Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dale Pominville, America's Newest County Commissioner

The Kalamazoo County Commission selected Dale Pominville to replace Deb Buchholtz on the county commission. He is currently the Parchment School Board president. He is also a neighbor of Buchholtz. He appears to work at Metro Toyota. He claims to be a Republican, though it is not clear how active he has been.

Parchment School Board President Dale Pominville selected to replace Deb Buhholtz on Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners

The remainder of Deb's term lasts less than a year. Due to redistricting, he would run against Jeff Heppler if he runs for reelection.

Converted Electric Car

Converting a gas-powered car to an electric car is an interesting project. The one key fact that the article leaves out is that it cost $17,000, not including labor. Electric cars are not cost-competitive.

Western Michigan University physics professor converts 1992 Honda Civic into electric vehicle

Upton's 'Perfect' Record

Of course, the real issue is not whether you make every vote, it's how you vote.

Congressman Fred Upton posts perfect voting record for 2011

2012 Kalamazoo Primary Election Preview

This is a preview of elections in Michigan in 2012. It focuses on primary elections. This post was last updated on August 1, 2012.

While most of political coverage has focused on the 2012 presidential primary races, there will be many other races on the ballot. Here is an overview of the races relevant to Kalamazoo readers. More detailed profiles of some of the races will follow soon.
[List of Michigan Presidential Candidates]
[List of Primary Election Candidates]
[List of Kalamazoo County Candidates]

February 28: Presidential Primary
This was the date of Michigan's Presidential Primary. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich battled for delegates, with Romney winning the popular vote but splitting the delegates evenly with Santorum. Romney is the presumptive nominee to face President Barack Obama and various third party candidates in November.

In other races, Democrat county commissioner Tim Greimel won the election to replace Tim Melton in district 29 (Pontiac). Republican County Commissioner Joseph Graves won the race to replace recalled state rep Paul Scott in District 51 (south Genesee).

May 8: School Elections
There were various school bond proposals on the ballot in "Kalamazoo, Gull Lake, Galesburg-Augusta, Allegan, Bangor, White Pigeon, Gobles, Paw Paw, Martin and Marcellus." The following article gives a good summary. Note that school board elections have been moved to November.
Absentee ballots now available for May 8 election; five Kalamazoo-area school districts voting on multi-million tax requests

November 6: General Election
President (Michigan)

Michigan leans slightly to the left in Presidential elections. This means that democrats need to win Michigan to win the White House, but Republicans don't. Michigan still has a bad economy thanks to eight years of democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm. Will this help Republicans in the presidential race? Perhaps.

August 7: Other Primaries
US Senate
Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow is seeking a third term. Four Republicans are seeking to replace her. They are
Clark Durant, businessman and former member of the state board of education (1994-98)
Gary Glenn, conservative activist supporting right-to-work and opposing 'gay rights', who announced that he has dropped out
Randy Hekman, former Kent county judge
Pete Hoekstra, former congressman who represented the 2nd district in West Michigan 1992-2010. He lost the Republican primary for governor in 2010
Businessman Peter Konetchy was disqualified for insufficient signatures.
Hoekstra is the favorite, leading in the polls and in fundraising. His main competitor is Durant.

US House of Representatives
Only one of Michigan's 14 congressional districts is likely to have a competitive general election. However, there are interesting primaries shaping up in the 6th, 13th and 14th districts. The following post examines the races in greater detail.
2012 Michigan Congressional Races

Michigan Supreme Court
Conservative Republican Steven Markman will likely seek reelection. Appointed Republican Brian Zhara will likely seek to fill the remainder of the term to which he was appointed. Democrat Marilyn Kelly has reached the age limit, so her seat will be open. Republicans Jane Markey and Colleen O'Connor are running. Republicans currently have a 4-3 majority on the court, so this election could result in anything from 5-2 D to 5-2 R. Democrats have endorsed Connie Kelley, Shelia Johnson and Bridget McCormack for the court.

Education Boards
Two seats on each of four boards will be up. Democrats endorsed candidates in March.

Michigan Board of Education
Republicans: Nancy Danhoff, Melanie Kurdys
Democrats: Lupe Ramos-Montigny, Michelle Fecteau

University of Michigan Board of Regents
Republicans: Ron Weiser, Rob Steele, Dan Horning
Democrats: Mark Bernstein, Shauna Ryder Diggs

Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Republicans: Anne Norlander, Jeff Sakwa, Melanie Foster
Democrats: Joel Ferguson, Brian Mosallam

Wayne State University Board of Governors
Democrats: Sandra Hughes O'Brien, Kim Trent

Ballot Proposals
Seven propositions have submitted signatures and may appear on the ballot, pending verification of signatures and legal challenges. See the following.
2012 Michigan Ballot Propositions

Michigan House of Representatives
All 110 seats in the Michigan state house will be up for election. Some members will be term-limited. Republicans currently have a 63-37 majority. The new redistricting plan helps Republicans some, but not as much as it could have. The following article summarizes all the races.
2012 Michigan State House Races

In the greater Kalamazoo area...

60th District (Kalamazoo city) Safe democrat
Democrat Sean McCann has an even safer district than before, and should have no trouble getting reelected. The Republican candidate is Michael Perrin.

61st District (Portage, Oshtemo) Safe Republican
Conservative Republican Margaret O'Brien will likely be reelected easily against democrat Michael Martin. The district became safer by losing western Kalamazoo Township to the 60th and adding Schoolcraft Township.

62nd District (Battle Creek, Albion) Leans democrat
Incumbent democrat Kate Segal will face Republican former Battle Creek mayor Mark Behnke. This district became more democrat with the addition of Bedford and Pennfield.

63rd District (E Kalamazoo, S Calhoun) Safe Republican
Republican Speaker Jase Bolger won't have trouble with reelection against democrat Bill Farmer in a district that drops Bedford and Pennfield and adds rural conservative townships in Calhoun.

66th District (Van Buren, Cooper) Safe Republican
Conservative Republican Aric Nesbitt should be safe against democrat Richard Rajkovich in a district that drops a small piece of Allegan and adds NW Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Countywide Offices
All six countywide offices are up for election. Republicans hold four of six offices.

Sheriff: Leans Democrat
Democrat Richard Fuller defeated Republican Michael Anderson in 2008. Republicans Bruce LaBrie and Ward Lawrence are running.

Prosecutor: Leans Republican
Incumbent Republican Jeff Fink will not seek reelection. Assistant prosecutor Scott Pierangeli, a member of the Portage Library Board, will run. The democrat candidate will be former assistant prosecutor Jeffrey Getting.

Clerk: Leans Republican
Incumbent moderate Republican Tim Snow will seek reelection. He will face leftist democrat County Commissioner Brian Johnson.

Treasurer: Leans Republican
Republican Mary Balkema, who was appointed to replace Sharon Cubitt in 2007, will seek reelection. Balkema barely defeated a token challenger in 2008. Her democrat opponent is Oshtemo Township Trustee and Mattawan School Board member Grace Borgfjord. It is possible that liberal billionaire Jon Stryker will fund Borgfjord this time due to Balkema's opposition to a 'gay rights' ordinance in Kalamazoo city in 2009.

Drain Commissioner: Tossup
The incumbent is democrat Patricia Crowley. In 2008, she defeated Republican Pat Crouse who was appointed to replace Bill French, who was convicted of a crime. She will face Republican County Commissioner Nasim Ansari, who had applied for the position in 2008.

Surveyor: Safe Republican
Incumbent Republican Bill Hahn is unopposed. The position is unpaid, and its holder must be a licenced surveyor.

Kalamazoo County Commission
Republicans have a 10-7 majority on the commission. Redistricting will shrink the commission to 11 seats, changing the district boundaries. The new map is likely to yield a 7-4 Republican majority, but district 5 will likely be competitive. The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings.
Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.

The following article has more detailed analysis of the county commission races.
2012 Kalamazoo County Commission Election Preview

Township Elections
There are plenty of contested township elections. Some are noteworthy.
Here's who is running in Kalamazoo County in August and November county and township elections
Several township supervisor positions in Kalamazoo County to be decided in August primary

Comstock Township: Incumbent democrat Supervisor Tim Hudson will not seek reelection. Moderate Republican County Commissioner Ann Nieuwenhuis will face trustee Randy Thompson. There will be a competitive race for the other township board positions.

Kalamazoo Township: Democrat incumbent Supervisor is Terri Mellinger, who has had trouble paying her taxes and has had health problems, is not seeking reelection. Two democrats, trustee Ron Reid and Michael Szekely are seeking the seat.  Four democrats and one Republican, Kathleen Doornbas, are seeking the four trustee positions currently held by democrats.

Oshtemo Township: The incumbent democrat Supervisor is Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell. She will be challenged by former democrat county commissioner John Nieuwenhuis, running as a Republican. There are also four trustee positions up for election, two of which are currently held by appointee due to the resignations of Republican Jim Grace and democrat Scott McCormick. Seven Republicans and three democrats are running.

Texas Township: There is a conflict between Supervisor Dave Healy and the other members of the township board.  There are two slates of candidates competing in the Republican primary.  Healy is being challenged in the primary by Greg Pendowski. Conservative Erin Hoogendyk is among the four incumbent Republican trustees. The following post offers more details.
Trouble in Texas
Don't Mess With Texas Township

Incumbent judges J. Richardson Johnson, Pamela Lightvoet, Paul Bridenstine, and Curtis Bell are all unopposed.

School Boards
School board elections were moved to November by a recent bill. There is nothing to report on these elections yet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Michigan Congressional Races

Cross-posted at The Western Right, Right Michigan, and Red Racing Horses. This post was last updated on August 9.

Michigan will see a number of interesting congressional races in 2012.

Michigan will lose a congressional seat, going from 15 to 14. Redistricting changed the congressional map, particularly in eastern Michigan.

There are several articles that analyse the general political leanings of the new districts.
Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed
Republican Michigander Congressional District Profiles (Sidebar at right)

District 1 (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula) Likely Republican.
In 2010, Dr. Dan Benishek won an open seat vacated by democrat Rep. Bart Stupak against democrat state Rep. Gary McDowell 52-41. The new district gets more Republican, adding areas around Traverse City. Benishek has generally voted with the leadership, displeasing some of his former Tea Party supporters. McDowell is back for a rematch, but Benishek will be difficult to beat as an incumbent.

District 2 (Ottowa, Muskegon) Safe Republican.
Republican former state rep. Bill Huizinga won a close primary in 2010 to replace Pete Hoekstra, who was running for governor. Since then he has generally voted the party line. This remains the most Republican district in Michigan. There was talk that conservative state rep. Dave Agema might run, but he declined. Huizinga will run unopposed.

District 3 (Kent, Calhoun) Safe Republican.
Republican state rep. Justin Amash won the primary to replace moderate Republican Vern Ehlers, who retired rather than face a strong primary challenge. Amash is a libertarian in the mold of Rep. Ron Paul. He has stepped on some toes in Washington, most notably getting into a spat with the NRA over procedural objections to a gun rights bill. There were repeated rumors that someone would challenge Amash in the Republican primary, but nobody did. Amash remains the favorite. Moderate democrat former state rep. Steve Pestka defeated leftist Trevor Thomas for their nomination.

District 4 (central Michigan) Safe Republican.
Republican Dave Camp has been winning big margins in this district since 1990. He's now the Ways and Means Committee chairman and still going strong. Debra Freidell is the democrat candidate.

District 5 (Genesee, Saginaw, Bay) Safe democrat.
Democrat Dale Kildee, who has held this district since 1976, is finally retiring. His nephew, former Genesee Treasurer Dan Kildee, notable for his proposal to tear down sections of Flint, is running. This could have been an interesting race, but several other prominent democrats, including former Congressman James Barcia, State Senator John Gleason and state rep. Woodrow Stanley, considered running but declined. Former moderate democrat state rep. Jim Slezak won the Republican nomination over Tom Wassa.

District 6 (SW Michigan) Safe Republican.
Moderate Republican Fred Upton has won by wide margins since defeating conservative Mark Siljander in 1986. In 2010, former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk, running with Tea Party support got 43% in the Republican primary. The race received almost no outside attention and Jack raised only $60,000 in that race. Since then, Upton became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and his record received more scrutiny from national conservatives. Upton defeated Hoogendyk 67-33 in a primary rematch.
In 2008 and 2010, Upton easily defeated leftist Kalamazoo city commissioner Don Cooney. In 2012, the democrat John Waltz, dropped out for health reasons. The democrats' new candidate is farmer Mike O'Brien.

District 7 (south-central Michigan) Safe Republican.
Republican Tim Walberg defeated liberal democrat Mark Schauer in a hard-fought race in 2010. This followed Schauer's defeat of Walberg in 2008, Walberg's defeat of RINO Joe Schwarz in 2006, and Schwarz's winning a divided Republican primary to replace Nick Smith in 2004. Redistricting removed Schauer's base of Calhoun county, and he is not running again. Walberg tends to be underestimated, but even in 2008, facing a strong opponent supported by Schwarz in the worst Republican year in memory, he only lost by 3%. Walberg defeated minor challenger Dan Davis, as Mike Stahly was disqualified.
Schwarz toyed with running as a democrat, but declined. Attorney Kurt Haskell, who seems to be a paleocon, won the democrat nomination over Jackson County democrat chairman Reuben Marquez. Walberg will never win the margins of Camp, Rogers, or Miller, but I suspect he will settle in and win 55-60%.

District 8 (Ingham, Livingston, N Oakland) Safe Republican.
Republican Mike Rogers has won big margins since 2000, and he should have no trouble with his new district. He defeated two minor primary challengers, Dan Hetrick and Vernon Molnar. Lance Enderle will be the democrat nominee, as Michael Magdich was disqualified.

District 9 (S Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield) Safe democrat.
This is mostly the old 12th district of Sander Levin, though it also takes in part of Gary Peters' old 9th district. This district is less liberal without Southfield and Oak Park. Levin is more liberal than the district, but he is popular enough to win here as long as he wants. He will likely be succeeded by a less liberal Macomb county democrat. Republican Don Volaric, who lost to Levin in 2010, won the nomination over Greg Dildilian.

District 10 (N Macomb, the Thumb) Safe Republican.
Republican Candice Miller is highly popular in Macomb County and statewide, and that isn't going to change. Jerome George Quinn and Chuck Stadler will compete for the democrat nomination.

District 11 (NW Wayne, SW Oakland, Troy) Likely Republican.
Republican Thad McCotter saw the most improvement in his district, trading increasingly democrat suburbs of Detroit in Wayne County for Republican areas of Oakland County. But McCotter's staff committed fraud, leading to his being disqualified and dropping out. Tea Party Republican Kerry Bentivolio was the only Republican on the primary ballot. A coalition of establishment Republicans endorsed a write-in campaign by former state senator Nancy Cassis, but Bentivolio won 65-35. Democrat Canton Township Trustee Taj Syed defeated William Roberts, a "LaRouche democrat", for their party's nomination.

District 12 (Downriver, Ann Arbor) Safe democrat.
Democrat John Dingell, in Congress since Eisenhower's first term (really!), gets a new district that reunites his Downriver base. This successor of the old 15th district loses Monroe to Walberg. If Dingell ever leaves Congress, we could see an interesting Downriver versus Ann Arbor primary. Dingell defeated a minor primary challenger Daniel Marcin (check out his URL), a 26-year-old Ann Arbor grad student. Cynthia Kallgren won the Republican nomination over Karen Jacobsen.

District 13 (W Detroit, Westland) Safe democrat.
This district contains the bulk of John Conyers' base, although Republicans drew him out of the district. Conyers, in Congress since 1964, hadn't had a tough primary or general election since 1994. Conyers' image has been tarnished since his wife Monica, formerly Detroit city council president, pled guilty to bribery and is now serving time in federal prison. He was challenged in the democrat primary by state senator Glenn Anderson, whose base in the mostly white suburbs of Westland and Redford was moved from McCotter's district into the 13th; Senator Bert Johnson, who is a convicted felon since he robbed a country club at age 19; State Rep. Shanelle Jackson; and John Goci, as Godfrey Dillard was disqualified. Conyers won 55% to 18% for Anderson and 13% for Jackson. Harry Sawicki is the Republican candidate.

District 14 (E Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Pontiac) Safe democrat.
This district had a very interesting primary. The majority of the district is the old 13th of democrat Hansen Clarke, who beat the scandal-plagued Carolyn Kilpatrick in 2010, though he was drawn out of the district. Congressman Gary Peters, whose old 9th district was split into four pieces, ran here. This was the best of several bad options for him. Also running were Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, former state rep. Mary Waters, who has pled guilty to filing a false tax return, and Bob Costello. Peters did very well in endorsements and fundraising, and he won this majority black district 47-35-13 over Clarke and Lawrence. John Hauler is the Republican candidate.

Allegan Surrenders to Terrorists

Allegan police chief Rick Hoyer shut down an event where Kamal Seleem was to speak on the threat of radical Islam. This is an attack on the First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association. This was due to a rumor of a bounty on his head (which seems dubious). It's a shame that the police chief would surrender to the threats (real or imagined) of terrorists rather than stand up to them.

Allegan High School event canceled after police learn of 'bounty' on speaker Kamal Saleem's head

Friday, January 20, 2012

Impeach Obama!

Three years down, hopefully no more than one to go.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Due to time constraints, I have decided to cease my weekly POLITICAL UPDATES. We had a good run, dating back to summer 2005. Unfortunately, I can't keep up the same schedule any longer. Readers can find good conservative articles by visiting the websites frequently linked to, and reading frequent authors such as Steve Sailer, Gary North, Thomas Sowell, Ann Coulter, and Phyllis Schlafly.

Thank you.
-Conservative First

Tuesday, January 03, 2012