month. Most I've known for a few years. That was my advantage.

My job falls into three areas. The rest is all extra. I'm not going to forget the first two words of our party.
1. Elect Republicans in Livingston County.
2. Overperform in Livingston County so Republicans win statewide.
3. Build our party and grassroots in  Livingston County. 

Those three things. The first is obvious. It's not something we can take for granted as Howell Township showed it. Carl Levin almost carried the county in 2008. I know it was an almost uncontested race because Jack was hung out to dry and McCain quit, but it still almost happened. Oakland County's pattern is disturbing as well. Washtenaw County is next door, as are Genesee and Ingham Counties. Those are as blue of county as we are red. The 2nd part and 3rd parts go together. They build on each other.

The good news is that I'm the new Livingston County Republican Party Chair. The bad news is that as of last night I can't really separate "speaking for the party" from "speaking for myself" too much. If I make a brash comment on this blog calling out someone national, it's going to come back and bite everybody in our local party instead of just me. I'll use a little more discretion, but I'm not going to change who I am, and I'm not going to be somebody who is shackled to avoid offending everybody. However, I'll probably keep most of my criticisms of Republicans in-house and behind closed doors for the next two years. The main difference on this blog will be primaries. As Chair, I can not endorse in Republican primaries with my title. That's obvious and will be a change from previous policy on my blog.

Lastly, if you want Livingston County to stay a great place to live, let's remember who built us to be who we are. Republicans. Let's not turn into Wayne County. Elections have consequences and they affect our entire way of life.