Sunday, January 31, 2010


This update focuses on government. Government continues to bungle airport security, bankrupt America, and more.

Ed Hiserodt: How "Obamanomics" Is Bankrupting You
William Hoar: Govt Spends Money Like Monopoly Money
Becky Akers: Green Government
Bob Adelman: U.S. Debt Level Unsustainable, Report Says
Thomas Eddlem: The Coming Small Business Revolution on Politics after Citizens United v. FEC
Joe Wolverton: RAND Corporation Calls for a Domestic Stability Police Force
Steve Sailer: “No Smoking Gun”? What About Detroit Bomber’s Profile?
Mark Steyn: The Joke’s on Us
Ann Coulter: Ivana Trump Escorted Off Plane: Napolitano Declares 'The System Worked'

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

What Happened on Flight 253?

Passenger Kurt Haskell is continuing to investigate what really happened on the flight that was almost bombed by the Nigerian terrorist with explosives in his underwear.


His theory makes the most sense of any put forth so far.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cox Still Leads

Mike Cox leads the Republican race for Governor, and polls the best against likely democrat candidates.

Poll: Cox leading race for governor

Via RM: Latest Polls. Mike Cox leads all

When EPIC/MRA has you up by a good margin, it's good news. They usually have a democrat leaning to them.The Free Press has the news story on it

Here's the numbers.

Dem Primary:
38% - Undecided
23% - Denise Ilitch (undeclared)
9% - Gary Peters (not running)
8% - Andy Dillon
6% - Bart Stupak (out), Dan Kildee, Virg Bernero
2% - Bob Bowman, Tony Early (Who?)

GOP Primary
32% - Mike Cox
25% - Pete Hoekstra
22% - Undecided
16% - Mike Bouchard
3% - Rick Snyder
2% - Tom George

Not a lot of changes on the GOP side. It seems to be a Cox vs Hoekstra race with Bouchard a solid 3rd.

Hoekstra v Ilitch
42% - Hoekstra
35% - Ilitch

Cox v Ilitch
48% - Cox
30% - Ilitch

Dillon v Cox
47% - Cox
30% - Dillon

Dillon v Hoekstra
40% - Hoekstra
32% - Dillon

Bernero v Cox
50% - Cox
28% - Bernero

Bernero v Hoekstra
45% - Hoekstra
27% - Bernero

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Governor hopefuls debate wide-ranging issues
WMU launches Eco-thon to reduce use of electricity
Appeals court revives federal lawsuit against Comstock
Vetting committee backs arena proposal; After studying data, chairman calls project 'doable'
Dana Corp. says it will consolidate heavy-vehicle operations from Kalamazoo; affecting 150 jobs
K-Wings show interest in playing hockey at proposed arena in downtown Kalamazoo
Upton staffer seeks state House seat
K-College a perennial power in recycling: WMU also part of Recyclemania campus competition
John J. Wheeler named dean of WMU's education college
Transit study calls for more KVCC service, changes to Portage routes
Texas Township struggles with road funding
WSA discusses emergency announcement system
Secretary of State candidate Benson to speak to WMU College Democrats
WSA allocates January funding for RSO activities
US immigration to be topic of campus forum
First Kalamazoo Promise student graduates

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Margaret Will Run

Portage's O'Brien to make official her bid for state House

PORTAGE — Portage City Councilwoman Margaret O’Brien is making it official — she will run in August’s Republican primary for the 61st District State House seat.

O’Brien told the Kalamazoo Gazette in November that there was a good chance she’d run as a Republican for the seat now held by Larry DeShazor. She planned to make the formal announcement at an event in Portage this afternoon.

O’Brien, 36, a Realtor with RE/MAX Advantage, lost a close primary election in 2008 to DeShazor, who now plans to run for the 20th District state Senate.

“I have been approached by numerous community leaders and encouraged to run again for the 61st District House seat,” O’Brien said.

She said her campaign emphasis will be tax reform, common-sense spending and creating a new climate for Michigan business growth and job creation.

“Chaos, poor policy and budget woes are coming out of Lansing every day,” she said. “It is time to put the residents and businesses in our state first.”

O’Brien was first elected to the Portage City Council in 2003 and was re-elected in 2007. She is graduate of Mattawan High School, has a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from Michigan State University and is a graduate of the Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellow and Michigan in Excellence Public Service Series.

Forum for Immigration Criminals

US immigration to be topic of campus forum

A forum discussing immigration issues as well as the struggles and barriers in changing certain immigration policies will be held Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in room 159 of the Bernhard Center. The Immigration Forum is organized by the Michigan Organizing Project (MOP) and the baccalaureate student social work organization of Western Michigan University, Eta Eta Sigma.
Illegal Immigrants are Criminals.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This update focuses on health care. The election of Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts has thrown a wrench into the machine of the attempt to take over America's health care. But Obama and his supporters haven't given up yet.

Phyllis Schlafly: The Marriage Penalty in Health Care
Ron Paul: Healthcare Reform is a Lump of Coal
Joe Wolverton: Historic Christmas Eve Vote Marks Passage of Senate Healthcare Bill
Mark Steyn: Cross the River, Burn the Bridge
Andrew Napolitano: What Is a Right?
William Hoar: Infected Bill of Health

See also: Sick in America with John Stossel

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Rally targets health plan: State Republicans seek support against Democratic health-care legislation
Fetzer Center hosts Town Hall meeting
Tea Party coming to campus

WMU to look at Kmart building: University wants new location for archives now in historic East Hall
E-mail from Dunn to faculty, staff on expenditure reductions
Local attorneys inform students of their rights

Muslim group is 'positive presence' in East Side neighborhood
Local group pushes again to liberalize marijuana laws in Kalamazoo
Bank robbery in heart of downtown is Kalamazoo's ninth in a year
Secretary of State candidate Paul Scott campaigns against changes on ID for transgender individuals
Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Southwest Michigan First donate $25,000 for further study of downtown arena
Which of your representatives are trying to be more 'social'?
Changes at Kalamazoo County Jail pave way for expansion
Charter delays cable shutoff at two apartment complexes in Kalamazoo

Hayworth versus McCain

Former congressman J. D. Hayworth, a conservative advocate of stricter immigration enforcement, is set to challenge Senator John McCain for renomination in the Republican primary in Arizona.

McCain has been on pretty good behavior for the past year. It isn't clear whether this is due to anger at the rejection of the moderates he had courted over his career, preparation for this primary, or just a fluke.

Voters looking to refresh their memories on his record can see here:
John McCain
Articles on John McCain

See also Michelle Malkin on who McCain's PAC is supporting:
Conservatives: Beware of McCain Regression Syndrome

Recent polls have shown McCain leading, but Hayworth with over 30%, which is pretty good at this point.

Whitmer Out

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer of Lansing, the presumptive democrat nominee for Attorney General, unexpectedly dropped out of the race the day after Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts. She explained that she wants to spend more time with her family, which is why she's running for reelection.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Year Later

Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts is the perfect end to Obama's first year in office. This is a massive rejection of Obama and the democrats in Washington. The fact that it's Ted Kennedy's seat makes it all the better.

Over the past year, Obama has taken over several banks and car manufacturers, as well as increasing control over mortgage lenders. He has spent the past few months trying to take control of the nation's health care system.

When voters have gotten a chance to weigh in on this unprecedented assault on the Constitution and the free market, they said no. Democrats suffered a huge defeat in November, and they didn't listen. But they're not going to be able to ignore this.

One year ago, this blog called for impeaching Obama. Today, we repeat that call. Impeach Obama!

Impeach the rest of his comrades too.

Just for Fun

Walberg Leads

Excerpts from an email from Tim Walberg's campaign.


Tim Walberg Leads Mark Schauer 46% to 37%
Against Other Republican Candidate, Schauer Leads 39% to 31%

Tipton, MI- Recent polling demonstrates that Freshman Democrat Congressman Mark Schauer is very vulnerable to defeat, as Republican Challenger Tim Walberg leads him 46% to 37% in the head to head ballot, and when “leaners” are included, Tim Walberg leads 50% to 40%. Mark Schauer does, however, lead Republican candidate Brian Rooney 39% to 31%. Below and attached is the Polling Memo from Adam Geller of National Research Inc. National Research Inc. is a national political and corporate polling firm, whose client list includes Governor Chris Christie, members of Congress and State Legislatures, the NRCC, NRSC and RGA.

“Mark Schauer has been on a spending spree and destroying jobs. Voters want a proven, principled conservative who will watch over their tax dollars and work to grow our economy,” said Tim Walberg.


Republican challenger Tim Walberg is over-performing the generic and is handily defeating Mark Schauer in the ballot test. Tim Walberg is currently beating Schauer in the ballot 46%-37%. When “leaners” are included, Tim’s lead expands to 50%-40%. Some of this is a function of Tim’s personal appeal; against Republican Brian Rooney, Schauer leads, 39%-31%.


I hope Schauer didn't buy a house in Washington.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Republican Michigander District Updates

Republican Michigander has been updating the numbers for his congressional district profiles, with data on state legislative districts thrown in. There's lots of got information there. Check it out.

Congressional District 1 (Updated)
Congressional District 2 (Updated)
Congressional District 3 (Updated)
Congressional District 4 (Updated)
Congressional District 5 (Updated)
Congressional District 6 (Updated)
Congressional District 7 (Updated)

More Concealed Carry

The Free Press reports an increase in concealed carry permits.


Fear fuels demand for gun permits

Advocates, others fired up over the economy, politics

The number of Michiganders licensed to carry concealed weapons has reached 220,422 -- nearly 10 years after the state liberalized its permit law and following a record number of CCW applicants in the 12 months from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.

More than 92,000 of those with permits live in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

In the 12-month period, 73,000 applied for permits and 66,446 were approved, according to newly released Michigan State Police records. That's nearly double the number from the previous 12 months, an increase largely due to permit renewals by people who got their CCW permits soon after the law took effect.

Still, nearly 1 in 35 Michigan adults is licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Northside intersections slated for $644,000 worth of improvements
KPS considers $62M bond request for May ballot
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport terminal taking shape
Larry DeShazor formally announces Senate candidacy

WMU a leader in carbon capture research
Two in running for Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business
Western Michigan University waiting on state funding to renovate or rebuild Sangren Hall
Construction set for Sangren Hall this year
Med School begins to take form

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Health Care Town Hall

The local Tea Party group will host a forum on health care.

Conservatives to push views on health care at town-hall forum

KALAMAZOO — A health-care townhall meeting on Tuesday will push for citizen action on stalled state legislation that is designed to allow Michigan to sidestep expected federal health-care mandates.

U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, who is running for governor, is expected to call for voters to pressure state lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment before state voters in November.
Hoekstra, who voted against the House version of the health-care bill, will be among panelists appearing at Western Michigan University’s Fetzer Center for the 6:30 p.m. public forum.

The event is sponsored by Southwest Michigan Tea Party Patriots and Citizens for Common Sense in Government and will be moderated by former state Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, R-Texas Township.

Tuesday, January 19, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Fetzer Center Auditorium
Western Michigan Universitymap

Congressman Peter Hoekstra
Attorney General Mike Cox
State Senator Wayne Kuipers
Ken Braun, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Wendy Day, Common Sense in Government

Learn about three important Resolutions that have been introduced in Lansing to declare your right to Independent Medical Care.
Hosted by:Southwest Michigan Tea Party Patriots
Citizens for Common Sense in Government
Moderated by Jack Hoogendyk, Americans for Prosperity

Margaret on Home Schooling

Margaret O'Brien takes down a Gazette editorial attacking home schooling.

Viewpoint: Don't blame home schooling for what happened to Calista Springer

Larry Runs for Senate

Larry DeShazor has officially announced that he will run for the state senate. There isn't too much noteworthy in his announcement.

Larry DeShazor formally announces Senate candidacy

Margaret O'Brien is likely to run for the 61st state house district.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Government's Business Boondoggles

If You Build It, They Won’t Come (or Stay)
By Mr. Michael D. LaFaive Dec. 4, 2009

In 2002, the Michigan Privatization Report dedicated an entire issue to dismantling the state's economic development complex — the myriad programs designed to create jobs where central planners think too few exist. One of the articles, "If You Build It, They Won't Come," critiqued a government effort to create a shopping plaza anchored by a grocery store in the Northside neighborhood of Kalamazoo. Northside's experience shows that a business won't stay just because government builds it.

The grocery store project was well-funded: The Michigan Economic Development Corp. — the state's official "jobs" department — promised $1 million; the federal government contributed $300,000; and the city of Kalamazoo dedicated $200,000 to the project.

After more than three years of planning and delays, the grocery store finally opened and was met with great fanfare. Indeed, public interviews and comments suggested that the deal had panned out nicely and was bringing much-needed direct and indirect jobs to the neighborhood. The new grocery store and plaza even got positive coverage in the Congressional Quarterly, a popular periodical read by members of the U.S. Congress and other "movers and shakers."

But a funny thing happened on the way to economic nirvana. Despite generous subsidies, the grocery store closed in May of this year, less than six years after opening.

The tale of this economic "winner" is really one of government economic development work in the Great Lakes State. It involves the redistribution of tax money in the name of jobs; government officials' false belief that they can increase total jobs in specific geographic areas; and a disregard for past experience and evidence.

In the first MPR article on the Kalamazoo grocery store project, we argued that:

Three previous attempts by private vendors risking their own money had already failed at this precise location. Why would the fourth time — with taxpayer dollars — be the charm?
The neighborhood in question had high crime rates, and thus it was difficult to attract shoppers, let alone service-providing vendors.

Moreover, throughout Michigan Privatization Report and other Mackinac Center work, analysts have pointed out that taxing some to give to others does not create new jobs, but at best just shifts them around.

The grocery store's operations may have ceased, but government efforts have not. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that the Northside Association of Community Development would like another grocer to take over the building. In June 2009, the Kalamazoo City Commission allocated $250,000 of federal stimulus funds to help "resurrect a grocery store in the city's Northside neighborhood," according to The Gazette. The first $50,000 is slated for maintenance on the empty grocery store.

One has to wonder how many of these development initiatives need to fail before officials at all levels of government get the picture. Even if AutoWorld's inglorious implosion — both figurative and literal — wasn't enough to dissuade policymakers from such gambits, examples of failure abound. A quick summary shows this folly:

Some $35 million in local, state and federal funds was invested in AutoWorld, a seven-acre theme park in downtown Flint. The park, which opened in 1984, was supposed to draw 900,000 visitors annually and revive the beleaguered city. It closed after only two years.

Construction of Cereal City USA in downtown Battle Creek, was made possible by a $900,000 loan the city secured from the state. The attraction, which opened in 1998, was billed as "a land of wonderful, interactive experiences and entertainment for the entire family, as they explore the birth, development and global impact of the cereal industry." Officials estimated that the park would draw 400,000 visitors annually, but it was shuttered in January 2007 after years of dismal attendance.

The Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum secured a $3 million state grant to launch construction of an aviation theme park. The attraction was touted as "a centerpiece for economic development and tourism in southwestern Michigan," and local officials hoped that the state would finance half of the $80 million construction cost. A 25 percent hike in the local hotel tax also was considered. Ultimately, the grant money was returned to the state after the project was scaled back for lack of support.

The city of Pontiac invested $55.7 million to build the Silverdome in 1975. The Detroit Lions relocated to Detroit's Ford Field in 2002. Although the team paid the city $26 million for breaking its contract, Pontiac continues to incur a hefty deficit in maintaining the 127-acre site.
A better economic development approach would be for local units of government to make sure their public services are effective and efficient and then roll back the costs of living, working and investing in the community. The likely result would be a far stronger economic base, and one that can easily induce grocers to open stores without targeted subsidies or other incentives.

Michael D. LaFaive is fiscal policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.


Side note: Thanks go to the Kalamazoo Area Taxpayers Association, especially Ray Wilson, for helping to stop the aviation theme park boondoggle.


This update focuses on the economy. Job losses are mounting, along with government spending and debt. The government has made the economy worse.

Phyllis Schlafly: The Causes of Unemployment
Ron Paul: Keynesianism Delivers a Decade of Zero
Bob Adelmann: Ponzi Schemes and Social Security
Bob Adelmann: The Economy: Cheerleaders vs. Reality
Phyllis Schlafly: Who Has the Solution for Unemployment?
Don Devine: Why Are Stocks Up?
Thomas Sowell: Solving Whose Problem?

See also:
Gary North series: What is Money?
The Recession Reader
The Bailout Reader

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Springport village president makes mark with fire in air
Race is on to replace Pete Hoekstra in Congress
$1 property completes Western Michigan University's 100-acre campus
Kalamazoo Valley Community College gets $550,000 for wind-turbine program
Kalamazoo city charter could get fresh look: Suggestion made to again review elections, other rules
Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn is back at work after suffering a heart attack
David Buskirk, Deb Buchholtz keep leadership roles with Kalamazoo County Board
Gov. Jennifer Granholm signs Colony Farm Orchard bill, allowing WMU to expand business park
Kalamazo County Jail would get 1,000 beds under a long-term plan
City of Kalamazoo approves cash-strapped 2010 budget
Is spanking children OK? Calvin College professor's research shows adults who remember being spanked are more well-adjusted
WKZO radio host Lori Moore diagnosed with breast cancer

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The New Case Against Immigration

The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal
by Mark Krikorian

Several excellent books have been written about immigration in recent years. The latest is The New Case Against Immigration by Mark Krikorian, president of the Center for Immigration Studies and contributor to National Review.

Krikorian covers a lot of familiar ground, discussing American sovereignty, national security, economic effects of immigration, government spending, and population issues. While such issues are certainly not new, Krikorian's case is extensively documented and well argued.

What makes his book distinctive is the overall theme. He argues that immigration is incompatible with modern society. America has advanced in all sorts of ways, while the primary sources of our immigration have not. This exacerbates the difficulties of immigration, and makes assimilation less likely.

Second, as the subtitle indicates, Krikorian takes on the line taken by some Republican politicians that 'illegal immigration is bad, legal immigration is good'. Krikorian shows that the same sorts of problems caused by illegal immigration are also caused by legal immigration. Some, such as welfare, are even worse for legals.

Krikorian gently takes issue with the line taken by other immigration resitrictionists such as Pat Buchanan and Peter Brimelow that the problems caused by immigration are to a significant extent caused by racial conflicts. It should be noted that there is nothing to logically prevent both from being true.

Krikorian's book seems to be written to swing suburban voters who may not have firm positions on immigration. This may make it less enjoyable for conservatives, as he spends some time on issues like sprawl and environmental issues. In contrast, books by Buchanan and Brimelow are written to movement conservatives and working class voters. But Krikorian's focus is understandable, and if his book gets to his target audience, it may persuade many.

State of Emergency
Immigration books abound

Cherry Out

There's big news in the race for Governor. The presumptive frontrunner on the democrat side, Lieutenant Governor John Cherry, has dropped out of the race. Cherry cited a supposed inability to raise money, but it's much more likely that the slew of polls showing him unelectable caused him to bow out.

With Cherry gone, the democrats face a wide open primary. Speaker Andy Dillon may run, but could face trouble with unions and pro-abortion democrats. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero recently got into the race, and a pack of second-string candidates is already running. Candidates who had not previously considered the race may jump in.

It isn't clear how much better a divisive primary will be for the democrats than a Cherry candidacy.

The Betrayal of Kalamazoo College

Like many private colleges, Kalamazoo College was founded by a Christian denomination for the glory of God. And like many private colleges, it was gradually torn away from its foundations and has become just another college overrun by leftists.

Legislation would allow K-College to discontinue Baptist requirement

K College was founded by Baptists, and so not surprisingly its charter required that its board have a certain proportion of Baptists. But as it turned away from its mission, this proportion was gradually reduced to today's 15%. Since this violated its charter, it required approval from the state legislature.

Now, legislation has been introduced in Lansing to complete the leftist takeover of K College. It would completely eliminate the Baptist ties to K College.

Who supports this legislation?

K-College alumna, Rep. Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek, introduced House Bill 5650, which is co-sponsored by several local lawmakers, including Rep. Robert Jones, D-Kalamazoo, and Rep. Larry DeShazor, R-Portage.

Monday, January 04, 2010

2010 Election Preview

The filing deadline for the 2010 elections has passed. Michigan's top constitutional offices, congressional seats, and the entire state legislature will be up for election next November.

2010 Unofficial Primary Candidate Listing

Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm is term-limited. She is fairly unpopular due to the state of Michigan's economy on her watch. Both parties will pick nominees in primaries in August. Republicans have a good chance of picking up this seat.

On the democrat side, Lieutenant Governor John Cherry was seen as the clear favorite, but dropped out due to the widespread perception that he could not win the general election. The candidates are state house speaker Andy Dillon of Redford and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Dillon is nominally pro-life and is seen as somewhat pro-business. Bernero is seen as more pro-union and 'progressive'.

The Republicans in the race are Attorney General Mike Cox, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Second district Congressman Pete Hoekstra, State Senator Tom George of Kalamazoo County, and businessman Rick Snyder. See this post for a more detailed analysis of the candidates and their positions: The Race for Governor.

Of all the candidates, only Cox has signed a pledge not to increase taxes, while the others have refused to do so.

See also:
The Race for Governor
Republican Michigander Endorses Mike Cox
Mike Cox Runs for Governor
George for Governor?
Rick Snyder's Ten Platitudes

Attorney General
Current Republican Attorney General Mike Cox is term limited and is running for governor. Both parties will nominate candidates at conventions in August. Democrats have endorsed Genessee County Prosecutor David Leyton to be their nominee. He won a close battle with trial lawyer David Bernstien.

There are two candidates on the Republican side. There are former Michigan Court of Appeals Judge, state senator, and congressman Bill Scheutte from the Midland area, and state senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop from northeastern Oakland County. Both Scheute and Bishop are generally considered conservative.

Secretary of State
Current Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is term limited. After flirting with a run for governor, she instead endorsed Mike Bouchard, and is running with him for lieutenant governor. WSU professor Jocelyn Bensen has been endorsed for the democrat nomination.

There are five Republican candidates seeking nomination at the state convention in August. They are state senator Cameron Brown from St. Joseph County, state senator Michelle McManus from the northwestern lower peninsula, Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson, and Calhoun County Clerk Anne Norlander, and state rep. Paul Scott from southern Genesse County.

Most of the candidates appear fairly conservative and reasonably close on the issues. Scott, who is 27, is also running for reelection as state representative, and has the support of the Yob faction of the state party.

Michigan Supreme Court
There are two seats up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. They are those of conservative Republican Robert Young and renegade moderate Republican Elizabeth Weaver. Young is running for reelection. It isn't clear whether Weaver will run for reelection and if so, whether it will be as a Republican. Weaver has been bitterly hostile to the conservatives on the court. Weaver is currently the swing vote on the court between three conservatives and three liberal democrats, after conservative Cliff Taylor was defeated in 2008. Several other Republican candidates are running. It isn't clear yet who the democrats will nominate.

Other Statewide Offices
One or two seats on the state Board of Education and boards of trustees of U of M, MSU, and WSU will be up for election. Andrew Richner is running for reelection to the U of M Board. Incumbent Don Nugent, Mitch Lyons, and Brian Breslin are running for the MSU board. It isn't clear yet who else will run for these seats. Democrats have swept these elections in 2006 and 2008.

Michigan Congressional Seats
Democrats picked up two Michigan congressional districts in 2008. These will be highly contested seats in 2010. Long-time incumbents Bart Stupak, Pete Hoekstra, and Vern Ehlers are retiring. Most other seats will be safe for the incumbent party. Several other districts may see competitive primaries.

1st District (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Toss-up.
Democrat Bart Stupak announced his retirement shortly after voting for Obamacare. While Stupak held this seat for 18 years, it is politically competitive and has been won by Republicans in the past. The democrat nominee will be state rep. Gary McDowell, who is nominally pro-life and pro-gun, after democrats forced all the other candidates (Joel Sheltrown, Connie Saltonstall, Matt Gillard) out of the race. There are six Republican candidates. They are State Senator Jason Allen, Doctor Dan Benishek, Patrick Donlon, Ron Paul supporter Linda Goldthorpe, frequent candidate Don Hooper, and Tea Party member Tom Stallings. Allen has represented much of the district in the state senate but only recently moved into it. He and Benishek are the most likely Republican candidates.

2nd District (Holland/Muskegon) Safe Republican.
Republican Pete Hoekstra is giving up this seat to run for Governor. This seat is safely Republican, probably the most heavily Republican in Michigan. Seven Republicans are seeking the nomination. They are state senator Wayne Kuipers, former state rep. Bill Huizinga, businessman Bill Cooper, former NFL player and Family Research Council official Jay Riemersma, Chris Larson, Field Reichardt, and Tea Party member Ted Schendel. The first four are the most competitive. All four are generally considered conservative, and there aren't many known issue differences between them. Democrats will choose between Fred Johnson and Nicolette McClure.

3rd District (Kent County) Safe Republican.
Republican moderate Vern Ehlers is retiring. Five Republicans are seeking to replace him. They are conservative state rep. and Tea Party favorite Justin Amash, state senator Bill Hardiman, former Kent County Commissioner Steve Heacock, Louise Johnson, and Bob Overbeek. Democrats will choose between Paul Mayhue and Pat Miles.

6th District (Kalamazoo/St. Joseph) Safe Republican.
Moderate Republican Fred Upton is running for a 13th term. He is being challenged by staunch conservative former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk, who has support from local Tea Party groups. The democrat candidate will be Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney, who lost to Upton in 2008 by over 20%.

7th District (Battle Creek/Jackson) Toss-up.
Democrat Mark Schauer very narrowly defeated Republican Congressman Tim Walberg 49-46 in a hard-fought and bitter race in 2008. In 2009, Republicans picked up the senate seat that Schauer vacated by a landslide 61-34 margin. Now Walberg is seeking to reclaim his seat. He is the clear favorite for the Republican nomination, though he will face Iraq veteran Brian Rooney and Marvin Carlson in the primary. Schauer has compiled a highly liberal voting record in Washington, supporting socialized medicine, cap-and-trade, the Obama stimulus plan, and more.

9th District (eastern Oakland County) Leans Democrat.
Democrat Gary Peters won this seat by defeating Republican Joe Knollenberg by a wide margin. Four Republican candidates are seeking the nomination. They are former Oakland County GOP chairman Paul Welday, former state rep. Rocky Rachowski, Anna Janek, and Richard Kuhn.

12th District (Warren, Southfield) Safe Democrat.
Longtime Congressman Sander Levin is being challenged by state senator Michael Switalski. There do not appear to be major issue differences between the two.

13th District (eastern Detroit) Safe Democrat.
Democrat Carolyn Kilpatrick won a three-way primary with less than a majority in 2008 after her son, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sent to prison. She is being challenged by five other democrats, including state senator Hansen Clarke and pastor Glen Plummer.

Michigan Senate
All 38 seats in the Michigan state senate are up for election, and 29 have no incumbent due to term limits. Republicans succently hold a 22-16 advantage after winning a 2009 special election to replace Mark Schauer. Democrats will likely target Republican-held seats in Kalamazoo County, Grand Rapids, the northeastern lower peninsula, Muskegon County, and western Wayne County. Republicans will target democrat-held seats in southern Genessee County, the Thumb, central Macomb county, and Livonia.

Michigan Senate Races

20th District
This district includes all of Kalamazoo County and a small part of VanBuren county. Republican Senator Tom George is leaving due to term limits. There are contested races on both sides. On the democrat side, state Rep. Robert Jones of Kalamazoo is the clear favorite. He faces law professor Robert Totten. Both are liberals.

On the Republican side, there are three candidates. They are former state rep. Lorence Wenke, who represented about 55,000 people in the 21st district on the east side of Kalamazoo county 2002-2008, state rep. Tonya Schuitmaker, who has represented about 30,000 people in the 21st district in VanBuren County since 2004, and state rep. Larry DeShazor, who has represented about 90,000 people on the west side of Kalamazoo county since 2008. All three are moderate to conservative. Wenke is a major 'gay rights' supporter who has voted for some tax increases, while Schuitmaker and DeShazor both oppose making English the official language of Michigan and voted to ban smoking in restaurants and bars.

The state senate seats surrounding Kalamazoo County are safely Republican. Mike Nofs should easily hold the 19th district [Calhoun, Jackson Counties] while the seats vacated by Cameron Brown [St. Joseph, Branch, Hillsdale, Lenewaee Counties], Ron Jelenik [Berrien, VanBuren, Cass Counties] and Patty Birkholz [Allegan, Barry, Eaton Counties] should stay Republican.

Michigan House
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives are up for election. Democrats currently have a 67-43 majority. Republicans will likely target a number of seats that they lost over the past three cycles.

Area State House Races

The above post examines local state house races in greater detail. Most local state house races are not especially competitive.

Kalamazoo County Commission
All 17 seats on the Kalamazoo County Commission will be up for election. Democrats hold a 9-8 edge. Republicans will target democrats John Niewenhuis in Oshtemo Township and Michael Quinn in central Portage. Democrats may target Ann Niewenhuis in Comstock Township and Nasim Ansari in northern Portage. The races are examined in greater detail in the following post.

Kalamazoo County Commission Races