Monday, January 26, 2015

Upton Votes for Amnesty

While the majority of Americans, much less the majority of Republicans, are opposed to amnesty, the elites remain in favor of importing a new people.  Despite repeated attempts, amnesty has never made it through Congress due to public opposition.

Obama has been sabotaging immigration enforcement for years, and has more recently issued unconstitutional orders claiming to give legal status to millions of illegal aliens.  This is an attack on the Constitution and the rule of law.  So far, the response from congressional Republicans has been weak at best.  Some seem more sympathetic to their rich donors than their constituents struggling to find good jobs.

Recently the House GOP pushed a bill to defund Obama's executive amnesty.  Incredibly, 26 house Republicans voted to support Obama's unconstitutional attack on their own power.  The only one from Michigan is Fred Upton.

26 REPUBLICANS VOTE AGAINST BLACKBURN AMENDMENT TO DEFUND OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS

Upton has been promising various leftist groups that he will support amnesty for several years now.  Too bad he won't stick up for the people who voted for him.

Previous:
Upton for Amnesty
Upton on Immigration
Upton on Invasion

Political Bites

A few short items:

Sentences we never thought we'd read:
Prior to the motion to elect Heppler, commissioner Stephanie Moore, D-Kalamazoo, made a motion to elect commissioner Dale Shugars, R-Portage, to the post.
Stephanie Moore's candidates for county administrator:
"I'm looking for wide enough reach to create a diversified pool of people of color and a hippy here or there, or something," Moore said.
Eric Cunningham selected for appointment to Kalamazoo City Commission

He was picked over several better-known contenders.  It isn't known yet whether he will run for a full term.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pay for Your Own Buses!

Once again, the local transportation authority is trying to raise taxes for bus service in Kalamazoo County.

Major Kalamazoo-area bus routes could be eliminated as townships balk on millage request

Previous attempts to establish a countywide authority were shot down by taxpayers, with rural townships voting heavily against the system.  So the county commission authorized a district that excludes many of the more rural parts of the county.  The new district more closely matches the areas serviced by buses, but still includes some rural and suburban areas that wouldn't benefit from the service.  They would still have the pay, though.

This latest scheme has run into trouble, as several townships have opted out of the district.  Texas and Pavillion have opted out the one precinct that was included, and Oshtemo opted out the majority of the township, which is not serviced by buses.

The authority was planning to ask for a tax increase in May, but this has been pushed back to August to avoid competing with the sales tax hike on the ballot in May.

The main beneficiaries of the West Main route in Oshtemo are Meijer and WalMart (and their customers). Why can't these big corporations pay for their own bus service? This bus route is essentially a government subsidy to business. Would they really let this route disappear if it meant a substantial loss of business?

It isn't fair to the taxpayers to make them pay to support these businesses. It's particularly unfair to make people in precincts 3 and 9 pay for a route they won't use. (I suspect most people using this route are coming from Kalamazoo.)

WMU pays Metro Transit for its bus service. Why can't other businesses, KVCC, and large apartment complexes do the same?

Previous:
Bus Tax Plan
Bus Tax Never Dies
Bus Tax Zone
More Bus Taxes
Taxes on the Ballot
Tax Hike Plans
Future Tax Hikes?
They Won't Take NO for an Answer
Tax Eaters Are Never Full
The bus routes have been saved
Ax the bus tax
Tax increase for busing?

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Conservative of the Year: Dave Brat

2014 was a great year for Republicans, as the GOP won control of the US Senate, and picked up governorships and seats in the US House.  The results for conservatives, however, were more mixed.  The GOP establishment pushed aggressively against conservatives in primaries and won many of them.

The biggest conservative primary victory was Dave Brat's defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  Brat was an obscure economics professor at a small college who took on one of the most powerful men in Washington.  Cantor had become a creature of Washington and grown distant from his constituents.

But Brat didn't just run against Cantor.  He ran on a platform of conservative populism.  He opposed amnesty and mass immigration, pointing out the harmful impact on American workers.  He also opposed corporate welfare and bailouts as a tool that the rich use to steal from average taxpayers.

Dave Brat created a successful template for conservatives to win primaries and general elections, while defeating one of the most powerful men in Washington.  He is 2014's conservative of the year.

Previous winners (including retroactive):
2013: Jeff Sessions
2012: Ted Cruz
2011: Scott Walker
2010: Jim DeMint
2009: Glenn Beck
2008: Sarah Palin
2007: Ron Paul
2006: Jerome Corsi
2005: Tom Tancredo
2004: John O'Neill
2003: Roy Moore
2002: John Ashcroft
2001: George W. Bush
2000: William Rehnquist

The Best of the Western Right: 2014

In 2014, this blog had 55 posts, which primarily focused on the 2014 election. Here are some of the best of 2014.

2014 Post-election Analysis
Conservatives Win in November
Michigan 2014 Election Results
Lessons from the Primary Election
2014 August Primary Election Results

2014 Fundraising Analysis
Michigan Pre-General Fundraising Reports
Michigan Post-primary Fundraising Reports
Michigan State House Fundraising
Michigan State Senate Fundraising

2014 Pre-election Analysis
2014 Michigan General Election Preview
2014 Michigan Primary Election Preview
2014 Michigan Congressional Races
2014 Michigan State Senate Elections
2014 Michigan State House Elections (general)
2014 Michigan State House Elections (primary)
2014 Kalamazoo County Commission Elections

Lorence Wenke: Not Libertarian
Lorence Wenke: DLTDHYOTWO
Terrorist Bill Ayers to Speak at WMU
Stephanie Moore's Rap Sheet

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Conservatives Win in November

Republicans won a big victory in November in Michigan. They held all their statewide offices and Congressional seats. They also held all their current state legislative seats, gaining one in the Senate and four in the House. They now have at 27-11 supermajority in the Senate and a 63-47 majority in the House. More importantly, conservatives gained seats within the Republican caucus. All eight candidates endorsed by Madison Project Michigan won in November. Congratulations to Pat Colbeck, Lana Theis, Jim Runestad, Jason Sheppard, Tom Barrett, Cindy Gamrat, Gary Glenn, and Triston Cole.

One key test of how conservative the new Republican caucuses are is the leadership elections held two days after the election. The new Senate majority leader will be Arlan Meekhof, who is more conservative than previous leader Randy Richardville. The new Speaker of the House will be Kevin Cotter, the more conservative of the two candidates, who opposed Medicaid expansion and Common Core. This victory was made possible thanks to conservatives winning key primaries.

Of course, we can't rest easy. The legislature may still try to raise gas taxes or discriminate against Christian businesses. Candidates who ran as conservatives may be tempted to 'grow in office' or compromise for the sake of political expediency. We will do our best to hold them accountable if they do.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Madison Project Michigan! We hope that you will support our efforts again in 2016.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Michigan 2014 Election Results

Governor: 51-47 for Rick Snyder.  Much closer than his blowout in 2010, but good enough for a second term.

Senate: 41-55 for Gary Peters.  Peters ran a good campaign.  Land was a disaster.  Maybe someday the Michigan GOP will find a good Senate candidate.

AG: 52-44 for Bill Schuette.  Schuette for Governor in 2018!

SOS: 54-43 for Ruth Johnson over a token opponent.  Perhaps Ruth will challenge Stabenow in 2018.

The two referenda on wolf hunting both failed, 55-45 and 64-36.  Only the opponents of wolf hunting spent money here.

Supreme Court was 32-29-21-14 for Zahra (R,I) and Bernstein (D), who spent 2 million of his own money to win this seat.  David Viviano won the partial term 62-29.

Education Boards.  Republicans appear to have picked a seat on the MSU board with Melanie Foster, but lost all the other ed board seats.  This is very disappointing considering the circumstances.  Third party candidates probably cost us several seats here.

Congress.  As I long predicted, only district 1 was even somewhat close.

1. 52-45 for Benishek.  OK, but not great.  If Benishek keeps his term limits pledge, this seat will be open in 2016.
2. 64-33 for Huizinga
3. 58-39 for Amash.  He’s secure here.
4. 56-39 for Moolenaar.  Secure.
5. 31-67 Kildee
6. 56-40 Upton.  He no longer overperforms like he used to, but Upton is still secure.
7. 53-41 Walberg. He will never win big margins, but he has settled in here.
8. 55-42 Bishop.  Secure.
9. 36-60 for Sander Levin.
10. 69-29 for Candace Miller.  I wish she’d run for Senate.
11. 56-41 Trott.  No word on write-in votes.
12. 31-65 for Debbie Dingell
13. 16-80 for Conyers
14. 20-78 for Lawrence

State Senate.  The GOP actually picked up one seat, winning a 27-11 supermajority (pending a recount in 20).  Looks like the dems two-cycle strategy will need to pick two different cycles.  In competitive districts:

7. 52-48 Colbeck.  Huge hold for conservatives.
13. 58-42 Knollenberg.  Not close after Fishman lost the dem primary.  Good win for conservatives.
17. 51-46 for Dale Zorn.  Close win in a tossup district.
20. 45.52-45.45-9.0 for Margaret O’Brien over Sean McCann and Lorence Wenke.  The 60-vote margin likely means a recount.  A very close win in a district that may be trending away from the GOP.  It isn’t immediately clear who Lorence took from.
24. 56-44 for Rick Jones.  Tom Leonard may run in four years when this is open.
25. 56-44 for Phil Pavlov.  Terry Brown preformed respectably under the circumstances.
31. 56-44 for Mike Green.  Somewhat close.  This will be a tough defense in four years.
32. 54-46 for Ken Horn in another hotly contested tossup.  Republicans have won the last five state senate elections in Saginaw.
34. 56-44 for Geoff Hansen.  Not that close.

There will be a bunch of competitive open seats four years from now, but Senate Republicans look good right now.

State house.  Republicans picked up four seats, expanding their majority to 63-47, same as after 2010.  There will be many tough open seats in 2016 due to term limits of members elected in 2010.

1. 33-67 We’ll have Brian Banks to kick around for another two years.
3-9. Dems won 94-98% in the all-Detroit districts.
21. 45-55 for Kristi Pagan.  This seat was badly drawn; why didn’t the GOP make it all of Canton?
23. 52-48 for Pat Somerville.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.
25. 47-53 Nick Hawatmeh comes up short in another terribly drawn seat.
30. 55-45 for Jeff Farrington.  This will be another tough open seat in 2016.
39. 52-48 for Klint Kesto
41. 56-44 for Martin Howrylak
43. 58-42 for Jim Tedder.  Dems thought they could win this.
52. 44-56 This could have been close if it was seriously contested.
56. 50-47 for Jason Sheppard in this close open Republican seat.
59. 62-38 for Aaron Miller
60. 30-70 for Jon Hoadley
61. 48-43-9 for Brandt Iden, who was damaged by scandal.
62. 51-49 for John Bizon in a very tough Battle Creek/Albion district.  PICKUP.
63. 56-44 for David Maturen
66. 57-43 for Aric Nesbitt.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.
67. 46-54 This district is close, but not winnable.
71. 50.4-49.6 for Tom Barrett over Theresa Abed.  Tom is a strong conservative and an exceptional candidate. PICKUP
76. 46-52 Donijoe DeJonge falls short to Winnie Brinks.  This district is probably gone.
80. 63-34 for Cindy Gamrat
82. 55-45 for Todd Courser
84. 59-41 for Edward Canfield.  PICKUP
85. 53-43 for Ben Glardon.  This will be another tough open seat in 2016.
91. 46.5-46.3 for Holly Hughes over Colleen LaMonte. PICKUP
98. 55-45 for Gary Glenn
99. 52-48 for Kevin Cotter, potentially the next Speaker of the Michigan House.  This will be a tough open seat in 2016.
101. 50.4-49.6 for Ray Franz.  A very tough open seat in 2016.
104. 53-47 for Larry Inman.  Surprisingly close.
106. 55-45 for Peter Pettalia.  A tough open seat in 2016.
107. 61-39 for Lee Chatfield

My ratings turned out to be quite accurate.  Every race I had at lean, likely, or safe for a party was won by that party except one (house 62).  I always thought Snyder, Schuette, and Johnson would win, and that no congressional races except MI-1 would be close.  I was initially too optimistic about Land, however.  My state senate tossups had margins of 8, 5, and 0.  My state house tossups had margins of 5, 1, 1, and 0.  The closest margin in a race I had at safe was 6 (house 104).  The closest margin in a race I had at lean (excluding house 62) was 3 (house 56).

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Why Vote for Grant Taylor?

There is a special election for Oshtemo Township Trustee.  The Republican nominee is longtime trustee Dave Bushouse.  The democrat nominee is Grant Taylor.  Who's he?

Grant Taylor is the 30-year-old brother of Kalamazoo democrat chairman John Taylor and son of David Taylor, who was a county commissioner is Cass County.

Four years ago, he announced a run for state representative in the 61st district after moving into the district one day before the filing deadline.  Unfortunately, he forgot the thirty day residency rule.  So he ran as a write-in candidate, and spent $100,000 of his own money to get 737 votes in the democrat primary.

07/27/10 - Hour 2: Democratic State House candidate Grant Taylor
Write-in candidate for Michigan House contributes nearly $106,000 to own campaign
Democrat Grant Taylor drops out of race for state House's 61st District after learning of residency rule
Democrat Grant Taylor to run for Michigan House's 61st District after dropping bid for Kalamazoo County Board

Two years later, he was back, running for Oshtemo Township Treasurer.  He lost the general election by a narrow 1.8% margin.

Now he is running for trustee.  So what are his qualifications?

There is no evidence that he has ever had a paying job.  Four years ago,
He states that he is treasurer of "MAC House charities", an organization that doesn't seem to have any presence online. When asked (see 20:45) about it, he admitted that this is a volunteer position
In his Gazette survey, he does not list a paying job, and he has no website to provide more information about him, either.
When asked about his education, he states that he "went to college in Chicago". He doesn't say what college he went to. He doesn't say that he graduated college, only that he 'went to' college. He doesn't say what he studied. He has stated that he has "experience in finance and accounting ".
How did an unemployed kid get the money to finance his political campaigns?
Grant Taylor, 26, liquidated as well as borrowed against some of his shares in Clarke Power Services Inc. to pay for the donations, said Jeff Parsons, his campaign manager.

Taylor’s father helped found the Cincinnati-based company.
So basically the money came from his father.

Grant Taylor wasted $100,000 on a write-in campaign that was certain to fail.  If he can't even spend his own money wisely, how can he be trusted with Oshtemo taxpayers' money?

Grant is just a spoiled rich kid trying to but himself a political office.

Previous: Who is Grant Taylor?

Lorence Wenke: Not Libertarian

Back in May, Lorence Wenke switched from Republican to Libertarian.  He claims that this move was based in principle, not political convenience.  So how well do his views line up with libertarianism?

Citing GOP opposition to gay rights, state Senate candidate Lorence Wenke leaves Republican Party State Senate hopeful Lorence Wenke says he plans to help build Libertarian Party
Libertarian Lorence Wenke talks split from GOP, minimum wage during Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial Board interview
Election 2014: Libertarian Party looks to make waves in Kalamazoo County after long dormancy
Wenke said he would support expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for LGBT citizens, adding that if no one else introduced the bill, he would do so.
Anti-discrimination laws violate freedom of association, and there is a long libertarian tradition opposing them.

How about the basic free market position of opposing the minimum wage?
Wenke, the owner of Wenke Greenhouses in Comstock Township, said he would have voted yes on the minimum wage increase.
He said the increase will have a significant impact on the payroll businesses, but added that he believes the working poor of the community deserve the raise.
Based on what theory of value?
However, Wenke said he would support indexing minimum wage to half the rate of inflation instead of the full-rate.

"If everything in the country is indexed to inflation, we will have a lot of inflation," Wenke said.
It's safe to say Wenke doesn't understand the causes of inflation, monetary theory, or the federal reserve.
Asked if he believes the argument that raising the minimum wage could lead to businesses being forced to lay off employees, Wenke said he does not.

"I've never seen that in the world I've lived in," Wenke said. "It seems to me that employers need someone to work, the difference between a $1/hour is not going to make the difference in the decision."
Apparently he doesn't understand supply and demand or marginal change either.

How about that classic libertarian issue of legalizing marijuana?
Wenke said if he had to vote today, he would vote against legalizing marijuana. However, he said there is still a significant amount of research to be done on the issue and he is glad that Colorado and Washington – states that have already legalized marijuana -- are taking up that experiment.
At least he opposes raising taxes, right?
Wenke said to improve the roads, the state will have to raise the gas tax up from the current tax of 19 cents per gallon. He said a gradual increase of 6 cents over three years would likely solve most of the funding problems.
Any more?
Wenke said he would support instituting a sales or use tax on all internet transactions in the state of Michigan that would equal the 6 percent sales tax citizens pay in physical stores. Wenke said he introduced a bill while he was a state Rep. that would have made Michigan one of a handful of states urging the federal government to change a law that currently bans such taxes on internet purchases. 
"Those of us who have brick and mortar business that are local, we collect that tax when we sell a product and we're the people that local people go to for employment, for property taxes, for school taxes for charitable donations," Wenke said. "We should not have to charge more than somebody outside of our state has to charge for the same product.
People who don't live in Michigan also don't receive those services.

Wenke has made as issue out of government debt.  How does he propose to address it?
"But now that they're in it, they should choose reducing benefits, they should choose reducing spending in other areas," Wenke said. "If they have to raise taxes on their citizens to provide these benefits, they should choose that. Borrowing money to service debt is what gets businesses in trouble ... We do not want Kalamazoo to go the way of several cities in Michigan which are essentially bankrupt and can't pay their bills.
Does Wenke want to control spending?  How about getting government out of education?
"I think a good argument can be made for more money for K-12 education," Wenke said. "But I think we need some changes made to it before we provide any more money to K-12 education."
How about college spending?
Wenke said one way to make higher education more affordable would be for everyone to pay taxes for community colleges, instead of just those who live near those institutions.
That's four different tax increases, in case you're counting.

How about opposing government control of the economy through environmental regulations?
Wenke said a large part of this issue is getting the rest of the world, such as China, on board with the fighting climate change.
At least he wants to limit the welfare state, right?
As an alternative, Wenke proposed offering free birth control at all pharmacies that fill prescriptions.
These positions don't seem all that libertarian.  What does the Libertarian Party have to say?
Buzuma also said Wenke's ideological deviations are a non-issue. 
"We try to be a large tent," Buzuma said. "We understand that not everyone is going to agree 100 percent with the platform and we accept that as long as they're basically for individual freedom and the human rights and constitutional rights."
Ka-ching!

A commenter is not so generous.
With all due respect, Mr. Wenke is a phony Libertarian candidate. Libertarians support liberty, which means voluntary transactions between consenting, free adults; not government-mandated coercion such as telling employers how much they must pay their employees. The government can intervene when employers force people to work for them no matter what the wage, if any. Slavery is illegal, and it should be, but freedom is a two-way street. Nobody is allowed to force somebody to work for them; nor should anybody be forced to hire somebody based on coercive criteria mandated by a dictatorial government. Never mind that such coercion limits employment opportunities and discourages small businesses in favor of the the too-big-to-jail, too-big-to-fail businesses that make huge campaign contributions in order to protect their government-aided competitive advantages, aka crony capitalism. Wenke's support of a government-mandated wage, as reported in the Oct. 12 Kalamazoo Gazette, disqualifies him as a legitimate Libertarian candidate; rather, it establishes him as a pretender who will say anything and wear any disguise to gain the power of elected office.
Let's get real.  Lorence Wenke was always a moderate Republican.  He never helped or associated with the libertarian or Tea Party wings of the Republican party.  He never fought for limited government in the legislature.  His obsession with two issues that most voters don't care about and his creepy, off-putting personality finally rubbed so many voters the wrong way that he couldn't win any more elections.  He lost his previous bid for state senate and two bids for school board by landslide margins.  He was running for state senate as a Republican until he dropped out on the last possible day.  He finally realized he couldn't win, so he is running a vanity campaign to spite Republicans for not supporting him and buy some attention from a party desperate for money.

Before you vote for a third party candidate, check where he actually stands.

Previous:
Wenke Running for Senate
Lorence Wenke: DLTDHYOTWO

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Michigan Pre-General Fundraising Reports

The deadline for pre-general campaign finance reports for the Michigan state legislature was October 24.  The following details the total amount raised in competitive general elections, and cash on hand (COH) in competitive general elections.  Ratings for the races are included.

Governor (Lean R)
R: Rick Snyder 12.5M (1.8M COH)
D: Mark Schauer (1.4M COH)

Lieutenant Governor:
R: Brian Calley 401K (30K COH)
D: Lisa Brown waiver

Attorney General (Lean R)
R: Bill Schuette 3.7M (1.1M COH)
D: Mark Totten 671K (105K COH)

Secretary of State (Likely R)
R: Ruth Johnson 895K (44K COH)
D: Godfrey Dillard  121K (50K COH)

Supreme Court (Likely R/Lean D)
R: Brian Zahra 909K (306K COH)
R: James Robert Redford  393K (153K COH)
D: Richard Bernstein 2.1M (885K COH)
D: William Murphy  246K (124K COH)

Supreme Court (partial term) Safe R
R: David Viviano 855K (296K COH)
D: Deborah Thomas  121K (50K COH)

State senate:

7. Lean R
R: Pat Colbeck 256K (52K COH)
D: Dian Slavens 273K (54K COH)

13. Safe R
R: Marty Knollenberg 158K (52K COH)
D: Cyndi Peltonen 20K (3K COH)

17. Tossup
R: Dale Zorn 246K (89K COH)
D: Doug Spade 195K (66K COH)

20. Tossup
R: Margaret O'Brien 833K (55K COH)
D: Sean McCann 606K (130K COH)
L: Lorence Wenke 105K (41K COH)

24. Safe R
R: Rick Jones 187K (24K COH)
D: Dawn Levey 61K (20K COH)

25. Safe R
R: Phil Pavlov 175K (124K COH)
D: Terry Brown 89K (16K COH)

29. Safe R
R: Dave Hildenbrand 327K (138K COH)
D: Lance Penny 16K (5K COH)

31. Safe R
R: Mike Green 348K (116 K COH)
D: Ron Mindykowski 54K (22K COH)

32. Tossup
R: Ken Horn 323K 135K COH)
D: Stacy Erwin Oakes 472K (134K COH)

34. Lean R
R: Geoff Hansen 403K (191K COH)
D: Cathy Forbes 136K (28K COH)

38. Safe R
R: Tom Casperson 303K (113K COH)
D: Christopher Germain 4K (1K COH)

State House:

21. Lean D
R: Carol Fausone 102K (28K COH)
D: Kristy Pagan 164K (51K COH)

23. Lean R
R: Pat Somerville 153K (63K COH)
D: Andrew Linko ??K (??K COH)

25. Lean D
R: Nick Hawatmeh 92K (19K COH)
D: Henry Yanez 153K (44K COH)

30. Lean R
R: Jeff Farrington 140K (52K COH)
D: Bo Karpinsky 51K (30K COH)

39. Lean R
R: Klint Kesto 251K (5K COH)
D: Sandy Colvin 81K (24K COH)

41. Lean R
R: Martin Howrylak 114K (48K COH)
D: Mary Kerwin 83K (61K COH)

43. Lean R
R: Jim Tedder 76K (33K COH)
D: Dennis Ritter 84K (21K COH)

56. Lean R
R: Jason Sheppard 104K (35K COH)
D: Tom Redmond 83K (34K COH)

57. Lean R
R: Nancy Jenkins 88K (41K COH)
D: Sharon Wimple 33K (11K COH)

59. Safe R
R: Aaron Miller 24K (7K COH)
D: Mike Moroz 18K (6K COH)

61. Tossup
R: Brandt Iden 118K (18K COH)
D: John Fisher 176K (22K COH)
L: Michael Stampfler 2K

62. Lean D
R: John Bizon 169K (27K COH)
D: Andy Helmboldt 58K (32K COH)

63. Safe R
R: David Maturen 77K (30K COH)
D: Bill Farmer 17K (10K COH)

65. Safe R
R: Brett Roberts 107K (21K COH)
D: Bonnie Johnson 4K ($617 COH)

66. Safe R
R: Aric Nesbitt 168K (100K COH)
D: Annie Brown 82K (6K COH)

71. Tossup
R: Tom Barrett 163K (27K COH)
D: Theresa Abed 145K (41K COH)

76. Lean D
R: Donijoe DeJonge 139K (52K COH)
D: Winnie Brinks 204K (43K COH)

82. Safe R
R: Todd Courser 46K (1K COH)
D: Margaret DeLuca 23K (13K COH)

84. Lean R
R: Edward Canfield 123K (18K COH)
D: David Jaroch 20K (10K COH)

85. Lean R
R: Ben Glardon 148K (84K COH)
D: Annie Braidwood 78K (36K COH)

91. Tossup
R: Holly Hughes 206K (40K COH)
D: Colleen LaMonte 221K (46K COH)
I: Alan Jager 4K (1K COH)

97. Lean R
R: Joel Johnson 69K (26K COH)
D: Mark Lighfoot 39K (4K COH)

98. Safe R
R: Gary Glenn 224K (31K COH)
D: Joan Brausch 51K (32K COH)

99. Lean R
R: Kevin Cotter 217K (122K COH)
D: Bryan Mielke 96K (35K COH)

101. Tossup
R: Ray Franz 132K (75K COH)
D: Tom Stobie 144K (40K COH)

106. Safe R
R: Peter Pettalia 154K (60K COH)
D: Robert Kennedy 24K (7K COH)

107. Safe R
R: Lee Chatfield 139K (13K COH)
D: Jim Page 4K (3K COH)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014 Michigan General Election Preview

This post was last updated October 23, 2014.

Michigan's top constitutional offices, congressional seats, and the entire state legislature will be up for election November 2014.

List of Michigan candidates
List of Kalamazoo County Candidates

US Senate: Lean democrat
Democrat Senator Carl Levin is retiring after 36 years in Washington.  The democrat nominee will be Congressman Gary Peters.  Peters defeated Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg in 2008, was narrowly reelected in 2010, and defeated fellow democrat incumbent Hansen Clarke in the 2012 democrat primary in the majority-black 14th district after his district was carved up in redistricting.  He was previously a state senator and lottery commissioner.  Peters is a standard liberal.

The Republican nominee will be former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.  She was easily elected statewide in 2002 (55%) and 2006 (56%).  She was previously Kent County Clerk.  She is generally conservative, but her positions are not known on some issues.  Several other Republicans considered running, but declined.

Governor: Lean Republican
Moderate Republican Governor Rick Snyder is seeking reelection.  The former businessman easily defeated Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero 58-40 in 2010.  Snyder's approval ratings have recovered since controversies over Right-to-Work, Detroit emergency managers, and other issues.

The democrat nominee will be former congressman (2008-2010) Mark Schauer, who lost reelection in 2010 to Tim Walberg 50-45.  Schauer was previously a state senator (2002-2008) and state rep (1996-2002).  He is a standard liberal with no real experience outside of politics.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley will run with Snyder again.  He defeated Tea Party leader Wes Nakagiri at the Michigan Republican convention in August.  The democrat nominee is Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown.

Attorney General: Lean Republican
Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette will seek reelection. He is a conservative who defeated democrat David Leyton 53-44 in 2010 and has championed conservative causes since then.  The democrat nominee is law professor Mark Totten.

Secretary of State: Likely Republican
Conservative Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will seek reelection. She defeated democrat Joscelyn Benson 51-45 in 2010.   The democrat nominee is Detroit attorney Godfrey Dillard, who is black.

Michigan Supreme Court Likely Republican/Lean democrat/Safe Republican
Republicans currently hold a 5-2 majority on the court.  There are two full-term seats up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. They are those of conservative Republican Brian Zahra and democrat Michael Cavanagh. Zahra was elected to a partial term 50-42 in 2012 and will seek reelection.  Cavanagh is age-limited and his seat will be open.  Republicans nominated Kent County judge James Robert Redford for the open seat.  Democrats nominated rich trial lawyer Mark Bernstein and Court of Appeals Judge William Murphy.
In addition, the two-year seat will be up due to the appointment of Republican David Viviano to fill the vacancy following the resignation of disgraced democrat Diane Hathaway following her conviction for tax fraud.  Democrats nominated Deborah Thomas for the seat.

Other Statewide Offices
Two seats on the state Board of Education and boards of trustees of U of M, MSU, and WSU will be up for election. All eight seats up are held by democrats. Democrats have swept these elections in 2006, 2008, and 2012, while Republicans swept in 2010.  The candidates are
State Board of Education:
Republicans: Maria Carl, Jonathan Williams
Democrats: Cassandra Ulbrich (i), Pamela Smith
UM Board of Regents:
Republicans: Ron Weiser, Rob Steele
Democrats: Katherine White (i), Mike Behm
MSU Board of Trustees:
Republicans: Melanie Foster, Jeff Sakwa
Democrats: Faylene Owens (i), George Perles (i)
WSU Board of Governors:
Republicans: Michael Busuito, Satish Jasti
Democrats: Dana Thompson, Marilyn Kelly

Ballot Propositions
There will be several ballot propositions.
Proposal 1 was voted on in August, and passed easily.  It repeals the "Personal Property Tax", which is a tax on business equipment, and replaces it with expiring business tax credits.  It had support across the political spectrum and no organized opposition.
Propositions 14-1 and 14-2 are referenda on bills to allow a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.  They are opposed by out-of-state animal rights groups.
A minimum wage initiative was disqualified from the ballot.

Michigan Congressional Seats
Republicans hold a 9-5 majority in Michigan's congressional delegation, which was unchanged in the 2012 election. Four districts (4, 8, 12, and 14) are open.  Democrats made some effort in districts 1, 7, 8, and 11, though all favor Republicans.

2014 Michigan Congressional Races

Michigan Senate
All 38 seats in the Michigan state senate are up for election, and 9 have no incumbent due to term limits and retirements. Republicans currently hold a 26-12 supermajority after winning a landslide in 2010. Democrats will likely target Republican-held open seats in Kalamazoo County (20), Saginaw (32), and Monroe (17). Republicans will defend incumbents in several other competitive districts (7, 34).  The post below examines these races in detail.

2014 Michigan State Senate Elections

20th District (Kalamazoo County) Tossup
Republican Senator Tonya Schuitmaker will seek reelection in the new 26th district due to redistricting.  State rep Sean McCann of the 60th district is the democrat nominee.  State rep Margaret O'Brien of the 61st district is the Republican nominee.  Former state rep. Lorence Wenke, who represented about 55,000 people in the 21st district on the east side of Kalamazoo county 2002-2008, will also run, despite having lost his last three races by large margins. Wenke dropped out the Republican primary and is running as a libertarian.

Michigan House
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. Republicans hold a 59-51 majority.  There will be 40 open seats due to term limits and candidates running for state senate.  Both parties have potential targets to pickup.

2014 Michigan State House Races

60th District (Kalamazoo City) Safe democrat
Democrat state rep Sean McCann is running for state senate.  The democrats' candidate is political consultant Jon Hoadley, who defeated county commissioner David Buskirk of SE Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Township Trustee Pamela Goodacre in the primary.  The Republican nominee is Mike Perrin, who lost in 2012.
61st District (Portage, Oshtemo) Tossup
Republican state rep Margaret O'Brien is running for state senate.  County commissioner Brandt Iden defeated fellow commissioner Phil Stinchcomb in the primary.  The democrat candidate is Pastor John Fisher, and the libertarian is Michael Stampfler.
63rd District (E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun) Safe Republican
Republican Speaker Jase Bolger is term-limited.  The Republican nominee is moderate Kalamazoo county commissioner David Maturen, who defeated conservative Marshall school board president Vic Potter.  The democrat candidate will be Bill Farmer, who narrowly lost to Bolger in 2012.

Kalamazoo County Commission
All 11 seats on the Kalamazoo County Commission will be up for election. Republicans hold a 6-5 majority. Democrats will target districts 7, 10, and 11.  There will be six open seats due to four candidates running for state representative and two retiring.

2014 Kalamazoo County Commission Election Preview

Kalamazoo County Probate Court
Trial lawyers Tiffany Ankley and Namita Sharma are running for an open seat on the county probate court.  Sharma is a liberal democrat, while Ankely is endorsed by Right to Life.

Oshtemo Township Trustee
There is a special election for this seat due to the fact that democrat Coleman Lutz, who was elected in 2012, resigned shortly after the election.  Moderate Republican Dave Bushouse, who was a trustee for 16 years before being defeated in 2012, was appointed to fill the vacancy.  He is running for a partial term.  He defeated Tea Party leader Jim Lefler in the Republican primary.  Democrat Grant Taylor, who narrowly lost a race for Oshtemo Treasurer in 2012, defeated Zak Ford in the primary.

Kalamazoo Charter Amendments
There are several amendments to the Kalamazoo City Charter on the ballot that would result in the Mayor being elected separately, and commissioners being elected to four-year terms in groups of three each odd year.  This would make it virtually impossible to elect a conservative to the city commission.

Mattawan Bond Proposals
The Mattawan School district is supporting two proposals to build new schools.  The proposals are similar to proposals that were rejected by voters twice before.

2014 Michigan State House Races

Last updated October 26, 2014.

Cross-posted at The Western RightRight Michigan, and Red Racing Horses.

All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives will be up for election in November. Republicans currently hold a 59-51 majority, following a 63-47 majority after 2010. There are 40 open seats, 21 held by Republicans and 19 held by democrats.  There are 30 open due to term-limits and 10 just seeking another office.

Republicans gained one new seat (73) and one existing seat (39) due to redistricting, but also lost one existing seat (55) in 2012.  They also lost five incumbents (52, 71, 84, 91, 110), not counting party-switcher Roy Schmidt (76).  They could have won several more seats with a more effective redistricting plan.

Democrats want to take back the state house, but face a difficult playing field.  Of the Republican-held open seats, only 56 and 61 are competitive.  They will try to defeat some Republican incumbents, but it is not clear how they will beat incumbents this year that they couldn't defeat in 2012.

Meanwhile, Republicans will seek to gain seats.  The best opportunity is the open 84, which was lost due to scandal in 2012.  There are two lean dem open seats (21, 62) that may be competitive.  Republicans will also try to defeat several incumbents who picked up seats in 2012 (25, 71, 91).

State house fundraising is analyzed in the following articles.
Michigan State House Fundraising
Michigan Post-primary Fundraising Reports
Michigan Pre-general Fundraising Reports





2014 Unofficial Michigan Primary Candidate Listing

The following lists district number, current incumbent, geographic description, 2012 state house result, 2012 Romney %, and political rating.  I did not use 'likely' in the ratings.  Candidates are labeled as establishment (E), Tea Party (T), and solidly conservative (C), when these labels clearly apply.

1. (Brian Banks) [Detroit] 29-71, 23.5%, Safe D
Brian Banks won the 2012 democrat primary before his long criminal record and repeated failure to pay rent (he was kicked out of his campaign office) was exposed.  He defeated six primary challengers, including Rebecca Thompson, who significantly outraised him.
2. (Alberta Tinsley Talibi) [Detroit] 26-72, 23.8%, Safe D
3. (OPEN-John Olumba) [Detroit] 3-96, 1.6%, Safe D
4. (Rose Robinson) [Detroit] 5-95, 3.4%, Safe D
5. (OPEN-Fred Durhal) [Detroit] 6-94, 2.7%, Safe D
6. (OPEN-Rashida Tlaib) [Detroit] 5-92, 5.3%, Safe D
7. (Thomas Stallworth) [Detroit] 2-98, 0.9%, Safe D
8. (OPEN-David Nathan) [Detroit] 3-97, 2%, Safe D
9. (Harvey Santana) [Detroit] 5-95, 3.3%, Safe D
10. (OPEN-Phil Cavanaugh) [Detroit] 14-86, 16.4%, Safe D
11. (OPEN-David Knezek) [Inkster, Garden City] 28-72, 29.3%, Safe D
12. (OPEN-Douglas Geiss) [Taylor, Romulus] 25-75, 29.5%, Safe D
13. (OPEN-Andrew Kandrevas) [Southgate, Allen Park, Dearborn Heights] 35-65, 40.3%, Safe D
14. (Paul Clemente) [Riverview, Wyandotte, Lincoln Park, Melvindale] 26-71, 34.9%, Safe D
15. (George Darany) [Dearborn] 25-75, 33.5%, Safe D
16. (Robert Kosowski) [Westland, Wayne] 28-68, 33.3%, Safe D
17. (Bill Lavoy) [N Monroe, Sumpter, Huron] 39-61, 45.3%, Safe D
18. (Sarah Roberts) [St. Clair Shores, Eastpointe] 34-64, 40.7%, Safe D
19. (OPEN-John Walsh) [Livonia] 60-40, 52%, Safe R
Laura Cox (E), a Wayne County Commissioner and wife of former Attorney General Mike Cox, defeated Ken Crider in the primary.
20. (Kurt Heise) [Plymouth, Northville] 56-44, 51.8%, Safe R
21. (OPEN-Dian Slavens) [Canton, Van Buren] 38-62, 43.3%, Lean D
Carol Fausonne has a chance to pick up this open seat, but it could have been drawn much better if it included all of Canton.  Kristy Pagan won the dem primary.
22. (OPEN-Harold Haugh) [Roseville, E Warren] 30-70, 36.2%, Safe D
23. (Pat Somerville) [SE Wayne] 50.5-49.5, 47.5%, Lean R
In 2012, Pat Summerville (C) was narrowly reelected in the most dem seat held by a Republican.  He is probably a modest favorite this time.  Two dems are competing to face him.
24. (Anthony Forlini) [Harrison, N Clinton, SW Macomb] 54.7-45.3, Safe R
25. (Henry Yanez) [E Sterling Heights, NC Warren] 48.6-51.4, 47.8%, Lean D
Nick Hawatmeh will try to beat dem Henry Yanez, who won a new open seat in 2012 which could have been much better drawn.
26. (Jim Townsend) [Royal Oak, Madison Heights] 36-60, 40.3%, Safe D
27. (OPEN-Ellen Cogen Lipton) [Oak Park, Ferndale, Hazel Park] 20-76, 24.8%, Safe D
28. (OPEN-Jon Switalski) [W Warren, Center Line] 21-79, 35.8%, Safe D
29. (Tim Greimel) [Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Orchard Lake] 23-77, 23.9%, Safe D
30. (Jeff Farrington) [W Sterling Heights, Utica, SE Shelby] 53.3-46.7, 51.5%, Safe R
Bo Karpinsky won the dem nomination over 2012 nominee Joseph Bogdan, and will face Jeff Farrington.
31. (Marilyn Lane) [S Clinton, Fraser, Mt. Clemens] 34-62, 41.8%, Safe D
32. (Andrea LaFontaine) [Chesterfield, C St. Clair] 59-41, 53.9%, Safe R
33. (Ken Goike) [NE Macomb, Macomb Twp.] 62-38, 56.2%, Safe R
34. (OPEN-Woodrow Stanley) [Flint] 13-87, 8.3%, Safe D
35. (OPEN-Rudy Hobbs) [Southfield] 17-83, 17.6%, Safe D
36. (OPEN-Pete Lund) [Shelby, Washington, Bruce] 64-36, 61%, Safe R
Lawyer Peter Lucido won a bitter, expensive primary for this seat over Stan Grot (C).
37. (OPEN-Vicki Barnett) [Farmington] 38-62, 40.3%, Safe D
38. (OPEN-Hugh Crawford) [Novi, Lyon] 59-41, 53.6%, Safe R
Hugh Crawford's wife Kathy Crawford (E), who is also an Oakland County Commissioner, defeated retired pastor Dan Lauffer (T).
39. (Klint Kesto) [W West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wixom] 53.3-46.7, 51.5%, Lean R
Klint Kesto (E), the surprise primary winner in 2012, defeated Tea Party leader Deb O'Hagan (T) in the primary.  He faces dem Sandy Colvin for this seat which Kesto picked up in 2012.
40. (Michael McCready) [Bloomfield, Birmingham, E West Bloomfield] 57-41, 52.8%, Safe R
41. (Martin Howrylak) [Troy, Clawson] 50.5-49.5, 51.6%, Lean R
Martin Howrylak (C) faces a rematch with Mary Kerwin, who he barely beat by 1% in 2012.
42. (OPEN-Bill Rogers) [SE Livingston] 63-33, 60.2%, Safe R
Former Livingston GOP chairwoman Lana Theis (C), won a clear primary victory over several candidates, including fake Republican Rich Perlberg.
43. (OPEN-Gail Haines) [Waterford, Independence] 66-34, 54.8%, Lean R
Republican Jim Tedder won a crowded primary here.  He faces former Waterford supervisor Dennis Ritter.
44. (OPEN-Eileen Kowall) [Springfield, White Lake, Highland, Milford] 63-33, 59.1%, Safe R
Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad (C) was the favorite of both the Tea Party and establishment, and narrowly won the primary over moderate Liz Fessler Smith and two others.
45. (OPEN-Tom McMillin) [Rochester, S Oakland Twp] 56-44, 55.9%, Safe R
Michael Webber narrowly won the primary over Mark Avery here.
46. (Bradford Jacobsen) [NE Oakland] 64-36, 60.1%, Safe R
Bradford Jacobsen defeated a tough primary challenge by John Reilly (C).
47. (OPEN-Cindy Denby) [N Livingston] 64-32, 62.5%, Safe R
Township supervisor Henry Vaupel narrowly defeated former school board member Wendy Day (T) and Howell Mayor Phil Campbell (C) in the primary.
48. (Pam Faris) [NE Genesee] 36-64, 39.8%, Safe D
49. (Phil Phelps) [Flint Twp., Mt. Morris, SW Flint] 25-75, 28.8%, Safe D
50. (Charles Smiley) [Burton, Grand Blanc, Mundy] 39-61, 42.7%, Safe D
51. (Joe Graves) [W Genesee, Fenton, NW Oakland] 54.3-45.7, 53.1%, Safe R
52. (Gretchen Driskell) [W Washtenaw] 47-53, 47.5%, Safe D
Gretchen Driskell beat Mark Ouimet by 6% in 2012.  John Hochstetler is on the ballot, but not running a serious campaign.
53. (Jeff Irwin) [Ann Arbor] 19-81, 19.5%, Safe D
54. (David Rutledge) [Ypsilanti] 23-77, 23.8%, Safe D
55. (Adam Zemke) [Pittsfield, NE Ann Arbor, York, Augusta] 32-65, 31.6%, Safe D
56. (OPEN-Dale Zorn) [S Monroe] 58-42, 50.6%, Lean R
Republicans Jason Sheppard (C) defeated Irma Kubiske in the primary, and will face dem Tom Redmond for the seat of Dale Zorn, who is running for state senate.  There is also a Constitution Party candidate running as a spoiler.
57. (Nancy Jenkins) [Lenawee] 52.5-47.5, 49.9%, Lean R
Nancy Jenkins, who was reelected by 5% in 2012, will face dem Sharon Wimple.
58. (OPEN-Ken Kurtz) [Branch, Hillsdale] 70-30, 60.1%, Safe R
Businessman Eric Leutheuser won a crowded primary in this open seat.
59. (OPEN-Matt Lori) [St. Joseph, E Cass] 62-38, 54.7%, Safe R
Conservative teacher Aaron Miller won a surprise victory over better-funded candidates John Bippus (C), Roger Rathburn, and Bob Sills in the primary.
60. (OPEN-Sean McCann) [Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Twp.] 26-74, 26.8%, Safe D
Gay progressive campaign strategist Jon Hoadley defeated Kalamazoo County Commissioner David Buskirk, an old-school union dem, and black Kalamazoo Township Trustee Patricia Goodacre in the primary.
61. (OPEN-Margaret O'Brien) [Portage, Oshtemo, Texas, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] 58-42, 49.1%, Tossup
Kalamazoo County commissioner Brandt Iden (E) defeated Phil Stinchcomb (C) in the primary.  Mlive exposed a lie on his questionaire, which is making the race competitive.  Democrat pastor John Fisher and Libertarian Michael Stampfler are also running.
62. (OPEN-Kate Segal) [Battle Creek, Albion, N Calhoun] 42-58, 43.8%, Lean D
Doctor John Bizon defeated county commissioner Art Kale for the GOP nomination. Battle Creek city commissioner Andy Helmboldt won the dem nomination over two other candidates.  The district leans dem, but Bizon has very strong fundraising.
63. (OPEN-Jase Bolger) [E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun] 50.9-49.1, 54.6%, Safe R
Moderate Kalamazoo County Commissioner David Maturen (E) defeated Marshall school board president Vic Potter in the primary for the seat of Speaker Jase Bolger.  Dem Bill Farmer, who almost upset Bolger in 2012 due to the Roy Schmidt controversy, will run again.
64. (Earl Poleski) [Jackson city, W Jackson] 56-44, 51.2%, Safe R
65. (OPEN-Mike Shirkey) [N Jackson, SE Eaton] 57-43, 53.4%, Safe R
Brett Roberts won a six-candidate primary. The dem candidate, Bonnie Johnson, has raised little.
66. (Aric Nesbitt) [Van Buren, Cooper, Alamo, Parchment] 59-41, 49.7%, Safe R
Dem school board member Annie Brown has raised a lot in this race, but it's hard to see her come close in a district Nesbitt won easily in 2012.
67. (Tom Cochran) [S Ingham] 44-56, 44.8%, Safe D
68. (Andy Schor) [Lansing] 23-77, 24.6%, Safe D
69. (Sam Singh) [East Lansing, Meridian] 35-65, 35.9%, Safe D
70. (Rick Outman) [Montcalm, N Gratiot] 54.5-45.5, 52.6%, Safe R
71. (Theresa Abed) [Eaton] 46.6-53.4, 47.3%, Tossup
Dem Theresa Abed upset Deb Schaunessy by 7% in 2012.  She faces Iraq war veteran Tom Barrett (C) in this hotly contested seat.
72. (Ken Yonker) [Kentwood, Gaines, NE Allegan] 59-38, 56.3%, Safe R
Rep. Yonker (E) defeated retired veteran Gabe Hudson (T) in the primary.
73. (OPEN-Peter MacGregor) [Grand Rapids Twp, Plainfield, NE Kent] 64-32, 60.9%, Safe R
Grand Rapids Township Treasurer Chris Afendoulis won a clear victory in a seven-candidate primary.
74. (Rob Verhuelen) [Grandville, Walker, Alpine, NW Kent] 66-34, 60.4%, Safe R
75. (Brandon Dillon) [central Grand Rapids] 24-76, 23.8%, Safe D
76. (Winnie Brinks) [peripheral Grand Rapids] 39-52, 44.2%, Lean D
Donijo DeJonge (E) defeated Keith Allard (C) in the primary, and faces dem Winnie Brinks, who beat scandal-tainted dem-turned-R Roy Schmidt in 2012.
77. (Thomas Hooker) [Wyoming, Byron] 60-36, 58.3%, Safe R
78. (Dave Pagel) [S Berrien, SW Cass] 61-39, 56.1%, Safe R
Rep. Pagel (E) easily defeated Jim Walker (T) in the primary.
79. (Al Pscholka) [N Berrien] 52.8-45.7, 51.5%, Safe R
Moderate state rep. Al Pscholka (E) defeated nurse Cindy Duran (T) in the primary.
80. (OPEN-Bob Genetski) [Allegan] 62-38, 57.6%, Safe R
Tea Party leader Cindy Gamrat (T) defeated Mary Whiteford (E) and two others in the primary for this conservative district.
81. (Dan Lauwers) [NW, E St. Clair] 53.8-46.2, 55%, Safe R
82. (OPEN-Kevin Daley) [Lapeer] 59-41, 55.1%, Safe R
Todd Courser (T), who almost was elected MIGOP chairman in 2013, defeated Jan Peabody (E) and two other Republican candidates in the primary.
83. (Paul Muxlow) [Sanilac, Port Huron] 56-44, 52.5%, Safe R
84. (OPEN-Terry Brown) [Tuscola, Huron] 38-53, 55.6%, Lean R
Edward Canfield won an eight-candidate primary here over former rep Kurt Damrow and Dan Grimshaw, who defeated Damrow in the 2012 primary. This is the best chance for Republicans to pick up a seat.  Dem state rep Terry Brown (2006-2010, 2012-2014) is term-limited and running for state senate.  The dem candidate is Huron county commissioner David Jaroch.
85. (Ben Glardon) [Shiawassee, W Saginaw] 54-40, 48.9%, Lean R
Glardon has won this district twice before, but faces a vigorous challenge from dem Annie Braidwood.
86. (Lisa Posthumus Lyons) [SE Kent, N Ionia] 70-30, 63%, Safe R
Rep. Lyons (E) defeated Angela Rigas (T) in the primary.
87. (Mike Callton) [Barry, S Ionia] 62-35, 58.7%, Safe R
88. (Roger Victory) [NE Ottawa] 87-0, 72.9%, Safe R
89. (Amanda Price) [W Ottawa] 66-34, 61.6%, Safe R
Rep. Price (E) easily defeated Matt Wiedenhoeft (T).
90. (Joseph Haveman) [Holland] 100-0, 66.5%, Safe R
Former Pete Hoekstra staffer Daniela Garcia (E) defeated Geoff Haveman (T), and two others.
91. (Collene Lamonte) [S, W Muskegon] 47.3-48.1, 48.5%, Tossup
Former state rep. Holly Hughes, who was defeated by 0.8% by dem Colleen LaMonte in 2012, will seek a rematch. There is an independant conservative candidate Alan Jager running.
92. (Marcia Hovey Wright) [Muskegon city] 27-73, 31.3%, Safe D
93. (Tom Leonard) [S Gratiot, Clinton] 57-43, 52.9%, Safe R
94. (Tim Kelly) [Saginaw Twp, E Saginaw] 56-44, 55.7%, Safe R
95. (OPEN-Stacy Erwin Oakes) [Saginaw city] 22-78, 24.8%, Safe D
96. (Charles Brunner) [Bay] 31-69, 45.3%, Safe D
97. (Joel Johnson) [Arenac, Gladwin, Clare, E Osceola] 62-38, 53.2%, Lean R
Johnson faces dem Mark Lightfoot.
98. (OPEN-Jim Stamas) [C Midland, N Bay] 59-41, 56%, Safe R
Gary Glenn (T), a conservative activist supporting Right to Work and traditional marriage narrowly defeated Karl Ieuter (E) in an expensive and hotly contested primary.  Joan Brausch is the dem candidate.
99. (Kevin Cotter) [Isabella, W Midland] 57-43, 48.1%, Lean R
Cotter faces a vigorous challenge from dem Bryan Mielke in a district he won twice before.
100. (Jon Bumstead) [Newaygo, Oceana, Lake] 62-38, 55.5%, Safe R
101. (Ray Franz) [Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Mason] 51-49, 50.7%, Tossup
Ray Franz (C), who was reelected by 2% in 2012, will seek a final term against dem Tom Stobie, who outraised him so far.
102. (Phil Potvin) [Wexford, W Osceola, Mecosta] 54.8-45.2, 56.3%, Safe R
103. (Bruce Rendon) [Kalkaska, Crawford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw] 52.8-47.2, 55.9%, Safe R
104. (OPEN-Wayne Schmidt) [Grand Traverse] 57-43, 55.4%, Safe R
Moderate Larry Inman narrowly won an eight-candidate primary.
105. (OPEN-Greg MacMaster) [Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency, Oscoda] 67-33, 58.5%, Safe R
Triston Cole, a farmer who was the runner-up four years ago, easily won the primary here.
106. (Peter Petallia) [E Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Alpena, Alcona, Iosco] 52.2-45.3, 53.6%, Safe R
Peter Pettalia, who was reelected by 7% in 2012, will seek a final term.  The dem candidate is Robert Kennedy.
107. (Frank Foster) [Emmet, Mackinac, Chippewa, N Cheboygan] 58-42, 55.5%, Safe R
Rep. Foster (E) was defeated by Lee Chatfield (T), who has very strong fundraising, due to Foster's support of Medicaid expansion, Common Core, and gay rights.
108. (Ed McBroom) [Delta, Menominee, Dickinson] 54.6-45.4, 54.6%, Safe R
109. (John Kivela) [Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce] 42-58, 45.4%, Safe D
110. (Scott Dianda) [W Upper Peninsula] 48.4-51.6, 51.6%, Safe D
Scott Dianda, a fairly conservative dem who beat Matt Huuki by 3% in 2012, is safe against Bob Michaels.

Ratings:
Safe D: 44
Lean D: 4
Tossup: 4
Lean R: 11
Safe R: 47

Friday, September 05, 2014

Michigan Post-primary Fundraising Reports

The deadline for post-primary campaign finance reports for the Michigan state legislature was September 4.  The following details the total amount raised in competitive general elections, and cash on hand (COH) in competitive general elections.  Ratings for the races are included.

Governor (Lean R)
R: Rick Snyder 10M (2.8M COH)
D: Mark Schauer (2.5M COH)

Lieutenant Governor:
R: Brian Calley 371K (78K COH)
D: Lisa Brown waiver

Attorney General (Lean R)
R: Bill Schuette 3.0M (1.9M COH)
D: Mark Totten 258K (146K COH)

Secretary of State (Likely R)
R: Ruth Johnson 723K (252K COH)
D: Godfrey Dillard  no report yet

State senate:

7. Lean R
R: Pat Colbeck 184K (28K COH)
D: Dian Slavens 172K (157K COH)

13. Safe R
R: Marty Knollenberg 80K (1K COH)
D: Cyndi Peltonen 13K (1K COH)

17. Tossup
R: Dale Zorn 128K (52K COH)
D: Doug Spade 105K (73K COH)

20. Tossup
R: Margaret O'Brien 189K (81K COH)
D: Sean McCann 312K (245K COH)
L: Lorence Wenke (3K COH)

24. Safe R
R: Rick Jones 153K (50K COH)
D: Dawn Levey 41K (38K COH)

25. Safe R
R: Phil Pavlov 273K (138K COH)
D: Terry Brown 13K (32K COH)

29. Safe R
R: Dave Hildenbrand 286K (203K COH)
D: Lance Penny 9K (2K COH)

32. Tossup
R: Ken Horn 191K (76K COH)
D: Stacy Erwin Oakes 241K (113K COH)

34. Lean R
R: Geoff Hansen 321K (254K COH)
D: Cathy Forbes 89K (65K COH)

38. Safe R
R: Tom Casperson 303K (133K COH)
D: Christopher Germain 2K ($170 COH)

State House:

21. Lean D
R: Carol Fausone 68K (52K COH)
D: Kristy Pagan 95K (13K COH)

23. Lean R
R: Pat Somerville 124K (78K COH)
D: Andrew Linko 37K (12K COH)

25. Lean D
R: Nick Hawatmeh 52K (37K COH)
D: Henry Yanez 109K (51K COH)

30. Lean R
R: Jeff Farrington 84K (54K COH)
D: Bo Karpinsky 39K (28K COH)

39. Lean R
R: Klint Kesto 199K (35K COH)
D: Sandy Colvin 40K (26K COH)

41. Lean R
R: Martin Howrylak 82K (56K COH)
D: Mary Kerwin 46K (40K COH)

43. Safe R
R: Jim Tedder 51K (26K COH)
D: Dennis Ritter 39K (5K COH)

56. Lean R
R: Jason Sheppard 48K (10K COH)
D: Tom Redmond 33K (24K COH)

57. Lean R
R: Nancy Jenkins 63K (46K COH)
D: Sharon Wimple 24K (17K COH)

59. Safe R
R: Aaron Miller 15K (2K COH)
D: Mike Moroz 13K (2K COH)

61. Safe R
R: Brandt Iden 81K (18K COH)
D: John Fisher 22K (15K COH)

63. Safe R
R: David Maturen 50K (10K COH)
D: Bill Farmer 9K (8K COH)

65. Safe R
R: Brett Roberts 66K (5K COH)
D: Bonnie Johnson $300 (-$1750 COH)

66. Safe R
R: Aric Nesbitt 129K (114K COH)
D: Annie Brown 64K (49K COH)

71. Tossup
R: Tom Barrett 58K (30K COH)
D: Theresa Abed 98K (79K COH)

76. Lean D
R: Donijoe DeJonge 68K (24K COH)
D: Winnie Brinks 138K (106K COH)

82. Safe R
R: Todd Courser 31K (1K COH)
D: Margaret DeLuca 12K (10K COH)

84. Lean R
R: Edward Canfield 84K (1K COH)
D: David Jaroch 17K (12K COH)

91. Tossup
R: Holly Hughes 165K (102K COH)
D: Colleen LaMonte 166K (125K COH)

98. Safe R
R: Gary Glenn 174K (18K COH)
D: Joan Brausch 57K (38K COH)

101. Lean R
R: Ray Franz 75K (52K COH)
D: Tom Stobie 92K (58K COH)

107. Safe R
R: Lee Chatfield 93K (11K COH)
D: Jim Page 4K (5K COH)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Aaron Miller for State Representative

The biggest surprise of the August primary in Michigan was victory of Aaron Miller for the Republican nomination in the 59th state house district.  The district, which is being vacated by moderate Matt Lori, contains all of St. Joseph County and most of Cass County.

Aaron Miller, John Bippus reflect on Miller's stunning win in Tuesday's 59th State House race

Aaron Miller is a 27-year-old high school math teacher with little political experience won a four-way race with 38%.  The next-closest candidate was John Bippus with 28%.

Miller is an alumnus of the WMU College Republicans, which this blog was formerly associated with.  Another alumnus, Tom Barrett, is running for state house in district 71.

In the August primary, most candidates who raised the most money won.  Miller was a huge exception, as he raised only 11K, the least of the four candidates.  Bippus had raised 169K.

Hard work isn't usually enough by itself to win, but this was the exception.  Miller apparently connected with voters in a way that the other candidates didn't.

This blog endorsed Bippus in the primary, as we didn't think Miller had a chance.  We are happy to be wrong.  Miller is a strong Christian conservative who is honest and intelligent.  He deserves support in the general election.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lessons from the Primary Election

They don't call it the establishment for nothing  Establishment candidates won many races.  They have the inside track on fundraising, endorsements, and organization.  Notably, several winning conservatives, including Lana Theis, Jim Runestad, Jason Sheppard, and Triston Cole had substantial establishment support.

Be the establishment  One answer to this is to become the establishment.  Lana Theis and Triston Cole are both former county party chairs.  It takes time to build political connections, but it pays off eventually.

Experience counts  Elected experience is valuable for winning candidates.  Lana Theis, Jim Runestad, Jason Sheppard, and Gary Glenn have all been elected to local office.

If at first you don't succeed  Tom Barrett, Todd Courser, and Triston Cole have all lost elections before, but gained valuable experience in the process.  This time, they won their primaries.  Candidates who lost this time should look for opportunities to run again in the future.

Build a brand  Lana Theis, Gary Glenn, Cindy Gamrat, and Todd Courser are known across Michigan for advocating conservative causes.  This provides a larger fundraising base to tap when you run for office.

Don't Ignore Social Issues  In recent years, conservatives have shifted much more emphasis to fiscal issues.  While these issues are vitally important, conservative candidates should not ignore social issues.  Notably, three conservative victors, Todd Courser, Gary Glenn, and Lee Chatfield, are all known as strong defenders of traditional marriage.

Don't split the vote  In several districts (45, 47, 58, 73, 104), several conservative candidates split the vote and allowed a more moderate candidate to win.  Conservatives who care more about the cause than themselves should meet and agree on one candidate to support.

Money doesn't buy elections  Self-funding candidates have a bad electoral track record.  Notably, Paul Mitchell and Brian Ellis, who both spent millions of their own money trying to get elected to Congress, lost handily.  Self-funder David Trott did win, but that had more to do with Kerry Bentivolio's weak campaign.

Money is essential  This does not contradict the previous point.  Money does not guarantee victory, but it is essential to get your message out.  This is particularly true in local elections, which are often decided by name recognition.

Look at how much winning conservative candidates raised.  Lana Theis raised 80K.  Jim Runestad raised 82K.  Jason Sheppard raised 36K.  Tom Barrett raised 55K.  Cindy Gamrat raised 39K.  Gary Glenn raised 171K.  Triston Cole raised 37K.  The only Republican to defeat a state house incumbent, Lee Chatfield, raised 74K.

The candidate who raised the most money won in 18 of 21 primaries in open Republican seats.  With one exception, the lowest amount raised by any successful Republican primary winner in a winnable district was Todd Courser's 27K.  A Republican candidate for state house who isn't willing to raise (or self-fund) at least $30,000 is usually only going to waste everyone's time.

Exceptions are exceptional  There is one huge exception to the above points.  In district 59, Aaron Miller, a 27-year-old Christian conservative teacher with little political experience who raised only 11K won with 38% of the vote in a four-candidate field.  So it is possible for a candidate who works hard to catch on with voters without the usual advantages.  But it definitely isn't the way to bet, and it shouldn't be an excuse to ignore the usual path to victory.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

2014 August Primary Election Results

Prop 1 (tax changes) wins easily 69-31.

Congress:
1. Benishek wins 70-30.  Alan Arcand needs to fire his pollster.
3. Amash wins 57-43.  Probably not enough to scare away future primary challengers.
4. Moolenaar wins 52-36-11.  Never underestimate the Midland establishment.  I rated this a tossup when Mitchell led by 23.  Good to have another Dutchman in Congress ;)
6. Bussler gets 29% against Upton, confirming my suspicion that about 30% is the anti-Upton baseline in the GOP primary.
8. Bishop wins 60-40. No shock.  Schertzing survives a scare 43-38 in the dem primary.
11. David Trott wins 66-34 after Bentivolio ran a terrible campaign.  McKenzie barely wins dem primary 34-32.  Safe R.
13. Conyers wins 75-25.  Being on the ballot helps.
14. Brenda Lawrence wins 36-32-31 over Hobbs and Clarke.

Michigan State Senate:
2 (D) Johnson wins easily 63-22.
4 (D) Smith holds off Tlaib 52-41 after the race was initially miscalled.
5 (D) Knezek (white dem) leads Jackson (pro-life) 29-25.
11 (D) Gregory wins by 117 votes, 35-34-31.
13 (R) Knollenberg wins by 72 votes over Rocky and Moss 36-36-20.  Good.
13 (D) Ryan Fishman raised 211K and lost 55-45 to Cyndi Peltonen, who raised 7K.  Hahahaha!  Move to Safe R.
15 (R) Mike Kowall holds off Matt Maddock by a relatively narrow 50-43.
20 (R) Margaret O'Brien wins 77-23.
28 (R) MacGregor beats Green 68-32.
31 (R) Mike Green beats Kevin Daley 49-46.
32 (D) Oakes beats Lewis 62-38.
34 (R) Hansen beats Sundquist 62-38.
37 (R) Schmidt beats MacMaster 55-45.  Boo.  MacMaster only won Cheboygan County.

Michigan State House:
1 (D) Felon Brian Banks wins 43-36.
19 (R) Laura Cox wins easily 73-27.
36 (R) Lucido beats Grot 51-49.  UAW wins.
38 (R) Crawford beats Lauffer 59-41.
39 (R) Kesto holds off O'Hagan 55-39.
42 (R) Lana Theis beats Rich Perlberg 50-26.  Good.
43 (R) Tedder beats Schroeder and Aliaga 31-29-22.
44 (R) Runestad wins 36-33.  Good.
45 (R) Webber beats Avery 46-43.
46 (R) Jacobsen holds off Mark Reilly 56-44.
47 (R) Vaupel beats Day 42-37.
56 (R) Sheppard beats Kubiske 67-33.  Good.
58 (R) Eric Leutheuser win with 34%.
59 (R) Aaron Miller wins with 38%.  Complete shock.  Miller is a 27-year-old teacher and distant friend of mine.
60 (D) Jon Hoadley beats David Buskirk 59-27.  Gay beats union.
61 (R) Iden beats Stinchcomb 55-45.
62 (R) Bizon beats Kale 55-45. (D) Helmboldt wins with 39%.
63 (R) Maturen beats Potter 53-47.
65 (R) Roberts wins with 26%.
73 (R) Afendoulis wins with 36%.
76 (R) DeJonge beats Allard 44-37.
79 (R) Pscholka holds off Duran 66-34.
80 (R) Cindy Gamrat wins 42-29-25 with most in.  Good.
82 (R) Todd Courser beats Jan Peabody 37-33.
84 (R) Canfield wins with 31%.
86 (R) Lyons holds off Rigas 71-29.
90 (R) Garcia beats Haveman 50-30.
95 (D) Guerra beats Braddock 58-42.
98 (R) Gary Glenn beats Karl Ieuter 51-49.  Good.
104 (R) Larry Inman wins with 21%.
105 (R) Triston Cole romps 63-29.  Good.
107 (R) Lee Chatfield beats incumbent Frank Foster 54-46.  Big win for conservatives.

Wayne County Executive:
Warren Evans wins with 46%.  William Wild second with 24%.  Incumbent Robert Ficano finished fifth with only 6%.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2014 Michigan August Primary Preview

Michigan has no contested statewide primaries on the ballot on August 5.  Governor Rick Snyder and his democrat challenger Mark Schauer are unopposed.  So are US Senate candidates Terri Lynn Land and Gary Peters.  But there is plenty of action further down the ballot.  Polls close at 8PM Eastern except in the extreme western UP.

Results: SOS AP Election Magic

2014 Michigan Congressional Races
MI-1 (R) (Lean Benishek) In 2010, Dr. Dan Benishek won an open seat vacated by democrat Rep. Bart Stupak against democrat state Rep. Gary McDowell 52-41 and won the rematch 48.1-47.6 in 2012.  Benishek has generally voted with the leadership, displeasing some of his former Tea Party supporters.  He is being challenged by Tea Partyer Alan Arcand, who was seen as a longshot, but recently released a poll claiming that he leads 56-44.

MI-3 (R) (Likely Amash) Republican state rep. Justin Amash won the primary to replace moderate Republican Vern Ehlers, in 2010. He won 60-37 in 2010 and 53-44 in 2012 over former state rep Steve Pestka. Amash is a libertarian in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul. He has stepped on some toes in Washington, most notably getting into spats with the NRA and Michigan Right to Life.  He is being challenged in the primary by moderate businessman Brian Ellis, who has significant self-funding and support from the Chamber of Commerce.  Amash has support from AFP and Club for Growth.  A recent poll showed Amash leading 51-31.

MI-4 (R) (Tossup) Republican Dave Camp, who has been winning big margins in this district since 1990, is retiring.  Conservative state senator John Moolenaar of Midland and self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell are running.  Mitchell attacked Moolenaar (somewhat dishonestly) from the right, and spent his way to an early lead.  But Moolenaar has the support of the Midland establishment (including Camp and AG Bill Schuette), national conservatives such as Mike Lee and Rick Santorum, and Michigan Right to Life and NRA.  Recent polls have shown the race a tie.  Tea Party candidate Peter Konetchy, a businessman from Roscommon who ran for Senate in 2012, had announced a primary challenge to Camp, but has not attracted much support.

MI-6 (R) (Safe Upton) Moderate Republican Fred Upton is being challenged by libertarian Jim Bussler, who has not attracted much support.

MI-8 (R) (Lean Bishop) Republican Mike Rogers, who has won big margins since 2000, announced his retirement late in the cycle.  Former state senator Mike Bishop of NE Oakland is running. Tea Party favorite state rep. Tom McMillin announced that he will run for this seat rather than state senate.  Both are from Rochester Hills.
(D) (Likely Schertzing)  Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing is the preferred democrat candidate.  State demographer Ken Darga, CMU Professor Susan Grettenberger, and Jeffrey Hank are also running.

MI-11 (R)  (Lean Trott) Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio became an "accidental congressman" in 2012 after incumbent Thad McCotter was disqualified in a petition fraud scandal. A coalition of establishment Republicans endorsed a write-in campaign by former state senator Nancy Cassis, but Bentivolio won 65-35.  He defeated democrat Canton Township Trustee Taj Syed 50.8-44.4.  Since then, Bentivolio has mostly kept his head down and voted a conservative line.  He is being challenged in the primary by foreclosure lawyer David Trott, who has the support of the Oakland County establishment.  Bentivolio has run a weak campaign and seems likely to lose.
(D) (Lean McKenzie) Democrats Bobby McKenzie, Nancy SkinnerAnil Kumar, and LaRouchie Bill Roberts are running.

MI-12 (D)  (Safe Dingell) Democrat John Dingell, in Congress for over 58 years since Eisenhower's first term, is finally retiring.  Dingell's wife Debbie Dingell is running to succeed him.  Attorney Ray Mullins is also running.

MI-13 (D) (Lean Conyers) This district has been represented by democrat John Conyers since 1964. Conyers' image has been tarnished since his wife Monica, formerly Detroit city council president, pled guilty to bribery and served time in federal prison.  Conyers won the 2012 primary 55% to 18% for Glenn Anderson, 13% for Shanelle Jackson, and 10% for Bert Johnson.  Conyers was nearly disqualified due to having signature gatherers who were not registered to vote, but a judge ordered him back on the ballot.  He is being challenged this year by Pastor Horace Sheffield, who has his own ethical problems.

MI-14 (D)  (Lean Clarke) This district had an interesting primary in 2012.  Congressman Gary Peters, first elected in 2008, ran here after his old 9th district was split into four pieces.  Peters did very well in endorsements and fundraising, and he won this majority black district 47-35-13 over fellow Congressman Hansen Clarke and Southfield mayor Brenda Lawrence.  Peters is now running for Senate, so the district is open.  Lawrence, state rep. Rudy Hobbs, Clarke, and Burgess Foster are running.  Hobbs has led in fundraising and endorsements but struggled to turn this into votes.  Clarke has a base of support in Detroit.

2014 Michigan State Senate Elections
All 38 Michigan state senate seats are up for election.  Ten seats are open, and several others have competitive primary challenges.
2. (D) (Safe Johnson) Bert Johnson is safe against dem-turned-independent John Olumba and several others.
4. (D) (Lean Smith) Virgil Smith is being challenged by Rep. Rashida Tlaib in the primary.  Smith has advantages in incumbency, geography, and race, but Tlaib has better fundraising.
5. (D) (Lean Knezek) State reps. David Nathan, David Knezek, Thomas Stallworth, and former rep. Shanelle Jackson are competing here.  Knezek, the only white rep, seems to have the edge based on fundraising.  Jackson is pro-life.
11. (D) (Lean Gregory) Vincent Gregory is a black democrat representing the dem areas of southern Oakland.  He had announced a run for Congress in the 14th district, but dropped out to seek reelection.  Two term-limited state reps, Vicki Barnett and Ellen Cogen Lipton, had announced for the open seat; both are staying in the race.
13. (R) (Tossup) Three former state reps are running for the seat of John Pappageorge.  Chuck Moss (Bloomfield Hills, 2006-2012) is an establishment favorite, but represents are fairly small part of the district.  Marty Knollenberg (Troy, 2006-2012), the son of former Congressman Joe Knollenberg, lost races for Oakland Treasurer (2012) and Troy Mayor (2013).  Rocky Raczkowski represented a completely different district (Farmington, 1996-2002) before moving to Troy.  He lost races for US Senate (2002) and Congress (2010), but has the support of Pappageorge.
(D) (Likely Fishman) Ryan Fishman, a 25-year-old lawyer who claims to be a former Republican, has strong fundraising and is favored over Cyndi Peltonen.
15. (R) (Likely Kowall) Mike Kowall is being challenged by Tea Party candidate Matt Maddock.
28. (R) (Likely MacGregor) Mark Jansen is term-limited here.  Peter MacGregor is a state rep (2010-2014) from North Kent.  Kevin Green was a state rep (2004-2010) from Wyoming.
31. (R) (Lean Green) Mike Green is the strongest gun rights advocate in the state senate.  He voted against Right to Work, likely for political reasons in this union-friendly district. He will face a primary against conservative state rep. Kevin Daley.
32. (D) (Lean Oakes) Stacy Erwin Oakes, a black state rep (2010-2014) from Saginaw, will battle Garnet Lewis, a white progressive lesbian for the democrat nomination.
37. (R) (Lean MacMaster) Howard Walker unexpectedly retired, opening up this district.  Two Republican state reps elected in 2010, conservative Greg MacMaster (2010-2014) and moderate Wayne Schmidt (2008-2014, Grand Traverse) are running.  Schmidt has huge fundraising, but MacMaster has more endorsements and grassroots support.

2014 Michigan State House Races
There are 40 open seats in the Michigan state house due to term limits.  There are also many primary challenges by Tea Party candidates against incumbent Republicans and democrat primaries against incumbents in Detroit.  There are way to many to list here; see the post for a complete rundown.

Proposal 1 (Tossup) This proposal, which was put on the ballot by the legislature, would repeal the "Personal Property Tax", which is a tax on business equipment.  It would be replaced by other taxes.  The proposal has institutional support across the political spectrum, but voter confusion could lead to its defeat.

Wayne County Executive (Tossup) Wayne CE Robert Ficano has been plagued by scandals and is highly unpopular.  He faces eleven (!) challengers.  Former Sheriff Warren Evans has the support of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.  Westland Mayor William Wild has the support of the business community.  The other credible candidates are state rep. Phil Cavanaugh and Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara, son of the infamous Ed McNamara.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Jim Lefler for Oshtemo Trustee

In the special election for Oshtemo Trustee, Jim Lefler is the clear choice.

Oshtemo Trustees are elected to four year terms in presidential years.  David Bushouse was a trustee for 16 years who was narrowly defeated in 2012.  Shortly after the election, one of the winning candidates resigned, and Bushouse was appointed to fill the vacancy until a 2014 special election.

Bushouse is nominally a Republican, but he has never had any involvement with the local Republican party.  His record as a trustee does not clearly distinguish him from the democrats.

There are several serious issues with how the incumbent trustees are managing the township.

1. They pushed through a special assessment for additional police protection but never negotiated an agreement with the Sheriff.  Thus we are not receiving the additional protection that we are being assessed for.

2. They have a fund balance on hand that is far higher than what is appropriate for sound fiscal management.

3. They created a "Downtown Development Authority" that collects money but so far has done nothing but buy a defunct gas station at Stadium and 9th and do nothing with it.

4. They are now trying to create another authority along the Drake Road corridor that would collect tax money and do who knows what with it.

The existing board in Oshtemo is widely disliked by other local government officials.  They are mismanaging taxpayers' money.  Dave Bushouse has been on the board for 18 years and he will not be part of the solution.

Jim Lefler is a smart, fearless conservative who will shake up the existing clique on the Oshtemo board.  He has significant financial experience in business.  He is the leader of the VanKal Tea Party Patriots and is active in the Kalamazoo GOP.  He deserves the support of conservatives on August 5.