Saturday, April 26, 2014

MI-08 - Bryan Barnett drops out. Now it's a one on one primary

From the Argus

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett has withdrawn his 8th Congressional District candidacy.
Barnett, a Republican, had filed Tuesday for the seat, currently held by retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton.
“Honestly, the thought of a difficult and divisive campaign between three Rochester Hills residents seems counterproductive at best,” Barnett said in a prepared statement.
In other news, state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, withdrew his bid for an Oakland County state Senate seat to focus on the 8th District race.
That decision sets up a GOP primary with former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, who has been endorsed by Rogers.

Barnett dropping wasn't significant in Livingston County, but quite significant in Oakland County. He got 77% twice in Rochester Hills. This favors Mike Bishop most likely. Barnett had a lot of establishment support in Oakland County, including L Brooks Patterson. He did have a tough road to victory, especially with Joe Hune not running  and taking the Livingston and rural Ingham County vote with him. That's not a shot at Barnett. He just wasn't well known here. Rochester Hills is over an hour drive from Brighton.

While this didn't start out this way, I can see this starting to turn into an ideological based primary. Bishop had some tea party support in 2010 and isn't disliked by them, but Tom McMillin is a hero to many tea partiers which could automatically turn Bishop into an enemy of at least many tea party groups.

Justin Amash types are also supporting McMillin heavily. Amash can not stand Mike Rogers (or vice versa), so this could also end up being a proxy battle to some extent as Rogers endorsed Bishop early and Amash wanted McMillin to run from the start.  While I hope this isn't the case, I can see the knives being sharpened already by "friends of the program." Advice to all sides, negative campaigning doesn't work well in Livingston County and is known to backfire.

Joe Hune not running was a big game changer here for what he did not do. McMillin wasn't going to run against Joe. McMillin knows he needs the conservative vote in Livingston County to have a chance, and Joe would have wrapped that up from the start. Joe also had significant "establishment" support as well. 

The winner goes through Livingston County, and rural Ingham to a lesser extent. Bishop will get some of the Rogers vote automatically. McMillin gets the Amash and Campaign for Liberty vote off the bat. The winner of this primary will come down to who gets what would have been the "Joe Hune" vote. Joe's strong with tea party, but was really strongest ideologically with the regular old conservatives that don't like labels. Will they vote Bishop or McMillin? That remains to be seen, and I don't think it is set in stone. 

Bishop set up campaign office in Brighton. He's got good campaign staff in the county (some from the county). That's a smart move. I expect McMillin will work hard in this county as well.

The dems have a four way primary. Hopefully that one is as ugly and bloody as the 98 gubernatorial primary for them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Who is running in Livingston County for 2014 partisan elections?

The filing deadline is in. I'll update this if data comes in late.

Before I get to the rest of ballot, there are no primaries for  Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Board of Education, the education boards of trustees/regents for MSU, UM, and Wayne State, or Supreme Court. These are decided in state conventions. Convention nominations are elected by state delegates. State delegates are elected at county conventions by precinct delegates. Preinct delegates are elected in the August primary. The filing deadline for those are May 6th and interested parties file at the County Clerk's office. In Livingston County, that's at the courthouse in downtown Howell.

For the offices:
Rick Snyder (R - Superior Twp)
Mark Schauer (D - Battle Creek)

Anybody but Schauer. Gun grabbing, partial birth abortion, Granholm's taxes, Obamacare, and Cap and trade.

Terri Lynn Land (R-Byron Township)
Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

We have an actual shot here and the pundits are finally starting to figure this out. I met Land in 2002. She was not supposed to be the nominee and ended up winning due to hard work on the campaign trail. Land will work hard and give us a chance.  As for Peters, that boy will do whatever Reid tells him to do.

Congress - 8th District (MI-08)
GOP - Bryan Barnett (R-Rochester Hills), Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), and Tom McMillin  (R-Rochester Hills)
Dem - Ken Darga (D-Lansing), Eric Schertzing (D-East Lansing), Jeffrey Hank (D-East Lansing), Susan Grettenberger (D-Lansing)

This district leans slightly Republican because of Livingston County and North Oakland County. However, all of Ingham County is in the district, and anything with Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Twp isn't completely safe. Schertzing has won countywide in Ingham County, but how many people know who the treasurer is? It's an important position, but behind the scenes more than a prosecutor. In a 3 and 4 way primary, a lot of things can happen.

State Senate - 22nd District (SD-22)
GOP - Joe Hune (R-Hamburg Twp)
Dem - Shari Pollesch (D-Hartland Township)

Redistricting did make this seat more difficult as it swaps the swing areas of Shiawassee County and slightly Republican parts of Ingham County for most of Western Washtenaw County. Shiawassee County voted for Obama twice, but it's also friendly territory for Joe Hune. About 2/3 of this district is still Livingston County, and the most democrat parts of Washtenaw stay with Rebekah Warren. This is still safe. Chelsea and Scio Township can not carry a district for Pollesch. Even McCain won this district, and Joe's not going to be outworked.

State Rep
42nd District (HD-42)
GOP - Nick Fiani (R-Genoa Twp), Rich Perlberg (R-Brighton Twp),  Dale Rogers (R-Putnam Twp), Lana Theis (R-Brighton Twp)
Dem - Timothy Johnson (D-Genoa Twp)

I'm not worried about the general here. Johnson already put his foot in his mouth with his guilty white leftist comments as well as his anti-2nd Amendment comments (guns for me, not for you).  I think even a certain recalled Hamburg Township official would win this district without much of a problem. That may be a little cocky, but I'm usually cautious in my predictions. If I'm Nick, Rich, Dale, or Lana, I'd keep the dem talking. Beyond all of that, Johnson is a Wayne County guy who just moved here in 2012. While we're open to transplants including Wayne County transplants (like most of my family), many of us, including the transplants, don't want people to turn our county into the county the transplants left, especially Wayne County. People left Wayne County for a reason.

The main battle will be in the primary. The primary will be interesting. All bring their own backgrounds to the election. Nick Fiani is the president of the Brighton School Board. Rich Perlberg was the publisher for the local paper for years. Dale Rogers is a teacher. Lana Theis is Brighton Township treasurer and past GOP Chair. 

47th District (HD-47)
GOP - Phil Campbell (R-Howell), Wendy Day (R-Marion Twp), Harold Melton (R-Howell Twp), Ted Ring (R-Hartland Twp), Dr Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Jordan Genso (D-Marion Twp)

This is on paper one of the five safest districts in the state. The biggest problem for Jordan Genso is that there are only 3 places in this district that even voted for Carl Levin (who won nearly 2-1 statewide) against a sacrificial lamb candidate. Howell, Handy Twp, and Unadilla Twp. Stabenow in 2012 only won Howell against a weak nominee (due to lazy campaign). With a five way primary however, the potential is there for a disaster if (and a big if) a candidate emerges heavily wounded compounded with other candidate supporters skipping the race. That's Genso's ghost of a chance. I don't expect Jordan to beat himself, unlike Johnson who frankly already has beaten himself. This is a 60%+ district in almost all years, so when I mean ghost of a chance, I'm referring to Scott Brown level.

The primary will be big here. Phil Campbell is Mayor of Howell, Wendy Day is a tea party activist and former Howell School Board member. Harold Melton is an activist and retired construction worker. Ted Ring is a former teacher and business owner. Dr Hank Vaupel is a veterinarian and Handy Twp Supervisor.

County Commissioner
Right now, there are the following contests. In Livingston County, it takes a disaster for a democrat to win any partisan contest. That does not mean that Republicans don't need to work. Lazy candidates contribute to a disaster. If our candidates are smart, work hard, and do not beat themselves, they will win. Some areas are safer than others. Our job is to not beat ourselves and to continue to do good work. The dems are bragging about finding 9 people to put $100 in (or 20 signatures) to run for the commissioner spots. Congratulations. They did what anybody should be able to do. That doesn't mean they have good candidates. It means they have names on the ballot. That's it.

District 1 (City of Brighton, most of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Kate Lawrence (R-Brighton)
Dem - Bruce Schneider (D-Brighton Twp)
This is a rematch. Lawrence won with 67% in 2012. The only way a dem wins here is by a massive win in the City of Brighton. Brighton Twp doesn't vote for dems, and Lawrence was Mayor of Brighton City. She's a matchup nightmare for any dem.

District 2 (Deefield, Oceola, small part of Hartland)
GOP - Bill Green (R-Deerfield Twp)
Dem - Jeanette DiFlorio (D-?)
This is also a rematch. Green won with 65% in 2012.  Deefield and Oceola don't vote for dems.

District 3 (Tyrone, most of Hartland)
GOP - Dave Domas (R-Tyrone Twp)
Dem - Ronda Trouse (D-?)

Tyrone's moved a bit to the right in the past 20 years. Stabenow won it years ago (96?), but lost it bad to Hoekstra who was a bad candidate (fundraising and inactivity). Levin lost it to Hoogendyk and he's done the best of any dem in the county since Frank Kelley (who was the last dem to win the county).  Hartland doesn't vote for dems.  

District 4 (Conway, Handy, Iosco, Unadilla, part of Putnam)
GOP - Ron Van Houten (R-Iosco Twp) Doug Helzerman (R-Handy Twp)
Dem - Donald Pushies (D-Conway Twp)

This district has a large number of independents. Conway's a 60%+ area at the top of the ticket, but had a dem township supervisor not all that long ago. Handy Twp likes their locals and while it's fairly strongly Republican, it fluctuates heavily based on candidate quality. Hune got 80% there before, but Stabenow also got 46% against Hoekstra, 6% ahead of Obama. Iosco is a more conservative version of Handy Twp in voting habits unless the GOP'er has strong ties to Handy Twp.  Unadilla will still vote for some dems, although it's now Republican at the top of the ticket. The part of Putnam in the district leans democrat.  Romney did very well in the district, but Hoekstra barely won it. The dems have what is likely an MEA connected candidate here. There's a couple of names that would really concern me here, but they didn't run. I don't see the MEA selling here, but we have to take this race seriously. The SW part of ths district sometimes goes dem, but they prefer their locals there. Pushies is 20 miles from there.

District 5 (Cohoctah, Howell, Howell Twp)
GOP - Don Parker (R-Howell)
Dem - Mike Tipton (D-Howell Twp)

Mike "34%" Tipton wants a rematch. Tipton couldn't crack 35% in a special election where there were no straight ticket voters hurting him. We were worried about Tipton last time since we were somewhat blind to his chances in a special election. We're not blind now. This time, we know what he's about. This time, it's a regular off year election. He's got a big mouth and will throw a lot of bombs, and we'll be ready for him. His big city style doesn't work in Livingston County.

District 6 (Marion Twp, most of Putnam Twp, small part of  Hamburg)
GOP - Steve Williams (R-Marion Twp), Steven Hart (R-Marion Twp?)
Dem - Lesa Doa (D-Marion Twp)

Steve Williams has a primary against Steven Hart. I don't know anything about Hart except that I think he may be a Pinckney cop. Interesting primary. Hopefully it doesn't get nasty.

Lesa Doa is Jordan Genso's wife. Genso is running in the 47th. This district could get interesting depending on matchups but it's a major geographic mismatch for Doa. Genso's geographic base is Hartland. For the 47th, that's not a big deal as Hartland's in the district (Joe Hune lives in Hamburg, but he's a Fowlerville guy)  Here, Hartland is not in the district, so Genso's base can't help her. I went to school with one of the Doas. Their base would be in the Brighton area, particularly the Brighton part of Genoa Township. Why is that important? The only way any democrat wins in Livingston County is with a large number of crossover voters. Steve Williams doesn't make a lot of mistakes or put his foot in his mouth. 15-20 years from now in an open seat matchup, this matchup would concern me much more than it does now if Jordan and Lesa stay in Marion Twp. The southwestern part of the county is quite independent and more apt to split their ticket, but it's also very geographic provincial. They'll vote for Hune/Donahue. This isn't a completely safe district due to Putnam's independent streak, but Steve Williams is a good candidate here.

District 7 (Genoa Twp)
GOP - Carol Griffith (R-Genoa Twp)
Dem - Jim Delcamp (D-Genoa Twp)

Safe R. Genoa Township doesn't vote democrat, unless it's a closet dem running as a Republican (not referring to Carol). I'll safe that story for another day. Carol's a very good commissioner and shouldn't have any troubles. This is one of the three most Republican district's in the county. Delcamp's run several times for office and hasn't been successful.

District 8 (most of Hamburg, small part of Green Oak)
GOP - Dennis Dolan (R-Hamburg)
Dem - Jim Katakowski (D-Hamburg)

This is a rematch. Dolan won last time with 58%, basically running with the top of the ticket. This could be a tough district if we have a bad matchup, but I'm not worried about a rematch here as long as we are prepared. We will be.

District 9 (Most of Green Oak, part of Brighton Twp)
GOP - Gary Childs (R-Green Oak)
Dem - Barry McBride (D-Green Oak)

Green Oak's heavily independent, but has moved our way some since the 70's. McBride ran a few years back against Jack LaBelle. This is the first time Childs faced a dem, although he beat Jack LaBelle which shows a lot of strength in his own right.

Conway Twp Treasurer:
GOP - Debbie Grubb (R-Conway Twp)
Dem - None that I know of. (Called Clerk's office earlier today)

Conway's heavily independent but conservative.

When I say "Safe R", it means Safe R barring a disaster. It doesn't not mean that we should get arrogant and do nothing but have a name out on the ballot. That's an easy way to lose. We have the facts on our side. We have a good track record in this county. We don't want to turn into Wayne County.

The field is set. It's time to get to work.  

Howell Mini-Circles are going the way of Crystal Pepsi

The only thing good about Crystal Pepsi was the song for the commercial. The only good thing about those minicircles is that they are on their way out. Right now, the Howell mini-circles are on its last legs.

From the Argus:

Days are numbered for Howell’s mini-traffic circles after a divided City Council voted Monday to have them removed within 150 days.
It remains unclear whether $35,000 in undesignated city budget funds would be enough to cover the removal of all 16 circles.
But those who supported the removal said the project could be amended as needed.
“It’s a starting point, it may not be an ending point, but at least we have a framework,” said Councilman Doug Heins, who supported the removal.


Streets affected by the traffic circles include Center, Chestnut, East Washington, Fleming, Griswold, Isbell, Jewitt, Lake, Madison, McPherson, North Barnard, North Court, North Tompkins, Prospect, South Barnard, Spring, Summit, West, West Clinton, West Sibley and Wetmore.
The council voted 4-2 to remove the traffic circles.
Councilman Jeffrey Hansen joined Niblock in voting against the measure. Councilman Steven Manor was absent from Monday’s meeting.
 Out of all the controversial projects with the streetscapes, those damn minicircles are probably the most controversial. While I don't care for the cost in removing them, spending the money on those things in the first place was worse. They obstruct vision, are confusing, make it tough for emergency vehicles to get through if needed (Howell had a fire last night), and aren't needed when there's already a four way stop at many of the minicircle intersections.

Vote to remove - Allen Schlittler, Doug Heins, Nick Proctor, Phil Campbell

Vote to keep - Scott Niblock, Jeffrey Hansen

Didn't vote - Steve Manor (probably supported the circles)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter, Everyone

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter.

Good luck to the Red Wings as well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why should I support this guy for anything?

As the top of the blog says, opinions are my own and not that of LCRP. I'm not speaking for the party here.

That all said, another Todd Courser email came out that's all about him. There's a quote from one of the greatest movies released. Heat. (Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro). I'll edit it instead of posting clips because of the f'bombs involved.

"Don't waste my (m-bleeping) time" - Pacino to the informant.

That's about my feelings on any "Courser challenge" for Lt Governor. 

I always wonder how Todd Courser supposedly because this super spokesman for conservatives as he claims to be. He ran for state rep and lost. He ran for state senate and lost. Both of those losses were in the primary and with a Republican primary electorate. He lost for State Board of Education in the general. He ran for State Party chair and he lost with a Republican activist electorate. He's 0-4. He's 0-3 among Republican party electorates. To the best of my knowledge although I may be wrong here, he's never had a party leadership position. He is not a spokesman for Republicans, and not a spokesman for the Republican base of conservatives. This isn't about the liberty movement. This is about being a big fish in a small pond. Cliquish games.

Here's some of what he said.

Is a challenge to the LtGov important to the cause and if so why?
There are lots of very good reasons to secure the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor; there are very very few reasons for not securing this options for the convention. We, as political pioneers, only have so much energy to devote to the cause of liberty; we must be thoughtful and discerning on where we place our energy, money, and finally our time. For me this is always a consideration, as it is for all of you.  In this case, we as a cause, have to decide if we want to see a challenge to the Lieutenant Governor.  If so, will we work to secure or preserve the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor?  At this point there is no challenge; no candidate has secured the right to challenge.  Regardless of what you have heard, there is not a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor for the upcoming convention.
That's semantics. In Todd's opinion there is no challenge. Wes Nakagiri has been out campaigning for the position. Courser has been running his mouth. He's sore about Wes endorsing Schostak. There's reason for the endorsement. Courser would have been a disaster. He had no plan except talking about how principled he was. Talk is cheap, and talking about principles doesn't win elections, nor does it mean that you actually HAVE principles. Repeating talk about principles and the constitution does nothing. Get constitutional conservatives elected, and I'll start listening to what you have to say. Talk "was yesterday, today you're wasting my (bleeping) time."

Republicans should not be denied the access to run...
 If we are going to be “The Big Tent of Politics,” then we need to be the free market of political ideas and energy.  We can’t keep out people who are wanting to run in elections.  We must be a party that participates in the free market process.  We claim to be the party of the rule of law and process.  In this case, there are rules which state the party leadership will not influence a primary, and yet, that is exactly what they are doing.
 To me, in my small, but statesmen like view, Mr. Nakagiri and myself should be allowed to run.  We are both Republicans, who shouldn’t be kept out of the process because some in leadership do not like the rule of the delegates having a voice in choosing their Lieutenant Governor. Some of those, whom I have approached even in the “more conservative corners, where the state committee members are open to challenging party power,” we find state committee members saying they don’t think it’s right to have a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor or they think there should be only one challenger. Well, at this point, THERE IS NO CHALLEGER.  Mr. Nakagiri has had 8 months to gather the signatures and has not at this point secure the signatures, which may not give the cause even one challenger. At this point, Mr Nakagiri and I are not candidates to challenge the Lieutenant Governor nor will we be allowed in the convention as candidates. 

I don't think you're much of a statesman considering the things you've said. Arguments about the permission slips aside, Todd, you don't even have a Campaign Committee for Lt Governor.  Wes Nakagiri has been running an actual campaign. While you mention head to head between Brian and Wes, at the last straw poll in my county, you finished dead last. You finished behind Calley, Wes, Undecided, and the write-in of governor's choice. You had literally ZERO votes.

My assessment of the Nakagiri situation.
Many will see my words as self serving, but I believe we need to be good stewards of our time and talent.  I explain the facts to encourage you to do your own investigation, but I do not see a serious challenge in him.  My intention with this email is that we, as a cause, take on efforts where we can win and more importantly move the ball forward for the cause of liberty. In this case, the polls and the obvious visible actions don’t lie, We must think about the reality of a challenge such as this and whether it is advisable and prudent.  Who is the best choice to make the challenge? 
Here is the run down, in my opinion, to consider and then decide how to proceed. I definitely believe preserving a challenge of the Lieutenant Governor makes sense and I explain that part in a paragraph down a little lower.  This is what I have seen and know regarding the Nakagiri situation…

 It's a grudge match because Wes didn't support Todd Courser. What Todd doesn't say is that he's polling less than Wes in during everything I've seen.
 1. Mr. Nakagiri is not a candidate for Lieutenant Governor until he has the permission signatures, and at this point he does not have them. (So he is not a candidate.)
2. Mr Nakagiri announced his candidacy late summer last year. (This alerted the GOP to the challenge and set off the firestorm of establishment precinct delegate recruitment.)
3. Mr. Nakagiri has not in any meaningful way moved his poll numbers to show he has gained traction. In no way has his last 8 months translated into a change in the outcome.  Right now he is not in any way a threat to the current Lieutenant Governor.
4. Mr. Nakagiri has yet to win any poll that I have seen in the head to head. ( It’s a tough, really hard, road through the convention, but for him, Mr. Calley clearly is the winner in every head to head.)
5. Mr. Nakagiri has acted like the candidate, and raised money to support his campaign, but he has not in any way secured the right to run.
6. Mr. Nakagiri backed Schostak in the last Chairman’s race and his entire inner circle are or were, in fact, Mr. Schostak supporters.
7. Mr. Nakagiri did not actively participate in fighting for right to work in the last election.
8. Mr. Nakagiri has not explained who he has employed as his convention consultant and who he intends to use to run his convention team. (The Calley team has the best convention consultant in the country, who has won 34 out of 35 conventions.)
9. Mr. Nakagiri won’t say if he has the funds to do mailers, polls, robocalls or put forward a conventnion team to win the day.
In order:

1. Wes has run a campaign. Courser hasn't. Wes may or may not get enough permission signatures. He doesn't have them either.  

2. Todd doesn't like his early announcement. That means he wants a sneak attack and surprise campaign, because he knows he does not have a majority of people on your side. Then when the campaign is going and he loses, it's due to the "evil establishment" supposedly rigging the game. 

3. Wes did not win the two straw polls at the Lincoln Day Dinner. However, Todd Courser got ZERO votes at our Lincoln Day Dinner, and ONE vote at Ingham. 

4. See three. Same thing.

5. That's more than Todd Courser has done. 

6. That's because Courser had no plan and would have been a disaster due to incompetence. 

7. Bullshit. I saw him there in the middle of the battle. I didn't see you. I was right by the AFP tent when it went down.

8. Who gives a damn what consultant he's hired? 

9. Why would he tell Todd Courser - a potential opponent - his plan?

 There is more strategy, and this is really important, without a challenger then there will be; First, little to no voice in that convention for the conservative activist wing of the party. Second, if we have one or two with the right to challenge then the establishment has to deal with that reality. Finally, and most near and dear to my heart, if we have the right to challenge, then it will create a potential of some sort of threat in the convention and this threat could cause the party to be a bit more careful in the steps leading to the convention. If they attempt to drown our conservative activists who are running in these open house seats, it is very easy for the establishment machine to throw $100k into a tipping house seat race and kill one of our 15 candidates who are running to fill these open house seats, then we will have a possible spot to bring some sort of challenge to their power in the convention 3 weeks later. It can be a bit of an insurance policy on fair conduct in the primary.  That can only happen, in any meaningful way, if we have preserved the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor, and as I have said there is no challenge that has been preserved. I am not sure that Mr. Nakagiri has really any understanding of what a serious challenge looks like and appears to have no one on his team to put on a serious convention effort.
As the famous line from Top Gun says......

"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!" Again, this from a guy who is 0-4 in his election career. His closest challenge was a sneak attack that cause some folks looking. He had that set up, and he still lost. That's Todd Courser. His campaign for chair is what woke up "the establishment" much more than Wes Nakagiri's challenge.

Open house seats vs Lt Gov is apples and oranges. Courser talks about these 15 house seats and Lt Gov as this either/or thing. That has no basis in reality whatsoever. That is part of the reason you are 0-4. There's no "insurance policy" here. That's bluster and talk. "Uh oh, I better not support candidate x, or Todd Courser will do something." It doesn't work that way. House seats and Senate seats are a higher priority than conventions. Calley is a high priority for Snyder regardless of what happens with primaries. 

In addition, each individual election is its own campaign, with its own bases, and own supporters. It's not "establishment vs tea party" in these campaigns here. That's what Todd Courser wants to portray, It's that talk by Courser that alienates ALL sides who are tired of this schiessen. Back your candidate and work to get that candidate elected. I've voted for "establishment" candidates. I've voted for "tea party" candidates. I've voted for both. I'm not the only one who has voted for both. Campaigns are about matchups between individuals and geography as much as they are about ideology.

Here in Livingston County, we have three state legislature elections. For State Senate, as it stands Joe Hune is unopposed. Hune has a lot of support from both establishment and tea party. In the 42nd District, four people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between two candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between at least two candidates, maybe 3. In the 47th District, five people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between at least four candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between three candidates.  Among LCGOP base folks I know, it's split three ways (to varying amounts) with one district and four ways in the other. 

In other words, neither the "establishment" or "tea party" or "base" is a monolithic creation. There's various disagreement within those entities.

While I have not given any endorsement for Lt Governor, I know one person I will not be supporting. Since by his own definition he said he was not a candidate or a challenger, I'll just say that Courser won't get my support for anything he decides to run for - now or in the future. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Argus story on Ted Ring

From the Argus:

Retired math teacher and Vietnam War veteran Ted Ring wants to bring “common sense” representation to Michigan’s 47th House District seat in Lansing.
Ring, a Hartland Township resident, has created a six-person GOP primary field for the office representing most of Livingston County.
Ring, who is making his first run for public office, said his background in education and military service make him stand out in the large GOP field.
“I think I can appeal to a lot of people like that. I’m common sense,” he said. “I’m a likable guy.”
Ring said he’s concerned the new Common Core State Academic Standards in K-12 schools could be misleading students at least in math.
The new math and English standards are intended to encourage critical thinking in the classroom, and were conceived through a coalition of governors and school administrators with input from teachers, parents and business leaders.
Ring said he’s concerned the Common Core standards are making math a matter of debate rather than fact.
“That really concerns me. I think we’re screwing up our kids with that,” he said. “Everything I’ve seen doesn’t look good.”

I don't know Ted Ring so I can't comment on him one way or the other.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HD-47 - Aberasturi ends campaign, endorses Dr. Hank Vaupel

Press release from Charlie Aberasturi, now a former candidate of the 47th District

April 16, 2014
Aberasturi endorses Dr. Hank Vaupel for the 47th District State House of Representatives
HARTLAND, MI - Charlie Aberasturi has announced that he is ending his campaign for the 47th District State House of Representatives.
Aberasturi, of Hartland Township, who has served as a Hartland Board of Education trustee for 16 years, has been actively campaigning for the open position of 47th District State House of Representatives. He will now put his effort toward electing Dr. Hank Vaupel.
“I appreciate the support that has come my way from the Knights of Columbus, Pregnancy Helpline , Right to Life, others in the prolife movement, HAYAA, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, TRW employees and from school district parents, staff and children,” Aberasturi said.
Aberasturi said he has gotten to know Dr. Vaupel during the campaign and believes Dr. Vaupel is the candidate that is most closely aligned with his philosophy, on how to treat people properly and yet maintain a fiscally conservative outlook.
Aberasturi said. “I encourage my fellow knights, those in the prolife movement, employees and former employees of TRW , those with a concern for children and public schools, to support Hank Vaupel.”
For over 30 years, Aberasturi worked as a manufacturing financial manager for TRW and Kelsey-Hayes. In addition, he has volunteered for Pregnancy Help Clinic, Knights of Columbus, St. John the Baptist Church in Hartland, LACASA, as a coach and board member for the Hartland Area Youth Athletic Association.
Those who would like to volunteer to help Aberasturi in support of Dr. Vaupel may contact the voteVaupel team at or by calling (517) 375-3904.

We'll see what the fallout is from this.Obviously it's good news for Vaupel on two fronts. One is getting a Hartland endorsement, and the other is leaving the Hartland area wide open.  Aberasturi won Hartland in his 2008 primary against Cindy Denby.Theodore Ring seems to be from the Hartland area, but I have literally no idea who he is. He'll have to get activist if he wants a chance to win.

For ideology, it helps Vaupel with RTL and Catholic votes, although the other candidates are strong with RTL, and Phil Campbell is a very active Catholic in Howell.

This now leaves five people running. Handy Twp Supervisor Dr. Hank Vaupel, Former Howell School Board member Wendy Day, Howell Mayor Phil Campbell, activist Harold Melton, and Theodore Ring.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In dishonor of tax day

I had to pay the feds. Again. Four years in a row. "Thank you sir, may I have another!"

Pink Floyd - "Money, it's a hit. Don't give me that do goody good bullshit"
Kid Rock - "All you bastards at the IRS"
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Taxman
Cheap Trick - Taxman, Mr Thief. 

Skubick column on Joe Hune

Interesting column from Tim Skubick

From Mlive

When state Sen. Joe Hune stepped off the plane from a European vacation, he did not scramble for the phones to consult with his campaign team. Instead he immediately went to the side of a rare male albino two-humped camel that was born while he was gone and was struggling to stay alive.
That was a clear indication this guy was not running for Congress, although having a camel raiser in the U.S. House with Michigan’s former reindeer herder Congressman would have made headlines.

I've known Joe Hune since he ran for the then brand new 47th district back in 2002. At 22, he won a race he had no business (on paper) winning by taking his farm work ethic and strong organization,  and applying it to the campaign. It was a grassroots farmer and Fowlerville based victory.

I wasn't sure he was going to run or not. I've heard rumors of both, by good sources. The official word until the news came out was that there was no decision and that the rest of speculation.

It's well known that Joe's not a DC guy, which is why I think he would have done a great job there. He would have given DC a dose of much needed Fowlerville common sense, particularly on spending. Joe treats our tax money and our company time like he treats his own time. He doesn't like to waste it. As a constituent, I hoped he'd run. I also respect his decision to stay where he is. It wouldn't be me paying the price of the job in DC.

It would be a real high price if he ran. While I think he would have won the primary (no offense to Mike Bishop, Tom McMillin and Bryan Barnett, but they are all from the same area and a geographic mismatch to Hune) and the general (Hune wins independents and keeps the base), it still was not a sure thing. He's also be running every two years. While nothing is an absolute sure thing, Joe's the winner barring a disaster in the 22nd for re-election. His opponent will not catch him sleeping on the election. He'd give up a four year term if ran for Congress. He and his wife would leave home and the farm to go to DC if he won. DC politics is a nasty business and getting nastier.

Best of luck to Joe in re-election. As far as the 8th District goes, I'm keeping my powder dry for now and want to hear more from the candidates and refresh my research on their voting records and statements when they weren't dealing with a re-election. I also want to see who places an emphasis on Livingston County. While we're the 3rd most GOP county in the state by percentage, and 2nd among counties over 100,000 people, we're sometimes still viewed as a shadow of our surrounding counties. With three Rochester area candidates, we could very well choose the winner. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Joe Hune running for State Senate, not Congress

From the Argus

State Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, will not seek the GOP nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, in Congress, Hune announced today.
Hune said he will instead focus on his reelection bid in the state Senate.
His announcement follows Monday's news that Rogers is endorsing former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester for the GOP nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat, which represents all of Livingston and Ingham counties, and a portion of Oakland County
In a statement, Hune said he wants to contribute to “strong conservative leadership” in Lansing and spend time with his family.
“Marcia and I are really touched and overwhelmed by all of the people who have contacted us about the possibility of running for Congress. We took some time and thought very carefully about what it meant for us as a family at this point in our lives,” Hune said in his statement.
“Just like everyone else, this situation came as a surprise to us. At a time when we want to grow and enjoy more family time, adopting a congressional lifestyle just doesn’t make sense,” he added.

The bad news is that my first choice for the Congressional seat is not running. The good news is that I have a very good state senator.  No, I'm not saying that to avoid getting spit on by his camels. He does good work. His office does good work. They all put with me when issues come up.

In the 8th District, that leaves State Senator Mike Bishop and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. Others may be jumping in. We'll see. The filing deadline is April 22nd, and 1000 VALID signatures are needed, so the window to jump in is extremely narrow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

More State Rep Candidates

There's been more State Rep Candidates who have announced since the last update so I'll mention this.

We have a long list of candidates here running as Republicans for State Rep including two very recent announcements. There may be more. So far the announced/filed candidates are in alphabetical order.
42nd District:
Nick Fiani
Rich Perlberg
Dale Rogers
Lana Theis

47th District:
Charlie Aberasturi
Phil Campbell
Wendy Day
Harold Melton
Theodore Ring
Hank Vaupel

Some of these folks we know. Some we see consistently or at least occasionally at our events. Some we have met once or twice. Some we've never met at all. One candidate I know literally nothing about. Most of these candidates have some sort of records. They have records of statements, donations, writings, and/or voting decisions at their local public offices. I encourage everybody to do their due diligence and look up these records of statements, donations, writings, and/or voting decisions on issues and make your decision based on that. Also make these be known to your primary election voting friends and family who may not be informed. While the 42nd and 47th Districts are considered on paper safe republican, nothing is 100% safe as Joseph Cao showed us in New Orleans, and John Espinoza showed us in Sanilac County (nearly as GOP as Livingston County). We must take this election seriously and nominate the best candidate, one who works hard, will get the base to vote, and also get enough independents to win without alienating the base.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MI-08 - Mike Rogers endorses Bishop and the latest

There's a lot of crap stirring going on out there with this race and a lot of conspiracy theories I'm hearing about. Some of that is being pushed by the dems. That's not a surprise. They want a split party with this primary. Some of it is pushed by those with axes to grind against certain individuals. Some of it is those who want to put strong candidate or potential candidates and their teams against each other to open things up for an alternative.

From the Argus:

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell, on Monday endorsed former state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester to be his replacement in Congress next year.

This should be read no more and no less than what it is. Mike Rogers and Mike Bishop served together in Lansing. They are friends. Mike didn't serve with Joe Hune or Bryan Barnett.

“We have two good people running so far,” county GOP Chairman Dan Wholihan said. Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett has announced his candidacy for the party’s nod for the seat.

“If Senator Hune runs, we’ll have a third good person as well,” Wholihan said.
“I’m biased, being a Livingston County guy, so I’d like to a have a good candidate out of Livingston County personally, but we have several good people running and I don’t think any of the two running, or if Senator Hune runs, would do a bad job,” Wholihan added.
He said he’ll support the party’s nominee regardless if that person is Joe Hune.

I didn't like the phrasing of "regardless if that person is Joe Hune" as it is contradicting sounding. My exact comment I believe was "regardless of who wins."  While being a Chair tempers my advocacy to a degree, everybody know who I'm voting for if a certain candidate runs. At the same time, that's not to say that I'd be voting against the other two or whomever else runs. This would be a race between "Good" and "Best." If Bishop or Barnett is the nominee, I'd have no problems voting for them.  

I doubt this would factor one way or the other on what Joe Hune decides. Hune is a grass roots candidate who won by knocking on doors of voters. He has the information he needs to make his decision and is discussing that with his family.

But state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he will endorse Hune if Hune decides to run, regardless of the GOP candidate list.Jones and Hune served three two-year terms together in the state House before serving together in the Senate. Jones said Hune has shown leadership on agricultural and insurance issues and would be a perfect fit in Washington, D.C.

Much like how Bishop and Mike Rogers served together, so do Rick Jones and Joe Hune. It speaks well of candidates when colleagues step up to the plate.  I've worked with Joe's office several times going back to 2002. Good work is done there.

Judy Daubenmier, chairwoman of the county Democratic Party, said Rogers has chosen to “meddle” in the GOP primary for his office. Daubenmier questioned if Rogers was attempting to eliminate Hune as a “tea party” alternative to a more mainstream Republican.

She said Rogers’ endorsement suggests Rogers has little confidence in Hune despite being a fellow county resident serving with Rogers’ brother, state Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, in Lansing.
“It certainly looks like he is trying to hand-pick his successor rather than let the voters have their say first. It smacks of a bid to push Hune out of the race before he even has decided whether to get into it,” Daubenmier said.
“It’s also surprising that Joe Hune is held in such low regard by a fellow Livingston County Republican, given that he serves in the county’s legislative delegation alongside Mike Rogers’ brother,” she added.

That's wishful thinking. There's nothing better the dems want than a split party and a nasty primary.

Wholihan said he doesn’t foresee a “tea party” rift in the GOP nomination for the seat. He said Bishop demonstrated the fiscal responsibility “tea party” Republicans demanded while serving in Lansing.Wholihan said many “tea party” Republicans supported Bishop over now-state Attorney General Bill Schuette in Bishop’s 2010 state attorney general campaign.

The tea party groups like Joe Hune. They split their votes between Mike Bishop and Bill Schuette back in 2010. I don't know how they felt about Bryan Barnett, but anyone who gets 77% of the vote doesn't do it by accident. "Establishment" people like Joe Hune. They split their votes between Mike Bishop and Bill Schuette. Oakland County establishment like Bryan Barnett quite a bit.

There's no coronation here. Mike Rogers has his opinion. I like Mike, but it doesn't affect my opinion one way or another. I'd like to see a candidate go after the spending and not raise taxes. I know for a fact that Joe Hune will do that.

There still may be more candidates. I've heard two or three more Oakland County individuals may run, along with someone who lives just outside the district. Things aren't in stone here. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Speed Limit proposals - a mixed bag

I saw this in the Argus. My view on speed limits is the same as my view on profanity. Time, place, and manner.

From the Argus

Road officials and advocates for construction workers fear a plan to increase speed limits on state and county roads could further endanger road crews.
Legislation introduced in late March would prohibit speed limits to be lowered more than 10 mph below the normal limit, with the total limit no lower than 30 mph, in local construction zones.
On expressways, the speed limit could not be decreased to lower than 60 mph in construction zones unless workers were in close proximity to barrel lines or not protected by barriers under the proposal.
The construction-zone component is one of many in the bill package, which also would create a maximum 80 mph speed limit on rural expressway segments.
State law currently enforces a 55 mph speed limit on unposted county roads. That would increase to 60 mph on unposted county roads under the bills.
If the proposed rules were in place last year, the speed limit could only have been reduced to 50 mph at Grand River Avenue and Burkhart Road in Howell Township during emergency repairs, noted Mike Craine, Livingston County Road Commission managing director.
 “There’s no freaking way that we could have let people go through there at 50 mph, which is what this law would seem to require,” Craine said.“It doesn’t really address the full range of conditions that road construction’s likely to present for safety of the motorist and safety of the worker,” he added.

My attitude regarding construction zone is this. Are people working at the site? If nothing is going on there and no people are there, I don't see a problem going 65-70. If there's work being done at the site, then going 60 is crazy. The other question is what is the definition of "close proximity?" 

I fully support 80mph on rural expressways in good weather.

As far as unposted county roads, that needs to be time/place, and matter. A road like D-19 or Chilson is one thing, but Cunningham Lake is another. I grew up on Cunningham Lake near the old Brighton Recreational Area on an rural unposted county road. The speed limit on that dirt road is currently 55. That's insane. Making it 60 is more insane. One of my complaints about the paving proposals from Genoa Township was the speed increase. Going 60 on that road is a good way to hit a deer, turkey, crane, dog, cat, hunter, jogger, walker, someone's grandkid, or another pedestrian.  During the last snow dusting, I saw the mailbox post get smashed due to a car hitting it. It was probably a total job or close to it. Hopefully the driver wasn't hurt too badly. 

I support this, although will this get rid of the 0 point 5 over tickets on the expressway when the cop gives a driver going 84 a semi-break?

The bills also would prohibit speeding tickets for driving 5 mph or less over posted limits.

Jones said there are several roadways statewide with low speed limits intended to catch motorists as they exit higher speed zones. The end result is often a costly ticket for the average commuter, he said.
“That’s just horrible, because what you’re doing is you’re writing a ticket for the average guy trying to get to work. His auto insurance goes up for three years,” he said.
“We’re trying to clean up the abuses,” Jones added.
Speed limits in Michigan are set based on the speed that 85 percent of traffic moves on a given road. The idea is to promote smooth traffic and target the 15 percent of motorists who drive too fast.

I like a lot of the IDEAS here. I despise speed traps as much as the next person, but not every speed limit drop is a speed trap. That's why I mentioned time, place, and manner.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MI-08 - Saul not running

Waiting to see what Joe Hune decides. 

Via Twitter

Congress MI-8: I'm out for at least 3 practical reason:) Just can't afford it. Thanks to all who offered support!