Friday, July 25, 2014

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.

MI: SOUTHERN BORDER IMMIGRATION CRISIS COMES TO VASSAR
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.