Thursday, July 31, 2008

Can You Count on Larry DeShazor?

Examining the various surveys and newspaper articles surrounding a political campaign sometimes yields useful information. In particular, we continue to accumulate clues to answer the persistent question: What does Larry DeShazor stand for?

The 2008 campaign hasn't produced any remarks on the order of DeShazor's 2006 statement opposing making English the official language of Michigan "sends an unwelcoming message to foreign business". He also dismissed the role of moral values in public policy.

And on traditional family values, DeShazor said, "I think we need to leave that up to families. ... Leave that to professionals, counselors, parents."
There was also his equivocation on taxes.

Much of Wednesday's discussion centered around taxes and government spending. Vander Roest, Hoogendyk and Zondervan declared their opposition to any kind of tax increases, while DeShazor and Romero took a less simplistic approach.

"Sometimes you have to spend money to make money,'' said DeShazor, adding that investment in such areas as education and infrastructure could fuel economic growth.

Romero and DeShazor joined the others in calling for elimination of the state's Single Business Tax, but were the only two who said the state would need to find another revenue source to replace the $1.9 billion generated by the tax. "I believe the state cannot survive without that revenue,'' DeShazor said.
But DeShazor has answered a number of questions in ways that will make conservatives wonder where he stands. The legislature replaced the SBT with the MBT, which is now reviled by business as even worse than before.

The latest tax issue that O'Brien said needs reforming was itself intended to be a reform: the new Michigan Business Tax.

"This Michigan Business tax is an absolute nightmare,'' she said. "Part of that tax is a gross-receipts tax, which means every dime that flows in business, the tax is based on that. ... That's a really difficult issue for a lot of businesses.''


Part of that, he said, is fostering a climate where businesses are not overburdened by taxes. He, too, has qualms with the Michigan Business Tax and favors repealing the 22 percent surcharge associated with it.
Qualms? Does he favor the MBT or not?

From Gongwer ($), here's DeShazor on "gay marriage".

Ms. O'Brien said she opposes same-sex marriage, while Mr. DeShazor said that issue already has been decided by the constitutional amendment and attorney general's opinion on health care benefits for same-sex couples.
True, but does he oppose it?

Mr. DeShazor said the state's gun laws are fine the way they are, while Ms. O'Brien said every family has a right to protect themselves and she favors allowing more people to obtain a concealed weapons permit as long as they don't have a history of criminal activity or mental health issues.
So handgun licencing and registration are "fine"?

On the Reform Michigan Government Now! proposal, Ms. O'Brien said on the whole she opposes it because it amends too much of the Constitution at one time. She said she fears people will not get good representation under the initiative; she favors a part-time Legislature and decreasing legislative pay when it comes to government reforms.

Mr. DeShazor said he supports less government, but is interested to see what the courts rule on the ballot proposal.
Everyone who isn't a democrat hack opposes the RMGN proposal. Why doesn't DeShazor take a position? You certainly don't have to look hard for reasons to oppose it.

Then there is this on alternative energy from his Gazette survey.

Studies show wind power to be the best practical source of alternative energy in Michigan. Other viable alternative energy sources include fuel cells, geothermal and solar energy, all of which are environmentally friendly and will create jobs.
What studies? Alternative energy is inefficient and not a major source of energy. It won't create jobs if it doesn't work. Geothermal? Anyone notice any volcanoes or fault lines in Michigan?

From the League of Women Voters survey:

Partisan politics and special interests have a stranglehold on common sense at the capital. ... We cannot wait any longer for politicians in Lansing to come to their senses, but must move beyond the outworn ideologies of the extreme left and right.
Which special interests? Which outworn ideologies of the extreme right must we move beyond?

Every answer seems to raise more questions. Conservatives need a candidate we can count on in the 61st district.

DeShazor Campaign Manager Not Entirely Honest
The Larry DeShazor Record
Jack Hoogendyk for State Rep.
Larry DeShazor

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DeShazor Campaign Manager Not Entirely Honest

Challenger takes on 10-year incumbent in Van Buren County Board of Commissioners District 4 Republican primary

"The 4th District, which I would represent if I won, is like a void between Berrien County and Kalamazoo County,'' Walls said. "It does not have a voice.''

Freestone, Walls said, spends half the year in Florida. Freestone declined to comment about the amount of time he spends in Florida.

County issues "come out all year round and we need a county commissioner that can represent the 4th District all year round. And we don't have that,'' Walls said.

Challenger says statement about incumbent wrong

PAW PAW -- A challenger out to unseat an incumbent member of the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 5 Republican primary election has backtracked from his claim that the incumbent spends six months a year in Florida.

Jef Walls, of Hartford, said his original statement was incorrect but the five meetings that Commissioner Richard Freestone, of Bangor, missed earlier this year accounted for 20 percent of the board's annual meeting schedule.


Walls, the owner of a Republican consulting firm, served on the Hartford City Commission during the summer of 2006 and is currently a member of the Hartford Planning Commission.

Negative campaigning, misleading information

If you have received one of these flyers or any information about the 61st district race that you find suspicious please report this information and your address to so we can provide your information to the appropriate authorities. *** Jef Walls Campaign Manager, Team DeShazor

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This update focuses on the family. Government courts and feminist ideologues threaten the family. The "gay rights" movement threaten religious freedom and military readiness. A California Supreme Court ruling has threatened marriage nationwide. California will vote in November whether to protect marriage.

Gregory Hession: Restraining Orders Out of Control
Elaine Donnelly: PM Polemic for Gays in the Military
Phyllis Schlafly: Should Parents or the 'Village' Raise Children?
Gregory Hession: Whose Children Are They, Anyway?
WorldNetDaily: Government to pastor: Renounce your faith!
Ross Kamisky: Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Signs Transgender Bill

Don Devine: Why Not Multiple Wives?
Gary Bauer: The Aftershocks of Gay Marriage
Maggie Gallagher: Prop. 22 Can Save Traditional Marriage in California
Don Devine: Legal Lawlessness

For more on the family, see Focus on the Family.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Campaign Fundraising News

UPDATE: Correction regarding David Yardley's finance report below.

Candidates across Michigan have turned in their pre-primary campaign finance reports. These show how much each candidate has raised, who donated, and how much they have spent.

Readers can find the reports for themselves at the Secretary of State's campaign finance website.

News reports often focus on the total a candidate raised. This can be misleading if it is used as measure of support, since a large chunk of the money raised by many candidates is given or loaned by themselves. Candidates can also spend money on their own campaigns as "in kind" contributions, which is reported in a different section of the report. The Gazette article below failed to account for these contributions.

DeShazor outspends O'Brien 2 to 1

In the 61st district state house race, Margaret O'Brien raised about $26,000, including $7000 of her own money. Larry DeShazor raised about $27,000, including $4300 of his own money. DeShazor's donors include many moderates and liberals, including Ronda Stryker, William Johnston, Ed Sackley, Don Gilmer, and Betty Ongley. While DeShazor did outspend O'Brien 2:1, she still has about $7000 in the bank, while he has only about $2000.

DeShazor also has a debt of $600 to Lorence Wenke for truck rental dating back to the 2006 campaign. Is he ever going to pay it?

Then there is the strange case of David Yardley, the third candidate in the race. Yardley gave a $30,000 loan to himself. His only other itemized contributions came from family members who live in his house. [Correction: Yardley had about $1700 in unitemized contributions, which appear to have been incorrectly categorized by his campaign as itemized, resulting in their being overlooked here initially.] He then spent $23,000, all of it going to "Yardley's Campaign Solutions", which is owned by David Yardley. Yardley has no known literature, one known yard sign, and has shown no other signs of spending money. What's going on?

In the 8th district judicial race, Bill Murphy raised about $29,000, Jeffrey Gagie about $21,000, Sondra Nowak, $15,000; and Julie Phillips, $11,210. All except Murphy mostly gave their own money. Murphy gave about $14,000 of his own money.

Dirty Tricks, But Whose?

On Thursday, a flyer was distributed all across the 61st State House district. The flyer was targeted to people who had yard signs for Margaret O'Brien. The flyer purported to be from Larry DeShazor, an opponent of Margaret.

Flier offers political supporters $100 to swap candidate yard signs

The flyer stated that "There is no place in Government for the George W. Bush/Jack Hoogendyk style of ultraconservatism my two opponents represent." It claims that only DeShazor can "earn the support of Democrats in the November election." It offers people $100 to take down a Margaret sign and put up a DeShazor sign, and lists DeShazor's phone number and email.

DeShazor has denied having anything to do with the flyer. He says "We believe these flyers to be coming from special interest that realizes their time is coming to an end." Which special interest?

There isn't any obvious beneficiary of this flyer. It makes Margaret supporters angry. It might generate some sympathy for Larry if he is perceived to be a victim. It might divide Republicans somewhat. Neither of the last two possibilities are likely to be very significant or long-lasting.

The flyer was distributed to quite a few local Republican activists all over the 61st district, so either someone was out all night, or there was more than one car distributing it.

DeShazor was involved in a bizarre incident in 2006 when he accused his opponent of breaking into his house. (The police investigated and found the charges to be baseless.)

Local Election News

Lots of news in the run-up to the August 5 primary.

DeShazor outspends O'Brien 2 to 1

Baldwin outspending Moore

Flier offers political supporters $100 to swap candidate yard signs

Family-values group targets Allegan County judge with ties to homosexual groups

Comstock voters to decide fate of township trustee

Ex-Kalamazoo County chairman seeks comeback in Barry County

Businessman challenges new register of deeds

Two vie for Texas Township supervisor post
Experience versus change to face off

Mugabe and MSU

Michigan State University is considering revoking the honorary degree they gave to dictator Robert Mugabe. He is currently committing genocide in Zimbabwe, as well as destroying the currency through hyperinflation. Revoking his degree has been a cause of some conservative students at MSU for a while.


Will MSU revoke Mugabe's degree?

When Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrived at Capital City Airport in the fall of 1990, he was greeted by a crowd of flag-waving well-wishers.

He had come to speak at Michigan State University and to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

As that degree was conferred, former MSU President John DiBiaggio said of Mugabe, "He is a man who stands here on this stage before us, but he is also a man, I can tell you, who stands with us."

It's likely that none of MSU's leaders would speak those words today.

A one-time liberation leader, Mugabe is widely viewed as a tyrant, his country locked in the grip of skyrocketing inflation, a man-made famine, an economy on the brink of collapse.

And MSU officials are now considering whether the university should strip Mugabe of the degree it once bestowed.


Read it all.

Part Time Union?

WMU part time instructors are considering forming a union. They are complaining about not having 'job security'. But the whole point of having part-time instructors is to be flexible, as the number of classes varies from semester to semester. You can bet this union will end up costing students and taxpayers more money.


WMU part-time instructors may form union

KALAMAZOO -- Part-time instructors at Western Michigan University may have union representation if an organizing effort is successful.

Janet Heller, who has taught part-time at WMU for 10 years, said she and several colleagues have been meeting since March to discuss forming a union.

While no specific event inspired movement this year, Heller said several long-standing concerns prompted their desire for collective bargaining with the administration.

"We have no job security. We have no academic freedom. We have no health insurance,'' said Heller, who teaches English and women's studies.

Each school year, WMU employs more than 400 part-time instructors in various disciplines across the university. They teach no more than nine credit hours per semester and are hired on a semester-by-semester basis.

Higher Tuition Again

The Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition 9.2%. Engler appointee Dan Pero voted no. Universities continue to bleed students and taxpayers.


WMU raises tuition 9.2 percent in $313.6M budget

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University undergraduates who take classes on campus will pay 9.2 percent more for tuition and required fees this fall, the Board of Trustees decided in a 6-2 vote at its meeting Friday.

Trustees also adopted a $313.6 million budget for 2008-09, which includes a projected 1.25 percent increase in its student population.

With the updated tuition plan, a full-time freshman or sophomore who is a Michigan resident must pay $7,928 in tuition and required fees for the 2008-09 school year.

The school year will cost juniors and seniors who are state residents $8,686.

Comparatively, WMU lowerclassmen who were Michigan residents shelled out $7,260 for tuition and fees last year, while juniors and seniors paid $7,950.

Open Carry in Hastings

Marching with guns in Hastings

HASTINGS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Dozens of people banded together in Hastings Thursday night to walk the streets with guns in plain sight.

Upwards of 50 people walked up and down the streets of downtown Hastings, most of them carrying holstered pistols.

They say it's to celebrate and exercise their God-given right to keep and bear arms, which is also guaranteed in the second amendment.

There were plenty of people who turned up for the event to watch the spectacle.

Despite some objections, Hastings Police decided not to intervene in anyway because it is legal in Michigan to carry a holstered side arm in public, without a permit, as long as it's visible and the owner obtained the gun legally.

Organizers of the march say that such actions are only illegal in six states. They say they didn't perform this march to cram their rights down peoples throats or to frighten anyone, in fact they hope it had the opposite effect.

Skip Coryell, one of the march organizers said of marchers that "we just want people to know this is not something they should be afraid of, we want to put them at ease around guns. There is this stigma that guns equal crime and gun owners equal criminals, and that's just not true."

Not everyone in Hastings agreed. Some people believe the march was just a political stunt, and one shop owner was heard to remark that the march was about as welcome as the plague.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Julie Phillips for 8th District Judge

There is an open judicial seat in Kalamazoo County due to the retirement of Judge Quinn Benson. There are four candidates running for the seat. They are Jeffrey Gagie, Bill Murphy, Sondra Nowak, and Julie Phillips.

Judicial races are different because they are non-partisan and candidates aren't allowed to talk about issues. All four candidates tout their experience on their websites.

Some information can be gleaned from examining endorsements. Gagie and Murphy both list the endorsements of several moderate Republicans on their websites. Nowak does not list any endorsements on her site. Julie Phillips has the endorsement of conservative Republican Mary Balkema.

Right to Life found that Phillips and Murphy meet their criteria, while the other two do not.

One troubling aspect of Murphy's campaign is his placement of several large signs in the city of Kalamazoo contrary to city ordinance.

A question about whether his 4-feet-by-8-feet signs are allowed under a Kalamazoo city ordinance is being researched, Murphy said. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled municipalities may limit sign size, but it must be enforced across the board. Murphy contends there are many signs, as large or larger, in town that have not been challenged.
Murphy's attitude toward the signage law is troubling for someone running for a job to enforce the law.

Based on endorsements and experience, the best candidate is Julie Phillips. Conservatives should support her election.

See Julie's website:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carl Levin's Tax Distraction

Here's an interesting libertarian article about what Senator Carl Levin has been up to.

The Economic Show Trials Begin


Last week, during a brief digression in the ongoing efforts to socialize the losses suffered by the super-rich kleptocrats at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Congress conducted an authentic Orwellian hate-fest directed at "super-rich" people who had earned their money through legitimate enterprise.


The target of Comrade Levin's show trial was the reported $1.5 trillion cached by wealthy Americans in offshore accounts, including those in Liechtenstein, Switzerland's UBS, and elsewhere. Those banks, Levin complained, had employed "tricks" that made it "impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to follow the money, bring tax cheats to justice, and bring back into the US treasury the tens of billions of dollars owed to Uncle Sam."


And, if I can be permitted a brief digression, Levin's statement that the money should be brought "back to the US treasury" in order to pay "the tens of billions of dollars owed to Uncle Sam" is a Marxist lie sandwiched between two crusty slices of chutzpah.


Levin is a nearly ideal representative of the parasite class. His mind, or what passes for it, is entirely hostage to collectivist assumptions. Just as a dog cannot discern colors, Levin can't see anything amiss in extending official protection to a foreign criminal (Kieber was convicted of fraud in Liechtenstein) so he can testify against those who have done no injury to persons or property, or in treating foreign bank officers as if they were under Washington's jurisdiction by demanding that they testify before his committee.

The Rumors Are True!

More truth came out recently about the Reform Michigan Government Now (RMGN) proposal. The Mackinaw Center discovered a PowerPoint presentation on the United Auto Workers (UAW) website.

The presentation confirms what we knew all along. The proposal is a sham designed to help democrats. It uses a few popular proposals to shield its true purpose.

The democrats did a bunch a research to confirm what should have been clear from the beginning.

The proposal has a massive budget. The revelation of the PowerPoint rockets the UAW to the top of the list of suspected financial backers.

RMGN is unlikely to make the ballot. It isn't yet known whether it got enough signatures. The ballot language contains serious flaws like referencing a provision of the constitution that doesn't exist and being impossible to summarize in 100 words. The Chamber of Commerce is filing suit against it.

Meanwhile, RMGN spokesliar Diane Byrum just keeps doing her thing. She claims that voters show massive support for the proposal in a new poll.

Really? So after having all 18 pages read to them, voters love RMGN? I don't think so. Peter Luke managed to write an entire column about the poll without ever asking the obvious question: How was the question worded?

Chances are, it was something like: Do you want to reform Michigan government?

One way or another, RMGN is going down. Let's all take some time to savor its demise.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


This update focuses on energy. The President and democrats in Congress are fighting over offshore drilling. The government continues to block domestic energy production. The global warming myth is collapsing.

Mitch McConnell: Time for a Serious, Balanced Approach to the Price of Gas
Robert Novak: Oil Paranoia
Ann Coulter: This is Not a Drill
Terry Easton: Oil at $300
Chris Horner: Chicken Little and the North Pole Icecap
Walter Williams: Scapegoating Speculators
Steven Yates: Gas Prices: Why So High?
Christopher Adamo: Czech Gore Challenge
Mac Johnson: Obama’s Alternative (Energy) Reality
Ann Coulter: You Can't Fuel All of the People All of the Time
Chris Horner: Climate of Fear: Seize the Offensive on 'Global Warming'
Walter Williams: Futures Markets

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Dan on Energy

Dan at Who Knew? has some good posts on energy, including this one:

And the discussion is on!

Check them out.

Another Small Step Forward

The process for buying a handgun will be simplified following a bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Granholm. From Monroe News:


Pistol rules signed into law

Revisions to post-purchase pistol registration requirements have been signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Sponsored by state Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, the new law gives pistol owners the option of mailing the registration within 10 days after the pistol was purchased or hand delivering it.

"The new registration process will be simpler and more convenient for law-abiding gun owners," said Sen. Richardville in a press release. "I heard from several residents in my district who felt the previous registration requirements were burdensome and redundant. Although inspections were required, many times the pistols were not even inspected."

Previously, the law required the owner to take the pistol to a local law enforcement officer for an inspection and turn in a different registration form.

The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, National Rifle Association, Shooters Alliance for Firearm Rights and Great Lakes Shooting Sports Association support the law.


The requirements of licencing and registration still need to be eliminated.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Liberal Fascism

Liberal Fascism is a new book by Jonah Goldberg, a writer for National Review.

Goldberg examines the concept of fascism. Fascism is an ideology of a unified third way merger of left and right, a "pragmatic" program, the cult of the leader, and the overturning of traditional morality, capitalism, and traditional religion. Properly understood, it is clearly an ideology of the left, not the right.

This was widely understood at the time when Mussolini came to power. He was widely revered by America's liberals of the day. Fascism was only seen as being on the right due to communist propaganda during and after World War II.

Hitler was also a "man of the left", an atheist who hated traditional religion, a socialist who hated free market capitalism, a vegetarian, environmentalist, animal rights supporter, "health Nazi", pro-abortionist, gun-banner, and statist. Even Hitler had American liberal admirers before the war.

Goldberg shows that the American progressive movement was an American version of fascism. It was racist, eugenicist, nationalistic, imperialist, socialist, and hostile to tradition. It was fascism with American characteristics.

Goldberg recounts the tyranny of Woodrow Wilson's war socialism, complete with jailing political opponents by the thousands. FDR enacted similar policies, including economic policies copied from Italian fascism. He also suppressed political dissent.

In perhaps the most valuable chapter of the book, Goldberg shows that the eugenics movement was a project of the progressive left. It was hailed as the progress of science, and opponents were accused of opposing science, just like opponents of abortion and embryonic stem-cell research are today. Eugenics was opposed by traditional conservative, including the Catholic Church. This is a great answer to liberals who attack religion as harmful and laud "science".

Fascist economics can be called state capitalism, or corporatism, which is defined by "public-private partnerships" between government and big business that benefit both at the expense of small business and consumers. But this is exactly what liberals today support when they demand licencing schemes and restrictive regulations that hurt small businesses more than big ones.

The later chapters of the book are somewhat weaker. Goldberg discusses "liberal fascism", which he defines as a milder, nicer version of the same fascist phenomenon. He discusses JFK, the 1960's, and Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village and politics of meaning in this context.

There are two serious flaws in the book, which consume only a few pages. The first is criticism of Senator Joe McCarthy, which is entirely based on the conventional wisdom, without any documentation. The truth about McCarthy can be found in the book Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans.

The second flaw is a gratuitous attack on Pat Buchanan, which seems to be part of the contract for National Review writers.

Despite these flaws, Liberal Fascism is a very interesting book with lots of good information on liberal icons, the progressive movement, and fascism.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Economic Facts and Fallacies

Economic Facts and Fallacies is the latest book by Thomas Sowell. Like all of Sowell's work, it is a solid piece of work.

The title is somewhat misleading. A book that was strictly focused on economic fallacies would parallel a standard introductory economics book. Instead of explaining the truth, it would state and debunk fallacies about the various topics.

This book is different. It does not mention such common fallacies as "price gouging". Instead, it focuses on six types of "facts and fallacies": urban, male/female, academic, income, racial, and third world. It extensively debunks liberal notions on these subjects.

The book amounts to a thorough destruction of egalitarianism. The fact is that races, sexes, nations, urban and rural dwellers, workers, and students are not the same. There is no reason to expect them to be the same. When results between different groups are not the same, egalitarians blame discrimination. While this can happen in particular cases, Sowell provides the facts to show that it cannot explain group differences.

Sowell's book is an interesting and profitable read.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


This update focuses on the United Nations. The UN continues to promote world government.

Arthur Robinson: The Science of the UN
Oliver North: UN-Believable
Thomas Kilgannon: Renovating the Great Hall of American Hatred
Thomas Kilgannon: The Nanny State Goes Global
Thomas Kilgannon: Globalist Governator

More information:
Get US Out of the UN
Eagle Forum: United Nations

Friday, July 11, 2008

Local Election News

Local news stories about elections.

K-Township supervisor job draws three GOP hopefuls
(Those are not flattering pictures.)

Voters to choose two District Court candidates

Cooper Township supervisor Sorensen faces challenge from first-time candidate in GOP primary

Greg Moore, Susan Baldwin and I head to court

Incumbent candidates for St. Joseph County drain commissioner and register of deeds face challengers in August primary

Constitutional Convention? No!

Dennis Lennox has an article on RightMichigan advocating a constitutional convention in Michigan. This is a terrible idea.

What would such a convention accomplish? Lennox lists two things. One is his pet project, the constitutional clean-up. A previous post in this space demonstrated that nothing in the clean-up is necessary, and some of the items would constitute surrenders to judicial activists, who have ruled some parts of Michigan's constitution (federally) unconstitutional.

The other cause he advocates is lengthening or repealing term limits. But a constitutional convention is unnecessary to do this. The legislature could vote on a term limits amendment any time it wants to. Or there could be a petition drive for a ballot initiative. There are plenty of moneyed special interests and self-serving politicians who would like to repeal term limits. The reason that they haven't done so is that, rightly or wrongly, term limits are still popular with Michigan voters.

But if we have a constitutional convention, wise people can get together and act for the common good to improve Michigan's constitution, right? This is the fool's view of democracy. Democracy is really special interests and coalitions of voters fighting for power. Clout matters more than truth in determining results.

Could Michigan's constitution be improved? Sure. It this the likely result of a constitutional convention? No.

In reality, the same liberal special interests that have been trying to hijack Michigan's constitution for years would seize the chance to turn a constitutional convention to their own advantage. Elections to the convention would be unregulated, and delegates would be accountable to no one, creating a situation ripe for special interest meddling.

In 2002, a coalition of medical groups tried to write funding for themselves into the state constitution. They failed. In 2006, the MEA tried to write funding for itself into the constitution. It also failed. Now, through the RMGN proposal, the democrats are trying to rewrite the constitution to seize the courts and rig the rules to their own advantage.

Then there was the Citizens for Michigan, a bipartisan group of liberal democrats and liberal Republicans, mostly washed up former politicians who advocated a 2010 convention to implement a grab-bag of anti-reforms, including "to raise taxes, make it easier to raise taxes, eliminate ballot initiatives, eliminate election of Supreme Court Justices, eliminate election of education boards, lengthen term limits, increase politicians salaries automatically, and make it harder to recall politicians". Their website has since been deleted.

These folks will be sure to show up to any constitutional convention. Such a convention could threaten provisions of the constitution that the liberal establishment hates, from the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, to the marriage amendment, to the Headlee amendment, to the right to keep and bear arms provision.

Constitutional conventions are very dangerous, at both the federal level and the state level. Just say no to con-cons.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How Carl Levin Helped Hike Gas Prices

With the nation struggling under record-high gas prices, Americans are demanding answers. Who is responsible for these prices? There is plenty of blame to go around, but a share of the blame must fall on Michigan's senior senator, Carl Levin.

Levin has consistently promoted bad energy policies and opposed good ones.

Levin has promoted government meddling in the energy sector, increased government regulations, ineffective 'alternative energy', and poverty-increasing 'conservation'. He supported the 2007 energy bill which included a bundle of bad regulations, including banning traditional light bulbs. 'Alternative energy' is inefficient and ineffective, and only exists due to government spending of taxpayer money.

Levin supported CAFE fuel economy standards that lead to thousands of additional car crash deaths per year. This is because mandating higher gas mileages forces people into lighter cars. They are less safe, and lead to more traffic fatalities. CAFE standards also hurt Michigan's already struggling auto industry, and lead to more Michigan job losses.

Levin has been a leader in promoting conspiracy theories of oil company price manipulation. Investigations have repeatedly debunked these claims.

Levin also voted for higher gas taxes. The so-called 'windfall profits tax' would have reduced the profit motive, thus discouraging energy production and increasing gas prices.

Levin supported cloture on the Lieberman-Warner bill to raise taxes via a 'cap-and-trade' system to fight the supposed threat of global warming. He said that he would have voted against final passage, however.

Meanwhile, Levin was opposing increasing energy production, the only policy that can really reduce energy prices.

Levin has repeatedly opposed new drilling for oil in Alaska. Drilling in a tiny portion on ANWR could produce millions of barrels of American oil, lowering gas prices and creating jobs. This would not hurt the environment at all. But time after time, year after year, Carl Levin opposed drilling for oil in Alaska.

Anyone who wants lower gas prices should help to remove Carl Levin from office.

On the Issues: Carl Levin on Energy & Oil
Core Principles: Carl Levin: We Can't Drill Our Way Out

On the Ballot?

The deadline has passed for ballot propositions in Michigan.

The embryonic stem cell research petition turned in 570,000 signatures, making it very likely that it will be on the ballot in November.

The "Reform Michigan Government Now" petition turned in about 490,000 signatures. They need 380,000 valid signatures, so it is unclear whether they will have enough. There will be plenty of groups looking to challenge this petition, and if it has enough signatures, there will certainly be a lawsuit based on the language. Don't expect to see this on the ballot in November.

Saul Anuzius: The unconstitutional amendment

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Politics News

More revelations about the RMGN proposal. Many democrat legislators were left out of the loop.
Michigan Democrats express concern about government reform proposal
Ballot signatures to spark battle

Three jockey for GOP nomination in bid to replace Hoogendyk

Part of that, he [Larry DeShazor] said, is fostering a climate where businesses are not overburdened by taxes. He, too, has qualms with the Michigan Business Tax and favors repealing the 22 percent surcharge associated with it.

Octogenarians square off for rematch of '06

Every now and then you find an article full of little gems.

Thompson, admittedly one of the most eccentric members of the current board of commissioners, has had a few health issues in recent years, including a stroke, and back and eye surgeries. But he said he is not slowing down.

"I want to make a mark on this community,'' Thompson said. "Plus, I need the money.''
Open 59th District seat draws 4 hopefuls

Candidates push transparency

Saturday, July 05, 2008

POLITICAL UPDATE--North American Union

This update focuses on North American Union. As Americans celebrate Independence Day, many elites are working to merge independent nations. Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty to further merge Europe into the European Union. A part of the NAFTA superhighway system has been canceled. The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) has been renamed.

Susan Easton: The Mouse That Roared
Dennis Behreandt: Transatlantic Two-Step
Brenda Walker: U.K’s Gordon Brown: Preaching One Worldism In U.S., Fighting Patriots At Home
Phyllis Schlafly: The Many Sides of Globalism
Ron Paul: A Major Victory for Texas
WorldNetDaily: Texas Corridor detour: Officials nix land grab
Jerome Corsi: 'North American Parliament' under way
James Edwards: Patent Bill Should Die
Jerome Corsi: Bush opens SPP summit
Jerome Corsi: Makeover urged for 'North American Union' effort

North American Union: Eagle Forum Stop the NAU Stop SPP
Trans-Texas Corridor: Corridor Watch

Friday, July 04, 2008

Senator No

Jesse Helms today joined Thomas Jefferson and John Adams amongst American statesmen who died on the Fourth of July.

Helms was a lion of conservatism. He was a staunch anti-communist when the establishment favored weak-kneed detente. He was a lifelong opponent of the world-government wannabes in the United Nations. He fought against threats against American sovereignty from the Panama Canal Treaty to the Law of the Sea Treaty. He fought for the conservative positions on issues from abortion to guns to judges to immigration. He was a conservative before conservatism was popular (rhetorically, at least) in the Republican Party.

Helms played a key role in helping Ronald Reagan to become President. He helped Reagan win North Carolina in 1976, turning a struggling campaign into a near-winner, keeping Reagan viable for 1980.

In his thirty years in the Senate, Helms always stayed true to his principles, infuriating liberals who dubbed him Senator No for blocking their agenda.

He also made this great ad illustrating the evils of racial preferences, which has enraged liberals ever since.

Right to Life Endorsements

Michigan Right to Life has made endorsements for the August 5 primary election. The information is available on their website, but it only gives information for the districts that a voter resides in.

Some races of local interest:

In state house districts 58, 59, and 61, all announced Republican candidates meet their criteria.

In district 62, neither Republican candidate was endorsed.

In district 78 (Southern Berrien County), Sharon Tyler was endorsed, meaning that one of the other Republicans is not pro-life.

In district 88, all viable candidates meet their criteria, meaning everyone except William Galligan, who is not pro-life.

For 8th district judge (Kalamazoo County), Julie Phillips and William Murphy (and not the other two candidates) meet the criteria.

For Kalamazoo County Commission district 12 (Oshtemo), both candidates meet the criteria.

For more information, see the 2008 Election Preview, which is updated as necessary.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Truth Comes Out

Some of it, anyways.

The Free Press has a very revealing article about the Reform Michigan petition drive.

A spokeswoman for Reform Michigan Government Now!, an organization whose origins and finances are shadowy, said Tuesday she believes enough voter signatures will be collected -- at least 380,000 are required -- by Monday's deadline to get on the November ballot.
In other words, they don't have enough signatures yet.

Not that we didn't already know, but we now have confirmation that the "reform" proposal is a sham to benefit democrats.

A Democratic Party insider, who requested anonymity, said Democratic strategists have been working on the ballot plan for about a year, with the goal of improving their chances of controlling the Legislature.

Democrats have grown increasingly frustrated that state legislative districts are drawn to benefit Republicans, even though Michigan has voted Democratic in presidential elections for two decades.

The party insider said focus groups were organized to gauge voter interest in various reform ideas. They indicated that to win approval of a new redistricting mechanism, a ballot proposal had to be dressed up with changes that might excite voters, such as shrinking the Legislature and cutting lawmakers' salaries and benefits.
The article also addresses the question of whether democrat legislators are on board with the idea.

State Rep. Dale Sheltrown, D-West Branch, believes some Democratic officials aren't satisfied with the kind of Democrats elected to the House.

"I think it's the result of disappointment by those on the political left, who thought they could take over the House (in 2006) and everything would be fine," Sheltrown said. "But to do that, they had to elect moderate Democrats like me, who don't always vote with the party.

"If you draw districts up so it's more equal, not only would Democrats have a better chance of taking over the Legislature, but they'd have Democrats closer to the kind they want."
The article also addresses redistricting.

The government reform campaign would take redistricting out of the Legislature and put it into the hands of a new, bipartisan commission. The nine-member panel would have four members chosen by each party and the eight partisans would then choose a chair, who would be nonpartisan.
This redistricting plan would totally disenfranchise independents and third party supporters, who would have no role in the process.

The funders of the petition drive remain mysterious, but we can safely assume that it's people close to the democratic party.

We also know who the mystery Republican supporting the petition drive is.

Committee organization documents name Harland Nye of Hastings as the treasurer of Reform Michigan Government Now!


Nye, an 80-year-old retired high school band director and life-long Republican, said he's a member of a group of activists in Hastings who frequently talk about public policy.
Can anyone actually verify that he is a Republican? Apparently, having a single random self-identified "Republican" supporter is all it takes to make a proposal bipartisan.

If Republicans are smart, they will file a hundred different legal challenges to the language of the petition and get it thrown out in court. That would be ironic.

Free Speech Versus Sexism

The controversy over Western's sexism policy isn't over yet.

The conservative free-speech group FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) wrote a letter to President Dunn demanding that the policy be changed. This was reported in the June 23 edition of the Herald (not online).

This controversy previously surfaced under President Haenicke, who pledged to change the policy. Apparently, the administration has held up the change.

The policy says that

Sexism is defined as the perception and treatment of any person, not as an individual, but as a member of a category based on sex. Whether expressed in overt or subtle form such as sex-related jokes or materials, sexism in the classroom or workplace is unacceptable at the University and its elimination shall be the responsibility of the entire University community.
This policy clearly violates the right to free speech. It must be eliminated.

Previous: A victory for free speech

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Walberg vs. Schauer

John Gizzi's Races of the Week profiles the Walberg v. Schauer race. (One error: Kalamazoo is not in the 7th district.)


Michigan’s 7th District
Walberg vs. Schauer

Freshman Rep. Tim Walberg belongs to the exclusive fraternity of members of Congress who got there by unseating an incumbent of their own party. Two years ago, then-Rep. Joe Schwarz had irked many of his fellow Republicans in Michigan 7th District (Battle Creek-Kalamazoo) with his overall moderate voting record (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 59%). Stalwart conservative Walberg, minister and former state legislator, hit this hard. Uniting both cultural and economic conservatives, Walberg defeated Schwarz for renomination by 53% to 47%.

The blood-letting from that Walberg-Schwarz primary two years ago has never really healed. Coupled with the fact that the 7th District has become a large bedroom community for Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, that the election of a Republican to Congress in the fall is no longer a slam dunk.

At 57, Tim Walberg has never trimmed his conservative sails, so it is no surprise that his opponent is about the most fearsome “800-pound gorilla” that Democrats and Big Labor could find: Mark Schauer, minority leader of the state senate.

“And you just name the issue and we disagree on it — any issue,” says Walberg. Walberg proudly opposed any tax increases or new taxes and has been leading the charge among House Republicans to make permanent the tax cuts of ’01 and ’03. And Schauer? In Walberg’s words, “My opponent has come up with creative ways for government to get more of our money. He supported [in the state senate] a bill to put a 20-cent per gallon tax on bottled water!”

While Schauer follows the lead of Barack Obama in opposing drilling offshore and in the Arctic Natural Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), Walberg backs both. Moreover, the Michigan man has been a key “mover and shaker” behind the “No More Excuses” legislation, which lays down a variety of proposals and guidelines for a more productive U.S. energy policy for a generation. So far, Walberg has collected 149 signatures out of a needed 218 on a discharge petition to get “No More Excuses” out of committee.

Along with offering creative conservative legislation to deal with pressing issues, Walberg is unabashedly pro-life. Schauer follows his party’s national platform on the issue and is strongly pro-abortion.

So Tim Walberg once again faces a stiff fight and the battle lines are drawn clearly. His fellow conservatives need to realize that when someone is forthright with his issue stands, the opposition is always going to be well-funded and hard-hitting — and that’s why Tim Walberg so badly needs their help.

Walberg for Congress, 317 West Washington Ave., Jackson, Mich. 49201; 517-962-4913;

Dumb Laws in Michigan

Via the Club for Growth, it shouldn't be any surprise that Michigan's economy is in trouble.


Dumbs Laws in Michigan

Andrew Roth

The good folks at the MacKinac Center for Public Policy sent me dozens of dumb bills that were recently proposed in the Michigan Legislature. A special thanks to MacKinac's Ken Braun and Jack McHugh.

Here are a few that caught my eye:

SB 68 (introduced by Sen. Tupac Hunter) would authorize manicurist training. As MacKinac's Michigan Votes website explains, "Under current law, licensure is required for schools that teach cosmetology and electrology, but there is no separate category for the teaching of fingernail clipping."

SB 920 (introduced by Sen. John Gleason) would revise current law "in such a way" that would prevent Wal-Mart from using its own bank to process credit card transactions.

SB 906 (introduced by Sen. Mark Jansen) would ban the disposal of corrugated cardboard in a landfill.

SB 1194 (introduced by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer) would authorize the state fire marshall to ban the ownership of novelty lighters.

HB 4314 (introduced by Rep. Gino Polidori) that would "require any water bottled in Michigan for sale at market to have a label stating that the water is from Michigan and showing a small map outline of the state."

And here is my favorite one:

HB 5885 (introduced by Rep. Edward Gaffney) would "exempt individuals age 62 or older from the “driver responsibility fees” (“bad driver fees”) that are assessed for various violations."

According to his office website, Gaffney was 64 years old when he introduced this bill.