Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cindy Gamrat for State Representative

The following is an (edited) message from former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk.


There is a hotly contested primary race in Allegan County; the election is one week from today. Two women are running for the Republican nomination in the 80th district seat currently held by conservative Christian, Bob Genetski. He has represented his district well over the last six years. His principles and ideals and his voting record have reflected the principles and ideals of his district.

Bob has stated that Cindy is a good conservative and spoke at her event last week.

Before Bob Genetski, Fulton Sheen served the 80th district for six years. During that time, he was rated one of the most consistently conservative members in the legislature. He too, represented Allegan County well. Fulton Sheen is wholeheartedly endorsing Cindy Gamrat for state representative.

Next week, voters in the 80th district have the opportunity to carry on that tradition by electing Cindy Gamrat as their Republican candidate for state representative.

As someone who served six years in the state legislature, right alongside Fulton Sheen, and as virtually the only legislator to ever be rated MORE conservative that Fulton Sheen, (we traded that honor back and forth!), I can tell you that the right choice for the 80th district is Cindy Gamrat and that is why I endorse Cindy Gamrat for state representative.

I know Cindy Gamrat and I can confidently encourage voters of the 80th district to cast your ballot for Cindy Gamrat next Tuesday. Whether you live in the district or not, you can help. Knock on doors for Cindy this week and say a prayer for her as she continues working hard to earn the vote in Allegan County.
Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Michigan State House Fundraising

July 25 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amounts raised in competitive Republican primaries and general elections for Michigan state house.  Ratings are included.  Based on fundraising, 52 and 110 move to safe D, and 91 moves to tossup.

1. (D) Banks 26K Thompson 55K (12K self)
19. (R) (Likely Cox) Cox 62K Crider 21K (20K self)
21. (Lean D) (R) Fausonne 58K (D) Mathis ? Mosher 63K Pagan 88K (23K self)
23. (Lean R) (R) Somerville 118K (D) Haener 5K Linko 36K Ptaszynski $100
25. (Lean D) (R) Hawatmeh 47K (D) Yanez 96K
30. (Lean R) (R) Farrington 82K (D) Bogdan waiver Karpinsky 28K
36. (R) (Lean Grot) Grot 98K (32K self) Lucido 251K (136K self)
38. (R) (Likely Crawford) Lauffer 17K (13K self) Crawford 47K
39. (Lean R) (R) (Lean Kesto) Kesto 199K O'Hagan 23K (D) Colvin 31K
41. (Lean R) (R) Howrylak 72K (D) Kerwin 32K
42. (R) (Likely Theis) Fiani 4K Perlberg 32K (15K self) Rogers 2K Theis 80K
43. (R) (Tossup) Aliaga 14K Knapper 10K Schroeder 47K (32K self) Tedder  47K (31K self)
44. (R) (Likely Runestad) Runestad 82K Fessler Smith ? Garlick 13K Tierney 52K
45. (R) (Lean Webber) Avery 26K Mangiapane $484 Webber 29K
46. (R) (Likely Jacobsen) Jacobsen 128K Reilly 20K
47. (R) (Tossup) Campbell 30K Day 32K Vaupel 82K (58K self)
52. (Safe D) (R) Hochstetler waiver (D) Driskell 129K
56. (Lean R) (R) (Likely Sheppard) Sheppard 36K Kubiske 34K (16K self) (D) Redmond 24K
57. (Lean R) (R) Jenkins 61K (D) Wimple 19K
58. (R) (Tossup) Benzing 12K Haberl 17K Jacques 4K Leutheuser 34K (10K self) Nottingham 2K Ray 34K (33K self)
59. (R) (Lean Bippus) Bippus 169K (160K self) Miller 10K Rathburn 58K (37K self) Sills 17K
60. (D) (Lean Buskirk) Buskirk 53K Goodacre 5K Hoadley 138K
61. (R) (Tossup) Iden 56K Stinchcomb 32K (D) Fisher 20K
62. (Lean D) (R) (Tossup) Bizon 105K (65K self) Kale 34K
    (D) (Lean Todd) Helmboldt 11K Morgan 9K Todd 5K
63. (R) (Lean Potter) Maturen 46K (25K self) Potter 46K (40K self) (D) Farmer 23K
65. (R) (tossup) Calhoun 27K (23K self) Moretz 25K (18K self) Roberts 49K (46K self) Stormont 20K (10K self) Sutherby (7K self)
71. (Tossup) (R) Barrett 55K (D) Abed 92K
72. (R) (Likely Yonker) Hudson 18K (15K self) Yonker 47K
73. (R) (Lean Afendoulis) Afendoulis 95K Decker 31K (10K self) Norton 23K (10K self) Pfaff 27K (12K self) Regan 29K (23K self)
76. (Lean D) (R) (Tossup) Allard 34K (19K self) DeJonge 43K (10K self) (D) Brinks 131K
79. (R) (Lean Pscholka) Duran 16K Pscholka 135K
80. (R) (Lean Gamrat) Gamrat 39K Schulz 40K (26K self) Whiteford 62K (43K self)
82. (R) (Tossup) Courser 27K (23K self) Hunsanger 10K Peabody 59K (29K self) Smith 13K
84. (R) (Tossup) Boehmer 8K Canfield 71K (15K self) Damrow 4K Grimshaw 6K Jobe 10K (6K self) Wassa 35K (33K self) Wencel 60K (50K self) (D) Jaroch 14K
86. (R) (Likely Lyons) Lyons 64K Rigas 6K
90. (R) (Lean Garcia) Garcia 63K Harmsen 5K Haveman 7K (6K self) Kroll waiver
91. (Tossup) (R) (Safe Hughes) Erb 1K Hughes 195K (100K self) Riekse ? (D) Lamonte 145K
95. (D) Braddock 8K Guerra 14K
98. (R) (Lean Glenn) Glenn 171K (26K self) Ieuter 151K
101. (Lean R) (R) Franz 78K (D) Stobie 86K
104. (R) (Tossup) Callahan 26K Hentschel 5K Hinton (28K self) Inman 40K (24K self) Lundy 2K Renny 35K (25K self) Vore 13K Wunsch 39K (29K self)
105. (R) (Lean Cole) Cole 37K Cutler 25K Vickory 3K
107. (R) (Tossup) Chatfield 74K (25k self) Foster 116K
110. (Safe D) (R) Michaels $0 (D) Dianda 77K

Friday, July 25, 2014

Michigan State Senate Fundraising

The deadline for pre-primary campaign finance reports for the Michigan state legislature was July 25.  The following details the amount raised in competitive primary elections, and cash on hand (COH) in competitive general elections.  Ratings for the races are included.  Districts 29 and 38 move to safe R based on fundraising.

2. (D) Safe Johnson
Bert Johnson: 60K
John Olumba: waiver
Georgia Lemmons: waiver

4. (D) Lean Smith
Virgil Smith: 164K
Rashida Tlaib: 230K

5. (D) Lean Knezek
David Nathan: 34K
David Knezek: 109K
Shanelle Jackson: ?
Thomas Stallworth: ?

7. Lean R
Pat Colbeck (R) 214K (28K COH)
Dian Slavens (D) 114K (101K COH)

11. (D) Lean Gregory
Vincent Gregory: 55K
Vicki Barnett: 56K
Ellen Cogen Lipton: 150K

13. Lean R
(R) Tossup
Chuck Moss: 179K (89K COH)
Marty Knollenberg: 50K (3K COH)
Rocky Raczkowski: 70K (12K COH)
Al Gui: waiver
Ethan Baker: 20K (3K COH)
(D) Likely Fishman
Ryan Fishman: 211K (74K COH)
Cyndi Peltonen: 7K ($352 COH)

15. (R) Likely Kowall
Mike Kowall: 290K
Matt Maddock: 68K (28K self)

17. Tossup
Dale Zorn (R) 125K (74K COH)
Doug Spade (D) 81K (56K COH)

20. Tossup
Margaret O'Brien (R) 173K (120K COH)
Sean McCann (D) 268K (209K COH)
Lorence Wenke (L) (3K COH)

24. Safe R
Rick Jones (R) 149K (62K COH)
Dawn Levey (D) 35K (33K COH)

25. Safe R
Phil Pavlov (R) 175K (144K COH)
Terry Brown (D) 42K (26K COH)

28. (R) Likely MacGregor
Peter MacGregor: 273K (119K COH)
Kevin Green: 19K (15K self)

29. Safe R (change from likely R)
Dave Hildenbrand (R) 278K (204K COH)
Penny Lance: 8K (5K COH)
Michael Scruggs: waiver

31. Likely R
(R) Lean Green
Mike Green: 315K (153K COH)
Kevin Daley: 57K (11K COH)
Ron Mindykowski (D) 24K (9K COH)

32. Tossup
Ken Horn (R) 190K (96K COH)
(D) Lean Oakes
Stacy Erwin Oakes: 207K (119K COH)
Garnet Lewis: 96K (33K COH)

34. Lean R
(R) Safe Hansen
Geoff Hansen: 301K (249K COH)
Nick Sundquist: 17K (1K COH)
Cathy Forbes (D) 80K (67K COH)

37. (R) Lean MacMaster
Greg McMaster: 60K (11K COH)
Wayne Schmidt: 313K (72K COH)

38. Safe R (change from likely R)
Tom Casperson: 303K R, 135K COH
Chris Lamarche: ?
Christopher Germain: 1K ($560 COH)

Madison Project Michigan Endorsements (Round 2)

The Madison Project Michigan has issued its second and final list of endorsements for the August 2014 primary election. The first list is here. We encourage conservatives across Michigan to vote for these candidates and to donate to the Madison Project Michigan.

House District 38 Dan Lauffer, Republican - Walled Lake
Dan Lauffer is a retired pastor and college professor. He is running on opposition to Medicaid expansion and tax increases. He faces a competitive primary against Kathy Crawford in a safely Republican district.

House District 56 Jason Sheppard, Republican - Lambertville
Jason Sheppard is a Monroe County commissioner and business owner. He is running on a solidly conservative platform. He is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life. He faces a contested primary in this highly competitive district.

House District 58 Jeff Jacques, Republican - Jonesville
Jeff Jacques is a small businessman with an economics degree from Hillsdale College. He is running on a solidly conservative platform. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

House District 59 John Bippus, Republican - Three Rivers
John Bippus is a former St. Joseph County commissioner and current road commission chairman. He has advocated for fiscally conservative policies. He is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

House District 65 Robert Sutherby, Republican - Jackson
Robert Sutherby is a Leoni Township Trustee and local businessman. He is running on opposition to tax increases. He is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

House District 72 Gabe Hudson, Republican - Byron Center
Gabe Hudson was a career US Army soldier and Vietnam veteran. He is running on opposition to Medicaid expansion and Common Core. He is challenging moderate incumbent Republican Ken Yonker in the primary in this safely Republican district.

House District 73 Frank Pfaff, Republican - Comstock Park
Frank Pfaff is a US Army veteran and salesman in the jewelry industry. He is a solid fiscal and social conservative. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

House District 79 Cindy Duran, Republican - St. Joseph
Cindy Duran is a registered nurse and conservative activist in Berrien County. She is passionately opposed to Medicaid expansion and Common Core. She is challenging moderate incumbent Republican Al Pscholka, who supported Medicaid expansion and Common Core, in the primary. The district leans Republican in the general election.

House District 90 Geoff Haveman, Republican - Hudsonville
Geoff Haveman is a lawyer and Republican activist. He is running on a strong limited government platform. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district. (Note that David Kroll is also an acceptable candidate in this race.)

House District 105 Triston Cole, Republican - Mancelona
Triston Cole is a small business owner and family farmer. He has successfully advocated for legislation that reduced regulations on farming and trucking. He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

John Bippus for State Representative

The best choice for conservatives in Michigan's 59th state house district is John Bippus.

The district is being vacated by moderate Matt Lori due to term limits.  The district contains all of St. Joseph and the majority of Cass Counties.

There are four Republican candidates to replace him.  John Bippus is a St. Joseph County road commissioner and former county commissioner.  Roger Rathburn is the Three Rivers school superintendent.  Bob Sills is a former legislative staffer and Republican activist.  Aaron Miller is a teacher.

Bippus is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life, which means that at least one of the other candidates in the race is not pro-life.  Voting for one of the other candidates risks splitting pro-life vote and allowing a pro-abortion candidate to win. 

Bippus is tied (with Miller) for the highest pro-gun rating from NRA and MCRGO.  Bippus is a fiscal conservative who privatized a county-run nursing home during his time on the county commission.  He is worthy of conservative support.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vic Potter for State Representative

Conservatives have a clear choice for state representative in Michigan's 63rd district: Vic Potter.

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger is term-limited in the 63rd district, which encompasses eastern Kalamazoo and southern Calhoun Counties.  The population is about evenly split between the two counties.

There are two Republican candidates running.  Vic Potter is a businessman (towing) and president of the Marshall School Board in Calhoun County.  David Maturen is the chairman of the Kalamazoo County Commission.  Maturen represents only Brady and Pavilion Townships in the 63rd district.

Potter is a solid conservative who saved money for the Marshall School district.  Maturen is a 'good government' moderate who has long opposed conservatives in the Republican party.  Potter is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life; Maturen is pro-abortion.  Potter has significantly higher ratings from pro-gun groups (NRA and MCRGO) than Maturen does.  Potter would be a stronger supporter of limited government than Maturen.

Vic Potter deserves the support of conservatives in the 63rd state house district.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Phil Stinchcomb for State Representative

In the Republican primary for state representative in the 61st district, conservatives have a clear choice: Phil Stinchcomb.

The district is being vacated by Margaret O'Brien, who is running for state senate.  There are two Republican candidates: Phil Stinchcomb and Brandt Iden.  Both are Kalamazoo County Commissioners who were first elected in 2010.  However, they have different approaches to politics.

Phil Stinchcomb is a principled conservative who will vote for conservative values even when it isn't convenient.  His focus in office has been reforming the property tax system, including the way that home values are assessed.  This may not be the most glamorous issue, but it has a real impact on many homeowners.  In the process, he attracted the ire of many local government officials worried that fixing property tax assessments would threaten their budgets.

Similarly, Phil can be counted on to vote against Medicaid expansion, Common Core, gas tax increases, and corporate welfare, unlike many Republicans in Lansing.  This blog is not aware of Brandt Iden having taken positions on these issues.  Phil has higher ratings on gun rights from both the National Rifle Association and Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners.

None of this should imply that Brandt Iden is a bad guy.  But his short career in politics so far suggests that he would go along to get along, and support bad legislation if it would be politically convenient.  Iden also touts his endorsements from various business lobbies.  But while these groups support some good things, they also support all sorts of corporate welfare spending, subsidies, and tax loopholes.  Their support for Iden suggests that he is likely to do the same.

Phil Stinchcomb would be a consistent defender of the free market, right to life, gun rights, and family values.  Conservatives should give him their support on August 5.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Invading Vassar

The border crisis is coming to Michigan, as the government is shipping some of the invaders to the small town of Vassar in Tuscola County.

The current crisis on the southern border, involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, has now become a concern for Michiganders who live in a rural community with less than 3000 people.

Wolverine Human Services, a social services agency which typically helps needy Michigan children, is in the process of securing a contract and negotiating with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to bring between 60- 120 male illegal immigrants, between the ages of 12-17, to the small city of Vassar without any input from residents of the community.

Mattawan Divided

Julie Mack has a long article on the alleged divide in the Mattawan School District between Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

Mattawan quest for new schools is partly struggle between rural working-class and affluent suburbanites

It starts with the usual wailing about how much the district needs new buildings.
Yet while Mattawan is one of the region's most affluent school districts, it arguably has among the worst facilities -- particularly the drab, half-century-old elementary school complex on Murray Street, which serves almost 2,000 students in grades K-5. The buildings are routinely described as severely overcrowded and sorely outdated.

School supporters say such facilities are an embarrassment in a district known for its stellar academics and programs. Indeed, the school system is one of the biggest magnets drawing new residents into the area.
How is it possible that Mattawan has "stellar academics and programs" when its facilities are "severely overcrowded and sorely outdated"?  Has anyone considered the possibility that facilities don't make much difference in student outcomes?

So what is the divide?  The article notes that the Kalamazoo side is richer:
Currently, Kalamazoo County accounts for 60 percent of the district's voters, 69 percent of the district's tax base and is the residence of four of the seven school board members
And zero percent of the district's schools, curiously.

However, opposition to tax increases is stronger on the Van Buren side.
In the May 2011 election, the Van Buren and Kalamazoo precincts each had the same number of "no" votes -- 1,047. But there were 1,081 "yes" votes in Kalamazoo County, compared to 610 in Van Buren County.

In the November 2011 election, which had higher turnout, the bond proposal was defeated by 52 percent of the voters in Kalamazoo County and 59 percent in Van Buren.
So it is the richer people pushing for a tax increase and the poorer people resisting, which is the opposite of the usual class warfare narrative.

Here are a couple more statistics.  Julie Mack quotes three supporters of the millage and zero opponents.  Also, 100% of the authors of the article obviously support the millage.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Madison Project Michigan Endorsements (Round 1)

The Madison Project Michigan has just issued its first round of endorsements.

Our values are Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Limited Government, Defenders of Religious Freedom. We only endorse candidates who clearly demonstrate their conservatism. We evaluate every House and Senate race in Michigan, and our endorsements are only extended to key competitive races which have a strong conservative candidate with the ability to win.

The Madison Project Michigan PAC raises money for conservative candidates through our network of grassroots conservatives. We provide our members with campaign profiles of selected candidates, and contributions to the PAC are used to support those candidates.

Please DONATE to the Madison Project Michigan PAC to help us elect solid conservatives in Michigan.

ENDORSED CANDIDATES (more endorsements will follow soon):

Senate District 7 Patrick Colbeck, Republican - Canton              
Senator Patrick Colbeck is a leading conservative voice in the Michigan state senate.  He was first elected in 2010, defeating several more established politicians.  He immediately became a champion for Right to Work, building a coalition that eventually saw the bill passed and signed into law in 2012.  He also led the effort to stop Medicaid expansion in Michigan and has been a reliable vote for conservative causes.  He faces a primary challenge, but his main battle will be in the general election.  He is being targeted by democrats and unions, and his opponent will be democrat State rep. Dian Slavens.

House District 42 Lana Theis, Republican -  Brighton                LanaFrontPagePic.jpg
Lana Theis is Brighton Township Treasurer and former Chairwoman of the Livingston GOP.  She has been a leading advocate for conservative causes for many years, including limiting government's power to raise taxes.  She is solely endorsed by Michigan Right to Life.  She faces a primary that includes a liberal "Republican" who endorsed Obama and raising taxes.  The district is safely Republican.
House District 43 Jose Aliaga, Republican - Clarkston                 
Jose Aliaga is an Independence Township Trustee who is also a teacher.  He has advocated for conservative causes in both Independence Township and across the state.  He faces a competitive primary in a safely Republican district.

House District 44 Jim Runestad, Republican - Waterford         
Jim Runestad is an Oakland County Commissioner and small business owner.  He led the effort to mandate E-verify for county contractors, to ensure that these jobs go to American citizens.  He has also advocated for fiscal responsibility and civil liberties on the county commission.  He faces a competitive primary in this safely Republican district.

House District  47  Wendy Day, Republican - Howell                 
Wendy Day is a former Howell School Board Trustee who fought to bring transparency and fiscal accountability to the district.  She also ran the Tea Party group Common Sense in Government which helped to eliminate the illegal SEIU ripoff of home health care workers. She faces a competitive primary in this safely Republican district.  (Note that Phil Campbell is also an acceptable candidate in this race.)

House District 61 Phil Stinchcomb, Republican - Portage       
Phil Stinchcomb has been a Kalamazoo County Commissioner since 2010.  He is a sales representative selling steel to manufacturers.  He has been a leading advocate for property tax reform and fair valuation of housing.  He faces a competitive primary in this fairly Republican house district.  See Phil's Announcement Video here.

House District 71 Tom Barrett, Republican - Potterville               
Tom Barrett is a US Army veteran who has served three tours overseas, including one in Iraq.  He is a longtime conservative activist who has fought for many conservative causes and candidates across the state.  He is not opposed in the primary.  He is challenging liberal democrat State rep Theresa Abed in the general election in this highly competitive district.

House District 80 Cindy Gamrat, Republican - Plainwell            
Cindy Gamrat is a Registered Nurse and homeschool mom.  She is also the founder of the Plainwell Patriots TEA Party group. She has advocated for many conservative causes across the state.  Cindy faces a competitive primary in this safely Republican district.

House District  98  Gary Glenn, Republican - Midland               
Gary Glenn is a longtime conservative activist in Michigan.  He is President of the American Family Association of Michigan.  He was the author of the Michigan Marriage Amendment passed by public vote in 2004.  He was a leader of the Michigan Freedom to Work Coalition which helped to pass Michigan's Right to Work law in 2012.  He faces a competitive primary in this safely Republican district.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Mattawan v Taxpayers, Round Three

Mattawan School District is back for a third try at raising taxes.

Mattawan school board moves to put $75M-$80M in bond requests on November ballot
Proposal 1 would seek $59 to $62 million for new construction to replace Mattawan Early Elementary and Mattawan Later Elementary schools.

Proposal 2 would seek $16 to $18 million to build additions at the middle and high school, and upgrade building technology and security systems as well as the purchase of new school buses.

Proposal 1 would increase taxes by 2.4 to 2.7 mills, and Proposal 2 by 1.1 to 1.2 mills. On a home with a taxable value of $100,000 and a market value of $200,000, Proposal 1 would increase taxes by $240 to $270 and Proposal 2 by $110 to $120.
This is Mattawan's third try at a tax increase.
In May 2011, 55 percent of voters rejected a $88 million bond proposal that would have raised taxes by 3.88 mills and paid for construction of two new elementaries plus upgrades to the middle and high school.

Six months later, in November 2011, 55 percent of voters rejected a $60 million bond proposal to replace the two elementary schools.
Why are Mattawan's facilities 'overcrowded'?  Well, as of two years ago, Mattawan took in 469 students from outside the district.  Despite the supposedly terrible facilities, Mattawan is still considered to have 'good schools', since this is really a function of who the students are, not what the facilities are.

Yes means yes; no means try again.

Vote NO on the Mattawan Tax Hike
No Means Try Again
Mattawan Lies about Kindergarten Mandate
Mattawan Schools Enroll 469 Outside Students
Arlen Winther for Mattawan School Board

Vote YES on Proposal 1

The Detroit News explains proposal 1, which will appear on the August ballot.


Editorial: Vote yes on Prop 1

■Prop 1 would repeal Michigan’s Personal Property Tax, which is levied on business equipment.

■The Personal Property Tax, or PPT, is arcane and has been eliminated in all of our neighboring states. The fact that Michigan retains the tax makes it less competitive for jobs and investment.

■The PPT is a double tax that discourages businesses to add the equipment needed to create jobs. Employers must pay the sales tax on whatever they buy, and then pay the PPT every year the equipment is in use.

■Passing Prop 1 will not result in a tax increase for individuals.

■Tax revenue lost to local communities, which are the primary beneficiaries of the PPT, will be replaced by expiring business tax credits. There will also be a new special assessment on businesses to recoup some of the PPT dollars.

Alamo Recall is On

Alamo Supervisor Lou Conti and Trustee Dawn-Potter Williams will face a recall election is November.

Recall of Alamo Township supervisor, trustee headed to November ballot after petition signatures verified
The recall election will operate differently than in years past due to new laws instituted in 2012, according to Snow.

In prior years, a "yes or no" recall question accompanied by petition language would appear on the November ballot to determine whether or not a municipality supported the recall, according to Snow. If a recall was approved, then another election would be held to find a replacement for the remainder of the term.

Under the new law, Snow said, there will now be only one election. Democrats have until 5 p.m. July 7 to nominate an opponent to run against Conti and any other citizens seeking to run as nonaffiliated candidates must also file by that date. Snow said he has not received notification from the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party yet as to whether or not they plan to nominate a candidate.
Recall the Alamo?
Bad Idea

Saturday, June 14, 2014

New WMU Trustee

Jase Bolger's father has been appointed to the WMU Board of Trustees

James Bolger, father of House Speaker Jase Bolger, appointed to WMU Board of Trustees
James Bolger, a retired Michigan State Police official who lives in Whitehall, fills the seat vacated when Trustee Michelle Crumm resigned. Bolger will complete Crumm's eight-year term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2020.
Some people are upset that the appointee is Jase's father.  But he seems far more qualified than Crumm.  Recall:

Crumm's for Kalamazoo
Crumm said that she enjoyed her first tour of campus in the snowstorm.

"I didn't know a lot about Western and had never been to Kalamazoo," said Crumm, when she got the call about the appointment.

WMU graduates in Ann Arbor, where she lives, have been getting her up to speed, said Crumm, calling their "enthusiasm and passion" for the university infectious.
At least Bolger is (probably) a Republican, unlike Snyder's last few appointees.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Michigan Right to Life Endorsements

Michigan Right to Life has just issued its endorsements for the 2014 primary.  RTL swings a significant number of Michigan primary voters, so its endorsements will decide some races.

RTL will recommend all candidates if they are all pro-life, but if there is a serious non-pro-life candidate, they will pick one pro-life candidate to endorse.  Their noteworthy endorsements are listed below.

3. RTL endorsed Brian Ellis over Justin Amash.  They did not endorse Amash in 2012.  They apparently are still ticked over Amash not voting to defund Planned Parenthood (he opposed targeting a specific organization).  This may complicate Amash's reelection.
4. John Moolenaar.  Does this mean that self-funding businessman Paul Mitchell is not pro-life?  Tea partier Peter Konetchy is also running.
6. Fred Upton is again endorsed, despite his long pro-abortion record.
8. Both Mike Bishop and Tom McMillin
11. Kerry Bentivolio over Dave Trott

State Senate:
5. Democrat Shanelle Jackson in this Detroit-based VRA district
13. Four meet criteria (all but Al Gui)
17. Both Republican Dale Zorn and democrat Doug Spade
20. Margaret O'Brien over Ron Zuiderveen
28. Both Kevin Green and Peter MacGregor
31. Mike Green over Kevin Daley
37. Both Greg MacMaster and Wayne Schmidt

State House:
19. Both Cox and Crider meet criteria
30. No endorsement for Jeff Farrington
36. All meet criteria
38. Kathy Crawford over Dan Lauffer
42. Lana Thies.  Rich Perlberg is likely not pro-life.
43. All five meet criteria
44. Three meet criteria (all but Garlick)
45. All three meet criteria
47. Campbell, Day, Vaupell meet criteria
56. Jason Sheppard over Irma Kubiske
58. All seven meet criteria
59. John Bippus.  Who isn't pro-life in this  primary?
61. Stinchcomb and Iden both meet criteria.
62. Bizon and Kale both meet criteria.
63. Vic Potter over David Maturen, who is not pro-life.
65. Robert Sutherby.  Who isn't pro-life in this primary?
73. Six meet criteria (all but Downs)
76. All three meet criteria
80. All four meet criteria
82. All four meet criteria
84. Six meet criteria (all but Wassa)
90. All five meet criteria
91. All three meet criteria
95. Democrat Norman Braddock
98. Both Glenn and Ieuter meet criteria
104. Seven meet criteria (all but Hinton)
105. All three meet criteria
108. No endorsement for Ed McBroom

Monday, June 02, 2014

Lorence Wenke: DLTDHYOTWO

Lorence Wenke recently announced that he is leaving the Republican Party.

Citing GOP opposition to gay rights, state Senate candidate Lorence Wenke leaves Republican Party
KALAMAZOO, MI – Former state Rep. Lorence Wenke is leaving the Republican Party and will run for state Senate in November as a Libertarian.

In a statement dated April 25, the long-time Southwest Michigan Republican cited the party's "discrimination" against gay citizens and what he characterized as "taxpayer abuse," which he said has created "an elite class" of government employees, as the reasons behind his decision.
Let's look at Wenke's statement and see if it stands up to scrutiny.
I am leaving the Republican Party for two reasons:

1. The Republican Party leads the movement in Kalamazoo County, our state, and in our nation to discriminate against our gay family members, friends and neighbors.

I support the constitutional right of our gay family members to enjoy the same rights as our heterosexual family members.
They do.  Homosexuals have exactly the same rights as everyone else, including the right to marry on the same terms.  Nobody has the 'right' to marry someone of the same sex.
In 2004, I was one of two Republican legislators out of 63 to vote against the addition of the Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan’s Constitution. I was the only legislator to call it what it is - discrimination against our gay brothers and sisters. At that time, three local Republican legislators with gay brothers never said a word in support of gay rights. I challenge them with this question: “If you will not stand up for your own family members, who will you stand up for?”
The constituents who elected them?
Governor Snyder and Lt. Gov. Calley are not willing to publically take a position for or against gay rights. I can only assume it is because they fear the political consequences.

Republicans have encouraged many of our churches to support political efforts to discriminate against gays by condemning them for what they perceive as a sinful lifestyle choice.
Huh?  I'm pretty sure that the churches' position on marriage preceded that of the Republicans.
These same people often ignore the clear teachings of Jesus and Paul stating that remarriage after divorce is committing adultery. If the church required divorced members to live a celibate, single life, there would be fewer divorces and presumably marriage would be protected and valued.

As majority floor leader in 2004, Republican Representative Chris Ward helped ensure the placement of the Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot so that George W. Bush could be re-elected.
The marriage amendment was placed on the ballot by petition signatures, not the legislature.  The legislative vote didn't get the 2/3 needed.
Recently Mr. Ward wrote, “Looking back now, one of the things that bothers me the most about the whole episode was how dehumanizing it was. It was just politics. But it wasn’t politics. Those were people. We Republicans singled out a whole group of people, most of whom just wanted to be left alone, to forcefully discriminate against them for short-term political benefits. All around us were our friends, colleagues, family members, highly valued staff members and people we care about who this clearly was going to hurt. Nobody seemed to think a thing of it. My own particular purgatory is to be forever doomed to be on the wrong side of history.”
The marriage amendment maintained the status quo.  It defined marriage; it did not single anyone out.
2. The Republican Party has abused taxpayer financially for the benefit of government employees

Most government employees have become an elite class of workers in Kalamazoo County, our state and In our nation with compensation packages far exceeding the private sector. Although the statistics in support of this over-compensation are overwhelming, I will not go into detail except for one example.

The City of Kalamazoo and the County of Kalamazoo have very similar compensation plans for their employees. For decades, Kalamazoo city commissioners have been mostly Democrats and Kalamazoo County commissioners have been mostly Republicans with a few notable exceptions. Republicans John Vander Ploeg, Al Heilman and Mary Balkema were Kalamazoo city commissioners. They said almost nothing about the generous compensation of city employees.

Republican small business owner, John Vander Ploeg, former Republican Party chairman, Al Heilman, and current Kalamazoo County Treasurer, Mary Balkema talk about good government but they are silent because there is a price to pay in business and on Election Day for anyone who opposes generous benefits for so many.

Most city and county employees can retire with 75% of their last pay check for life, as well as health care that is nearly free. Recently, a city manager retired after 22 years of work with an annual pension of $110,000 for the rest of his life. An assistant retired with an annual pension of $87,000.
Wenke's concerns about public sector compensation are well-founded.  But what does he expect to be done about it?  As he notes, Republicans have not had more than one or two Kalamazoo city commissioners in decades.  So 'speaking out' about the issue wouldn't accomplish much.

As Wenke must surely know, the biggest factor responsible for over-generous public sector benefits is public sector unions.  Unions battle hard for these benefits, including trying to defeat or recall any politician who stands in their way.  For a long time, there wasn't much that could be done.  But since 2010, Republicans in Lansing have passed right to work, which limits the power of unions.  They have also passed a strengthened emergency manager law, which allows emergency managers to cancel union agreements when cities are on the verge of bankruptcy.  This encourages other cities to make more responsible agreements.

Maybe Republicans could have done more, but they have made real progress.  What else does Wenke expect them to do?

Republicans have made some progress on government employee benefits, and haven't changed (much) on marriage.  So why did Wenke really leave now?  Some Gazette commenters have a different theory.
Seems awfully convenient to pull this stunt on withdraw day. If he was so concerned with gay rights, he would have done this a month ago. To do this on Friday tells me that he knew he was getting no traction in the GOP primary (being in the race since last year). So Wenke decides the best course is to engage in Mutually Assured Destruction.

He can harp on his old refrains from six years ago, but this smacks of an act of petty self-centered desperation, not, as he would contend, principle.
I don't believe Mr. Wenke is leaving the Republican party because the majority of Republicans believe in "Traditional Marriage"; I do believe however, that Mr. Wenke is leaving the Republican party at this time because he knows he doesn't have a chance to win the State Senate race against Margaret O'Brien.

If Mr. Wenke were so concerned with the rights of American citizens, and was working to help American families, he wouldn't be so quick to support Amnesty for Illegal Aliens. During a discussion regarding a resolution to not give Illegal Aliens amnesty, Mr. Wenke said that Americans dont want to work, alluding that he must hire Illegals to get people to work in his businesses. I don't think Americans have issues working.

If Mr. Wenke wants to leave the Republican party because many Republicans believe in traditional marriage, and believe that American citizens and their families should come first, and be helped before those here illegally, then so be it.
It appears that Wenke finally realized that he wasn't going to win the Republican primary.   This blog has chronicled Wenke's terrible electoral record before.  Does he really thinks he can win as a libertarian, or just want to spite Republicans for not supporting him?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Michigan State House Races

Last updated July 29, 2014.

Cross-posted at The Western Right, Right 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 possibly 65 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).

There are a number of interesting primaries in August.  A bunch of Republican incumbents are being challenged due to their support of Medicaid expansion, Common Core, and the Detroit Bailout.  Most will win easily, but there is the potential for a few to be surprised (39, 79, 107).  The open seats feature more competitive primaries, many of which also feature establishment versus Tea Party battles.  Establishment candidates are receiving support from the Chamber of Commerce and Great Lakes Education Project.  More conservative candidates are receiving support from Americans for Prosperity and Madison Project Michigan.

State house fundraising is analyzed in the following article.
Michigan State House Fundraising

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 has six primary challengers, but his main competitor is 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
(Likely Cox) Laura Cox (E), a Wayne County Commissioner and wife of former Attorney General Mike Cox, is favored over Ken Crider to win this safe R seat.
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.  Three dems are competing in the 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
Dem Joseph Bogdan is seeking a rematch with Jeff Farrington, who beat him in 2012, but he has a primary with Bo Karpinsky first.
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
(Lean Grot) There is a bitter, expensive primary for this seat between Stan Grot (C), Shelby Township Clerk, and Macomb GOP official, and lawyer Peter Lucido, who has rarely voted in the past.
37. (OPEN-Vicki Barnett) [Farmington] 38-62, 40.3%, Safe D
38. (OPEN-Hugh Crawford) [Novi, Lyon] 59-41, 53.6%, Safe R
(Likely Crawford) Hugh Crawford's wife Kathy Crawford (E), who is also an Oakland County Commissioner, faces retired pastor Dan Lauffer (T).
39. (Klint Kesto) [W West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wixom] 53.3-46.7, 51.5%, Lean R
(Lean Kesto) Klint Kesto (E), the surprise primary winner in 2012, faces a serious primary challenge by Tea Party leader Deb O'Hagan (T).  Two dems are seeking to beat Kesto, who picked up this seat 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
(Likely Theis) Former Livingston GOP chairwoman Lana Theis (C), who is endorsed by Right to Life, appears to be the favorite in the GOP primary against three others, including fake Republican Rich Perlberg.
43. (OPEN-Gail Haines) [Waterford, Independence] 66-34, 54.8%, Safe R
(Tossup) Five Republicans are competing for the nomination, including Independence Township Trustee Jose Aliaga (C).
44. (OPEN-Eileen Kowall) [Springfield, White Lake, Highland, Milford] 63-33, 59.1%, Safe R
Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad (C) seems to be the favorite of both the Tea Party and establishment over moderate Liz Fessler Smith and two others.
45. (OPEN-Tom McMillin) [Rochester, S Oakland Twp] 56-44, 55.9%, Safe R
(Lean Webber) Michael Webber seems to be the favorite over Mark Avery here.
46. (Bradford Jacobsen) [NE Oakland] 64-36, 60.1%, Safe R
(Likely Jacobsen) Bradford Jacobsen is being challenged by John Reilly (C).
47. (OPEN-Cindy Denby) [N Livingston] 64-32, 62.5%, Safe R
(Tossup) This seems to be a three-way race between former school board member Wendy Day (T), Howell Mayor Phil Campbell (C), and township supervisor Henry Vaupel, who seems to be somewhat more moderate.
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 Irma Kubiske and Jason Sheppard (C) will compete to face dem Tom Redmond for the seat of Dale Zorn, who is running for state senate.  This is the most competitive open Republican seat.
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
(Tossup) There are seven candidates in this wide-open race, including county commissioner Brad Benzing and businessman Jeff Jacques.
59. (OPEN-Matt Lori) [St. Joseph, E Cass] 62-38, 54.7%, Safe R
(Lean Bippus) Road commissioner John Bippus (C), who is endorsed by Michigan Right to Life, is favored over superintendant Roger Rathburn, teacher Aaron Miller, and GOP activist Bob Sills.
60. (OPEN-Sean McCann) [Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Twp.] 26-74, 26.8%, Safe D
(Lean Buskirk) Three dems, Kalamazoo County Commissioner David Buskirk, an old-school union dem, gay progressive campaign strategist Jon Hoadley, and black Kalamazoo Township Trustee Patricia Goodacre, will compete for this safe dem seat.
61. (OPEN-Margaret O'Brien) [Portage, Oshtemo, Texas, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] 58-42, 49.1%, Safe R
(Tossup) Kalamazoo County commissioners Phil Stinchcomb (C) and Brandt Iden (E) are competing for this seat.
62. (OPEN-Kate Segal) [Battle Creek, Albion, N Calhoun] 42-58, 43.8%, Lean D
(Tossup) County commissioner Art Kale and doctor John Bizon, who has strong fundraising, are competing for the GOP nomination. (Lean Todd) County commissioner Terris Todd is probably the favorite for the dem nomination over two other candidates, though all three have weak fundraising.
63. (OPEN-Jase Bolger) [E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun] 50.9-49.1, 54.6%, Safe R
(Lean Potter) Republican Marshall school board president Vic Potter, who is endorsed by Right to Life, and moderate Kalamazoo County Commissioner David Maturen (E) will compete 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%, Lean R
(Tossup) Six Republicans, including Robert Sutherby, who is endorsed by Michigan Right to Life and Rep. Shirkey, will compete here.
66. (Aric Nesbitt) [Van Buren, Cooper, Alamo, Parchment] 59-41, 49.7%, Safe R
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 will face Iraq war veteran Tom Barrett (C) in this hotly contested seat.
72. (Ken Yonker) [Kentwood, Gaines, NE Allegan] 59-38, 56.3%, Safe R
(Likely Yonker) Rep. Yonker (E) is being challenged by retired veteran Gabe Hudson (T).
73. (OPEN-Peter MacGregor) [Grand Rapids Twp, Plainfield, NE Kent] 64-32, 60.9%, Safe R
(Lean Afendoulis) Grand Rapids Township Treasurer Chris Afendoulis seems to be the favorite over salesman Frank Pfaff (C) and five other candidates.
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
(Tossup) Keith Allard (C), former campaign manager for Justin Amash, is competing with Donijo DeJonge (E) to face 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
(Likely Pagel) Rep. Pagel (E) is being challenged by Jim Walker (T).
79. (Al Pscholka) [N Berrien] 52.8-45.7, 51.5%, Safe R
(Lean Pscholka) Moderate state rep. Al Pscholka (E) will face nurse Cindy Duran (T) in this hotly contested primary.
80. (OPEN-Bob Genetski) [Allegan] 62-38, 57.6%, Safe R
(Lean Gamrat) Tea Party leader Cindy Gamrat (T) will face 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
(Tossup) Todd Courser (T), who almost was elected MIGOP chairman in 2013, faces Jan Peabody (E) and two other Republican candidates.
83. (Paul Muxlow) [Sanilac, Port Huron] 56-44, 52.5%, Safe R
84. (OPEN-Terry Brown) [Tuscola, Huron] 38-53, 55.6%, Lean R
(Tossup) This is the best chance for Republicans to pick up a seat, and where the primary will make the most difference.  In 2012, dem former state rep Terry Brown (2006-2010, 2012-2014) won back his old seat.  He defeated Huron County drain commissioner Dan Grimshaw, who defeated ethically challenged incumbent Republican Kurt Damrow in the primary.  Brown is term-limited and running for state senate.  Damrow and Grimshaw are among seven Republicans seeking this seat, which is the most Republican seat held by a dem.
85. (Ben Glardon) [Shiawassee, W Saginaw] 54-40, 48.9%, Safe R
86. (Lisa Posthumus Lyons) [SE Kent, N Ionia] 70-30, 63%, Safe R
(Likely Lyons) Rep. Lyons (E) faces Angela Rigas (T).
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
(Likely Price) Rep. Price (E) faces Matt Wiedenhoeft (T).
90. (Joseph Haveman) [Holland] 100-0, 66.5%, Safe R
(Lean Garcia) Former Pete Hoekstra staffer Daniela Garcia (E) has Rep. Joe Haveman's support against Geoff Haveman (T), a distant relation, and two others.
91. (Collene Lamonte) [S, W Muskegon] 47.3-48.1, 48.5%, Tossup
(Safe Hughes) Former state rep. Holly Hughes, who was defeated by 0.8% by dem Colleen LaMonte in 2012, will seek a rematch.  She is safe against two minor candidates in the primary.
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
Pro-life dem Norman Braddock, a Saginaw city commissioner, will compete with progressive Vanessa Guerra.
96. (Charles Brunner) [Bay] 31-69, 45.3%, Safe D
97. (Joel Johnson) [Arenac, Gladwin, Clare, E Osceola] 62-38, 53.2%, Safe R
98. (OPEN-Jim Stamas) [C Midland, N Bay] 59-41, 56%, Safe R
(Lean Glenn) Gary Glenn (T), a conservative activist supporting Right to Work and traditional marriage, faces Karl Ieuter (E) in this expensive and hotly contested primary.
99. (Kevin Cotter) [Isabella, W Midland] 57-43, 48.1%, Safe R
100. (Jon Bumstead) [Newaygo, Oceana, Lake] 62-38, 55.5%, Safe R
101. (Ray Franz) [Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Mason] 51-49, 50.7%, Lean R
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
(Tossup) There are eight Republicans running in this wide-open primary.
105. (OPEN-Greg MacMaster) [Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency, Oscoda] 67-33, 58.5%, Safe R
(Lean Cole) Triston Cole, a farmer who was the runner-up four years ago, is the favorite over Tony Cutler.
106. (Peter Petallia) [E Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Alpena, Alcona, Iosco] 52.2-45.3, 53.6%, Lean R
Peter Pettalia, who was reelected by 7% in 2012, will seek a final term.  Three dems are competing to face him.
107. (Frank Foster) [Emmet, Mackinac, Chippewa, N Cheboygan] 58-42, 55.5%, Safe R
(Tossup)  Rep. Foster (E) faces a tough primary against Lee Chatfield (T), who has very strong fundraising, due to Foster's support of Medicaid expansion, Common Core, and gay rights.  This is probably the best chance for conservatives to defeat an incumbent Republican.
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.

Safe D: 44
Lean D: 4
Tossup: 2
Lean R: 10
Safe R: 50

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Injunction in Dordt v. Sebelius

US district court judge Mark Bennett has issued an injunction in the case Dordt v. Sebelius.  The federal government is attempting to force Dordt College, a Christian college northwestern Iowa and other Christian colleges to pay for types of birth control that can cause abortion.  This is despite the fact that the "Affordable Care Act" contains an exception for religious institutions.  The feds have interpreted that as covering only churches, and not religious colleges.

The injunction essentially delays the case until the Supreme Court rules on the Hobby Lobby case, in which a Christian business has similar objections to Obamacare.