Saturday, May 26, 2012

Election Updates

Following the end of the filing deadline, I have updated several articles.

2012 Kalamazoo Primary Election Preview
2012 Michigan Congressional Races

I also added a special article on the Kalamazoo County Commission.

The County Clerk has provided maps of all voting precincts. There are major changes in Oshtemo and smaller changes in Alamo, Texas, east Portage, and Pavilion.

Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register Office

Sean McCann's Smear Campaign

Late Thursday night, State rep. Sean McCann presented rep. Margaret O'Brien, Speaker Jase Bolger, and Senator Tonya Schuitmaker with a proclamation to honor a 'gay rights' activist. They declined, given the fact that they had not had time to read and study it.

Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center questions why Jase Bolger, Margaret O'Brien and Tonya Schuitmaker did not sign proclamation for LGBT advocate
Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's office says he did not have time to review second proclamation honoring LGBT advocate
YWCA director said she's 'surprised how bias, hate and homophobia are alive in our community' after LGBT advocate snubbed

It was a set-up. Someone, probably McCann, created a controversy with the Gazette and local 'gay rights' groups. The first story appeared on Friday morning. McCann likely knew that Margaret, Jase, and Tonya would be traveling to the Michigan Republican convention on Friday afternoon and wouldn't have time to respond immediately.

Sean McCann created this controversy to divide people. In case it wasn't clear before, he is an unprincipled hack.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Upton Abuses Franking

Congressman Upton has sent out a mailing bragging about his A rating from the NRA. The mailing was paid for by the taxpayers.

Congressman Fred Upton's taxpayer-funded mailer highlighting NRA voting record draws criticism as waste

The practice of using taxpayer dollars to send out mail to a congressman's constituents is called franking. Some franking is genuine information, but a lot of it is campaign literature in disguise. They can't say "Vote for me!", but it has the same look and feel of campaign lit.

Franking may have had a legitimate purpose at one time, but there is no need for it in the age of email and the internet. It has long been one of the advantages that incumbents use to stay in office. Franking should be abolished.

By the way, Upton was hardly pro-gun in the 80s and 90s. He voted for the Brady Bill and responded to a survey saying he opposed concealed carry. Back then the NRA gave him a C. In 2002, Dale Shugars ran against Upton and received the NRA endorsement. Since then, Upton has voted pro-gun, but has never actively advocated gun rights.

Democrat Mike O'Brien calls on Congressman Fred Upton to pay back money used for mailers promoting his 2nd Amendment record
Jack Hoogendyk questions Congressman Fred Upton's use of taxpayer money for mailers
Americans for Limited Government questions Congressman Fred Upton mailer in letter to House Ethics committee

Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 May Michigan Republican Convention

Republican Michigander gives a good summary:

2012 May Michigan Republican Convention

State rep. Dave Agema, who often vied for the title of the most conservative member of the state house, defeated Saul Anuzis to be national committeeman. Agema had significant Tea Party support. He also was supported by the Yob faction of the state GOP, which has long battled with Saul. They seek to control the GOP apparatus for their own ends. For example, see:

Political Extortion

Saul has done both good and bad things over the years. Hopefully he can put his talents to work for the Romney campaign.

Former Secretary of State Terri Land defeated state rep. Holly Hughes for national committeewoman. Both have fairly moderate records.

Ron Paul reportedly won 6-8 delegates, with Romney winning the rest. In the 6th district, the Romney slate won rather easily, though there are claims that one of the members of that slate is a Paul delegate.

Paul backers pick up delegate slots to GOP convention; negate Romney sweep
"This is fantastic," de Angeli said. He counts Paul backers earning voting delegate slots in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 9th Congressional districts. In the 6th District, which includes southwest Michigan: "They didn't realize the slate they elected had a Ron Paul supporter," de Angeli said. "Oops."

State party rules kept some Paul supporters out of this weekend's state convention because of preference shown to precinct delegates elected in 2010, de Angeli said.

"If we can win delegates out of Michigan, we can win delegates anywhere," he said.

Saul Anuzis, Michigan's Republican National Committeeman who lost his bid for re-election Saturday to state Rep. Dave Agema, disputes Paul picked up a delegate in the 6th District believing the total Paul count is six delegates.

2012 Kalamazoo County Commission Election Preview

This post was last updated August 8, 2012.

Republicans won a 10-7 majority on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2010. Redistricting will shrink the commission to 11 seats, changing the district boundaries. The new map is likely to yield a 7-4 Republican majority. Incumbents are marked below with asterisks. The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings.

Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: Carolyn Alford*
Republicans: Al Thompson
Incumbents Alford defeated fellow incumbent Barnard and newcomer Worden in the minority-majority district. Alford has held office since 2006, Barnard since 2002.

District 2 [SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: David Buskirk*
Republicans: none
Jack Urban deferred to fellow incumbent David Buskirk, who is unopposed. Buskirk is the board vice-chairman and has had this seat since 1992.

District 3 [SW Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
Democrats: John Taylor*
Republicans: Tony Dugal
Taylor, who was first elected in 2002 by 13 votes, is safe here.

District 4 [Kalamazoo Twp, Parchment] Safe Democrat
Democrats: Michael Seals*
Republicans: Dennis Weber
Seals, who defeated fellow democrat Franklin Thompson in 2010, is safe.

District 5 [Alamo, N Oshtemo, NW Kalamazoo Twp] Leans Republican
Democrats: Julie Rogers
Republicans: David Worthams
This open seat is about 55% Republican. Both Worthams and Rogers have lost two previous close races, but did better than expected.

District 6 [Cooper, Richland, Ross] Safe Republican
Democrats: Tom Novak
Republicans: Jeff Heppler*
Heppler has been on the board since 2002. Pominville was appointed in 2012 to replace Deb Buchholtz, who resigned. Heppler defeated Pominville and newcomer Neal Turluck. Novak applied to the seat claiming to be an independent and received the votes of all the democrats.

District 7 [Comstock, Galesburg, Charleston, Climax, Wakeshma] Likely Republican
Democrats: Leroy Crabtree
Republicans: Roger Tuinier
Republican Ann Nieuwenhuis is running for Comstock Township Supervisor. Tuinier, who is a greenhouse owner, defeated Danielle Gray in the primary. Leroy Crabtree defeated Republican incumbent Joe VanBruggen 50.7-49.3 in 2006. He was defeated by Nieuwenhuis in 2008 54.5-45.5, and lost a rematch in 2010 61.9-38.1. The district adds four solidly Republican precincts.

District 8 [Pavillion, Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
Democrats: none
Republicans: David Maturen*
Conservative John Gisler deferred to moderate board chairman David Maturen, who has been on the board since 2002.

District 9 [Texas, SE Oshtemo] Safe Republican
Democrats: Robert Kildea
Republicans: Brandt Iden*
Tim Rogowski deferred to Brandt Iden, who was elected in 2010. Rogowski is running for Texas Township Board.

District 10 [W Portage] Safe Republican
Democrats: Connor Farrell
Republicans: Phil Stinchcomb*
Conservative Republican Phil Stinchcomb defeated democrat Michael Quinn 56.4-43.6 in 2010. The district adds several Republican precincts. Stinchcomb defeated 21-year-old Charles Bogren in the primary.

District 11 [E Portage] Safe Republican
Democrats: Jamie Jager
Republicans: John Zull*
Zull has been on the board since 2000. Jager was nominated as a write-in.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Upton Opposes Export/Import Bank

Fred Upton voted against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which is essentially a vehicle for corporate welfare. This is interesting since most of the votes against were conservative Republicans, with establishment Republicans supporting it. The bill passed 330-93. What could be inclining Upton to vote conservative?


In Michigan, Amash, Huizinga, and Walberg also opposed the bill.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mark Behnke Challenges Kate Segal

Mark Behnke, a former Mayor of Battle Creek, Calhoun County Commissioner, and current Battle Creek city commissioner will challenge democrat Kate Segal for the 62nd state house seat. The 62nd got more democrat in redistricting, adding Bedford. If any Republican can win it, it would be Behnke.

Mark Behnke challenges Kate Segal

Friday, May 11, 2012

Multiple Submission

The exact same letter from Chadwick Dillon was submitted to three different papers. The papers write the headlines, of course.

Upton addressing energy concerns with proactive measures (Letter)
Upton bullish on American energy
Upton: More American energy

Thursday, May 10, 2012

As a WMU CR alum, I've learned quite a bit about the conservative movement and debating with the left. I've now taken that skill and now I'm contributing to Misfit Politics. If you'd like to see some of what I've been up to, head over here. Hopefully you'll be able to find some useful information when you run into a liberal.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Goodbye Lugar

Indiana Republicans tossed out longtime (36 year) senator Dick Lugar. Treasurer Richard Mourdock won by a huge 61%-39% margin. Lugar is an establishment Republican (ACU 77%) who has an F rating from the NRA. He is a foreign policy internationalist who loves the United Nations and the awful Law of the Sea Treaty.

Could another Republican incumbent lose just to the north in Michigan 6?

PS: North Carolina passed a marriage amendment 61%-39%.

Galesburg Rejects Millages

The Galesburg-Augusta school district has rejected two millages by an almost 2-1 margin. Gull Lake passed its millage.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Borgfjord Challenges Balkema

Democrat Grace Borgfjord is challenging Republican Mary Balkema to be Kalamazoo County Treasurer. Balkema was first appointed in 2007 to replace the retiring Sharon Cubitt and was narrowly elected to a full term in 2008 in a bad year for Republicans.

Democrat Grace Borgfjord to run against incumbent Mary Balkema for Kalamazoo County Treasurer

Borgfjord holds two elected offices. As a member of the Mattawan School Board, Borgfjord twice voted for massive tax increases that were rejected by Mattawan voters.

In 2006, she ran a Republican for Oshtemo township board, narrowly losing to Jim Grace in the primary. Two years later, she ran as a democrat, winning in the 2008 wave. Clearly, she was misrepresenting herself when she first ran.

She was involved in a controversy over benefits received by the part-time township trustees.

It is likely that opposition to Balkema will stem more from the principled stand she took against the Kalamazoo discrimination ordinance than anything she has done as treasurer.

Borgfjord has almost no relevant experience and should not be trusted with Kalamazoo County's money.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

NRA Alert

It's about time. There is no excuse for the Republicans in Lansing not to have passed this already.

Michigan House Committee to Consider Repeal of Handgun Permit-to-Purchase and Registration

The Michigan House Judiciary Committee will have a hearing on Thursday, May 17, to review an important and long-overdue bill that would eliminate the state handgun “permit-to-purchase” and registration requirements. This committee will hear House Bill 5225 and consider this proposed amendment language that will be used as a substitute for HB 5225 when this hearing takes place.

HB 5225, introduced by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), would abolish the bureaucratic “permit-to-purchase” handguns which became obsolete when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) went into effect in 1998. Under the current state system, gun buyers must apply with their local law enforcement agency and pass a written test before being authorized to buy a handgun. This “permit” is valid for only one gun and it expires after ten days. Since 1998, federal law has required a national criminal records check for the purchase of any firearm from any gun dealer in every state. Some of the key points of the proposed amendment to HB 5225 are:

Repeal the state requirement for someone to ask for police permission to purchase a firearm by traveling to a local police station and obtaining a permit to purchase.

Repeal the requirement to register a completely legally purchased and owned firearm by a law-abiding citizen to be registered with the government through the police.

Adopt the use of the federally-funded National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Default to the federal standard of prohibited persons and each purchase would still require a background check.

Cut Michigan’s costs by using the federally-administered instant background check system and eliminate wasted man-hours of tracking lawful gun owners in Michigan.

The NRA has been working diligently to repeal this antiquated, costly and unnecessary obstacle for gun owners and has coordinated with several state Representatives to produce new language for HB 5225. Two companion bills are also moving through the House: House Bill 5498, sponsored by state Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-18), and House Bill 5499, sponsored by state Representative Ray Franz (R-101).

Please contact members of the state House Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to support HB 5225. Committee member contact information is provided here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Main Street Advocacy Smears Jack

One of the groups sending out mailers attacking Jack Hoogendyk is Main Street Advocacy. This is a self-consciously moderate Republican group.

Their mailing to the 6th district said:
Jack Hoogendyk's Record:
Higher taxes, More spending

Politicians like Jack Hoogendyk keep raising our taxes to pay for more government spending, leaving us broke. Jack Hoogendyk is running for Congress claiming to be a fiscal conservative, but his rhetoric just doesn't match his record.

as a county commissioner, Jack Hoogendyk voted to raise spending on both budgets he voted on.

Hoogendyk twice voted to block property tax rollbacks that had been promised, and even voted to raise the hotel/motel tax to pay for more spending.

Vote Against Higher Taxes and More Spending.
Vote Against Jack Hoogendyk for Congress.

The record is clear: Jack Hoogendyk voted for higher taxes and more spending, leaving taxpayers with a lot less money in their wallets.
They are obviously getting their talking points straight from the Upton campaign. Fred Upton was a cofounder of the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Main Street Advocacy ran into some campaign finance trouble in Montana back in 2010. They had received $10,000 in funding from the Marxist Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Advocacy group refunds $10,000 to union, files with state
Information about Main Street Advocacy
‘Rational conservatives’ group halts campaign in Montana

Upton Smears Jack (Part 3)
Upton Smears Jack (Part 2)
Upton Smears Jack
Jack's Response to Upton Mailer

Kalamazoo Immigration Protest

A group of Kalamazoo high school students staged a walkout on Mayday, the international communist holiday to protest against enforcement of immigration laws.

Immigration concerns prompt Kalamazoo high school students to cut class and protest (video)
Kalamazoo high school walkout shines light on immigration reform

This quote was particularly juicy.
“The laws being created in Arizona — SB 1070 — are making us live in fear. We don’t know if our parents will be here when we come home from school. We drop out because what is the point if we are not guaranteed to be here,” said Leal, whose parents came to the United States from Mexico.
This is Michigan, not Arizona. And if you worry that your parents might be arrested, TELL THEM TO STOP BREAKING THE LAW.

Leave and don't come back.

Previous: Illegal Immigrants are Criminals