Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gazette Endorses Upton, Calls Him a Liar

In the least surprising endorsement ever, the Gazette endorsed Fred Upton for reelection. Let's break it down.

Congressman Fred Upton is the logical choice in the 6th District Republican primary race (Editorial)
Fred Upton is the best choice in the Republican primary to represent the 6th District congressional district.

Upton deftly maneuvers between two camps — one that accuse him of being too liberal and the other that calls him too conservative, and arrives at a place that is largely balanced. Although he tends to spout more conservative-leaning rhetoric, something that is at times tiresome, Upton's actions demonstrate a willingness to work across party lines to seek consensus.
In other words, he's lying to conservatives.
As the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, for example, he instituted a policy that moved bills with bipartisan support to the top of the committee's agenda. That is a simple and effective approach that encourages Republicans and Democrats to work together.

He worked across party lines to push forward the widening of I-94 as part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package and helped find funds for improvements at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport.
He is bragging about voting against Obama's stimulus plan.
Congress often fails to find that note of compromise, much to the dismay of the general public. The Center on Congress at Indiana University in April released the results of a 2011 survey that found Americans understand legislators have to find consensus among widely disparate ideologies, and they would like to see Congress find that middle road quickly.

The vast majority also believe Congress does a miserable job at that and is an ineffective institution, giving Congress an average grade of a "D" for dealing with major issues facing the country and a "D-" for keeping excessive partisanship in check. And, 47.9 percent of respondents to the first question and 57.6 percent of respondents to the second question gave Congress an "F."
Compromise is not a good thing in-and-of itself. It is only good if the compromise is actually good policy. The left and the media demand compromise to get conservatives to abandon their beliefs. The public likes 'compromise' because it is an easy way of avoiding studying the issues and deciding what position is right. Ideological battles can be unpleasant, but they are sometimes necessary to implement good policies.

Can it have escaped the Gazette's notice that the biggest policy disasters have been bipartisan? Enthusiasm for weakening lending standards to promote home-ownership was bipartisan. Support for the Wall Street bailout was bipartisan. Support for the Iraq War was bipartisan. Support for lax immigration standards has been bipartisan. Support for massive government spending and debt has been bipartisan. Policies that have wide bipartisan support tend to escape the close scrutiny that partisan opposition provides.
Jack Hoogendyk, the former state representative from Texas Township who is Upton's challenger in the Republican primary, actually agrees with Upton on many points, such as the need to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and an economic policy that focuses on reducing business regulations and taxes that they say inhibit private sector growth, and thus slows job creation.

Hoogendyk, however is single-minded in his commitment to ultra-conservative causes and approaches and that would only exacerbate the ideological divide in Congress. His intransigence would lead to more of the gridlock that stymies Washington today, and the American public cannot afford more divisiveness as it waits for leadership to guide it out of the lingering recession.
Which 'ultra-conservative causes'? Official English, which had 82% support in Michigan? The Gazette labeled that 'divisive' several years back.
Upton does not always succeed in his bipartisan efforts in Washington, D.C., most notably he participated in the failed "super committee," that was charged with trimming $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit last fall. But as committee chair of the aforementioned Committee on Energy and Commerce, he has used that position to advocate for measures that have direct impact on businesses in southwest Michigan, such as the streamlining of the FDA approval process and scuttling a tax on new medical devices. He has the potential to leverage that role into meaningful change for Michigan.

Fred Upton's experience and his demonstrated willingness to work with members of both parties makes him the stronger Republican candidate in the Aug. 7 primary. The winner will face Democrat Mike O'Brien in the Nov. 6 general election.
Conservatives should take note of the Gazette's endorsement--and vote the opposite.

Gazette Attacks Jack
Gazette Attacks Jack Again

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Don't Mess With Texas Township

The Gazette has a couple articles profiling the races in Texas Township. The race in the Republican primary pits the township board against Supervisor Dave Healy and his slate. The homebuilders and Chamber of Commerce are supporting Healy's state.

Supervisor race in Texas Township highlights political tensions surrounding incumbent Dave Healy
Texas Township Board election pits 4 incumbents against 4 challengers for trustee in all-Republican primary
Kalamazoo home builders contributed to campaigns of several Texas Township candidates, reports show

Here are sites explaining the both sides' positions.

Board: http://www.texas2012election.com/
Healy: http://itstimetexastownship.com/

Supervisor Candidate Questionnaires:
Election Q&A: Dave Healy for Texas Township Supervisor
Election Q&A: Gregory W. Pendowski for Texas Township Supervisor

Previous: Trouble in Texas

2012 Pre-primary Michigan Fundraising Reports

The deadline for pre-primary Michigan campaign finance reports was yesterday. Reports for state campaigns can be viewed at the Secretary of State site here:


For the most part, incumbents raised money well. Nobody near Kalamazoo has a competitive race. Top fundraisers include Jase Bolger and Mark Ouimet. Kurt Damrow, who has had ethics problems, raised little. Party-switching Roy Schmidt raised a lot, but it probably won't save him from public outrage.

GOP hopefuls for 3 state House seats use their own money
State Rep. Roy Schmidt repays Democrat backers after he switches to Republican Party

Locally, Republican prosecutor candidate Scott Pierangeli raised the most. Most other candidates didn't really raise that much. No word yet on the Clerk and Drain Commissioner races.

See what candidates raised, spent in Kalamazoo County and township races
Kalamazoo home builders contributed to campaigns of several Texas Township candidates, reports show
Challenger Michael Bedford has outspent Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps about 6-to-1, campaign finance reports show

The homebuilders are supporting the Healy slate. Van Buren Republicans including Schuitmaker, Nesbitt, and Middaugh donated to Bedford over Kapps.

UPDATE: State representative finance reports show incumbents with fundraising advantage in Southwest Michigan

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises may not be the most conservative movie ever, but it's definitely in the running.

When the initial trailer teased a class warfare theme, conservatives kinda assumed it was too good to be true.

(Spoilers!) Batman basically fights the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  OK, it isn't called that, but it clearly is.  In one scene, they attack the stock exchange.  Near the end, the police battle the mob ON WALL STREET.

The main villian, Bane, manipulates the mob by appealing to class warfare.  He villifies the rich, and the mob loots their houses and drags them into the streets.  I kept imaginging Bane giving Obama's "You didn't build that" speech; it would have fit perfectly.  While promising the give the city back to the people, he has an even more sinister agenda.

The movie was clearly inspired by the French Revolution.  There is a scene reminiscent of the storming of the Bastile.  The mob establishes show trials for the rich and police where guilt is assumed and the sentence is always death.  Naturally, the mob's revolution pretty much wrecks society.

Ann Coulter should love this movie, as it illustrates many of the themes in her most recent book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America.

Besides this, the movie also endorses more general conservative values of duty, redemption, courage, sacrifice, and truth.

Plus, it's got Batman, flying cars, explosions, and Catwoman.  Go see it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 Michigan Ballot Propositions

This post was last updated September 9, 2012.

There will be six propositions on the ballot in Michigan in November.

See MIballot2012.org for details on most of the propositions.

Special interests spend millions on Michigan ballot initiatives

1. First is a referendum on the expanded emergency manager law passed by the legislature last year. The law allows emergency managers in distressed municipalities to rewrite union contracts; opposition comes mainly from public sector unions. A yes vote is needed to retain the law. The referendum will be on the ballot following a court battle.

2. Unions are behind an effort to amend the state constitution to enshrine mandatory collective bargaining, precluding a Right to Work law. It would also repeal a number of other laws that the unions don't like, including the emergency manager law, pension reform, and more. It would cost the state billions. The proposition survived a constitutional challenge.

3. Various out-of-state alternative energy companies are behind an initiative to mandate that Michigan get at least 25% of its energy from alternative sources by 2025. Since alternative energy costs more than traditional energy (that's why it's the alternative), this would raise energy prices.

4. The SEIU is behind this proposition to enshrine the Michigan Quality Care Council, the dummy employer used to force the unionization of home health care workers, in the state constitution. This scam originated in the Granholm administration, which agreed to treat people who receive government payments to care for family members at home as government employees. They were unionized in a very dubious election. Even after the state legislature defunded the dummy employer and passed a law prohibiting the dues collection, it has continued. The SEIU is now running the dummy employer it supposedly negotiates with.

5. A proposal to require a 2/3 majority in the legislature or statewide vote to raise taxes is also being funded by Matty Moroun (see below). This proposal has support from Tea Party groups.

6. The Detroit International Bridge Company, owned by Matty Moroun, is funding a proposition to require voter approval for any new bridge to Canada. This would create a roadblock to the Canadian-government funded bridge agreement recently signed by Governor Snyder. Parties disagree whether the proposal would actually stop the bridge.

A proposal to add eight new casinos in locations that benefit specific developers obtained sufficient signatures but was disqualified by the Supreme Court for failing to follow constitutional requirements for constitutional amendments. A business group close to the Chamber of Commerce is organizing to oppose proposals 2, 3, and 4.

Melanie Kurdys for State Board of Education

Conservative Melanie Kurdys will seek the nomination at the state Republican convention for one of two seats on the state Board of Education up in November. The article gives a summary of her background.

Melanie Kurdys, former lightning rod on Portage school board, is seeking Republican nomination for state Board of Education

Previous: Kurdys and Hollenbeck for Portage School Board

2012 Election News

Articles on local races in the Kalamazoo area.

Melanie Kurdys, former lightning rod on Portage school board, is seeking Republican nomination for state Board of Education
Prairie Ronde Township has former, current supervisors competing on Aug. 6 ballot
Texas Township candidate forum well attended ahead of Republican primary
Allegan Township voters to decide property-tax renewals for roads, fire protection Aug. 7
Movement to recall Parchment school board members fizzling out
Republican candidates for Kalamazoo County sheriff make their pitch for nomination during luncheon in Portage
Four competing in primary to replace retiring Allegan County drain commissioner
Register of deeds opening draws 2 in Van Buren County primary
Two Van Buren County Board of Commissioners seats contested in Aug. 7 primary
Former trustee Marvin DeVries appointed to Kalamazoo Township board
Tea party group delivers petition to Congressman Fred Upton for third debate
Congressman Fred Upton, Jack Hoogendyk rematch noisier but differences still clear
Upton receives endorsement from U.S., Michigan and Kalamazoo chambers of commerce
Questions raised about dismissal of prosecutor candidate's speeding ticket by Paw Paw village attorney and friend
Congressman Fred Upton spends $1 million in second quarter in campaign against Jack Hoogendyk, federal filings show

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NRA Endorsements

The NRA finally came out with its primary endorsements. They have only state house endorsements. There is nothing too surprising, except that many Republicans didn't return their surveys. District 67 (rural Ingham) is the only one where there are endorsements in both primaries.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kalamazoo Chamber Endorsements

The Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce has made its endorsements. They endorse Republicans in Republican area and some democrats in democrat areas. They also endorsed the Healy slate in Texas Township.

Kalamazoo Regional Chamber PAC announces preliminary election endorsements

Jim Youngs, RIP

Jim Youngs, a moderate Republican who served as Kalamazoo County Clerk 1982-1996, has passed away.

Former Kalamazoo County Clerk Jim Youngs dies at age 79
Archive: Jim Youngs profile from 1997 Kalamazoo Gazette
Former Kalamazoo County Clerk Jim Youngs remembered as dedicated GOP leader
Youngs is still a staunch Republican, but partisan politics ends at the front door of his office. He has repeatedly refused special assistance to Republicans who have tried to appeal to his political affiliation.

He said he has told his successor, Timothy Snow, also a Republican, elected in November to replace him: ``Your biggest problem is going to be dealing with your own party.''

And, although he's a Republican, he has frequently voted for Democrats.

``I'm one of the biggest ticket-splitters there was, '' he said.

Youngs said he has voted for Democrats Richard Austin and Frank Kelly for secretary of state and Michigan attorney general.

``I've voted for Howard Wolpe a number of times, '' he said.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kevin Jennings to Lead Arcus Foundation

The Arcus Foundation has appointed Kevin Jennings as its new executive director. Who is Jennings? He is most famous as the Obama administration's "Safe Schools Czar".

Arcus Foundation names Kevin Jennings as executive director

In the midst of going on about his wonderful resume, Julie Mack does mention the following criticism.
Prior joining Be the Change, Jennings headed the U.S. Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. His appointment to that job drew attacks from conservatives, who pointed to the fact that Jennings founded and led the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students regardless of sexual orientation.
Was that really what conservative attacked?

Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job
Discover the Networks: KEVIN JENNINGS

The allegations against Jennings include covering up sexual abuse and praising a homosexual communist pedophile in a speech. It is not disputed that Jennings was deeply anti-Christian and used drugs earlier in his life.

When the Apes Run the Asylum
Another Kalamazoo College Employee Lies About Van Jones

Mattawan Schools Enroll 469 Outside Students

This interesting chart via Julie Mack shows the number of students in each school district who go outside the district and come into the district to attend school.

Chart: How Kalamazoo-area school districts rank in enrolling out-of-district students

Most notable is that 469 students from outside the Mattawan school district attend school there. Mattawan voters have recently defeated two tax increases to expand school facilities. So it is now clear that the Mattawan schools administration accepted hundreds of students from outside the district and then demanded a tax increase when its facilities weren't big enough.

Vote NO on the Mattawan Tax Hike
No Means Try Again
Mattawan Lies about Kindergarten Mandate

Repudiate the Debt

What should we do about the national debt? Simple: repudiate it. This article by Murray Rothbard explains why government debt is fundamentally different from private debt, and why it should be repudiated.

Repudiating the National Debt


Most people, unfortunately, apply the same analysis to public debt as they do to private. If sanctity of contracts should rule in the world of private debt, shouldn't they be equally as sacrosanct in public debt? Shouldn't public debt be governed by the same principles as private? The answer is no, even though such an answer may shock the sensibilities of most people. The reason is that the two forms of debt-transaction are totally different. If I borrow money from a mortgage bank, I have made a contract to transfer my money to a creditor at a future date; in a deep sense, he is the true owner of the money at that point, and if I don't pay I am robbing him of his just property. But when government borrows money, it does not pledge its own money; its own resources are not liable. Government commits not its own life, fortune, and sacred honor to repay the debt, but ours. This is a horse, and a transaction, of a very different color.


The public debt transaction, then, is very different from private debt. Instead of a low-time-preference creditor exchanging money for an IOU from a high-time-preference debtor, the government now receives money from creditors, both parties realizing that the money will be paid back not out of the pockets or the hides of the politicians and bureaucrats, but out of the looted wallets and purses of the hapless taxpayers, the subjects of the state. The government gets the money by tax-coercion; and the public creditors, far from being innocents, know full well that their proceeds will come out of that selfsame coercion. In short, public creditors are willing to hand over money to the government now in order to receive a share of tax loot in the future. This is the opposite of a free market, or a genuinely voluntary transaction. Both parties are immorally contracting to participate in the violation of the property rights of citizens in the future. Both parties, therefore, are making agreements about other people's property, and both deserve the back of our hand. The public credit transaction is not a genuine contract that need be considered sacrosanct, any more than robbers parceling out their shares of loot in advance should be treated as some sort of sanctified contract.

Why Doesn't Pete Hoekstra Have An Issues Page?

Pete Hoekstra, unlike the other three Republican candidates for Senate, doesn't seem to have an issues page on his website. Why not?


He doesn't have an endorsement page either, though various endorsements are scattered about his site.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Open Carrying Teen Acquitted

An 18-year-old man who carried a rifle over his shoulder in Birmingham (Oakland County) has been acquitted. He was charged despite the fact that open carry is legal. He was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer (dismissed by the judge), brandishing (which he clearly didn't), and disturbing the peace. The latter is a nebulous charge; it is sometimes misused to charge people who are doing legal things like open carry that the police don't like.

Teen acquitted in Birmingham gun incident
Bigger Problem for Birmingham: Their Police and Prosecuting Attorney

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CTV and MCRGO Endorsements

More endorsements are coming out ahead of the August primary. Two of the latest are Citizens for traditional Values and Michigan Citizens for Responsible Gun Ownership. CTV helps some, while MCRGO doesn't seem to be very active anymore.


Nothing too surprising here. They endorsed Tom Leonard in 93 and co-endorsed Deb DeBacker in 41 and Amanda VanEssen in 88. Tim Walberg was the only congressional endorsement.


MCRGO has grades, not just endorsements.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran

The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran
by Robert Spencer

Islam has become an increasingly large force in Western Civilization, and its fundamental text is the Koran. Yet both Muslims and non-Muslims (infidels) do not agree on what it actually says. Thus the need for Robert Spencer, a Christian expert on Islam, and his book The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran.

Why not just read the Koran itself? As Spencer explains, it is organized in a way that makes it difficult to follow, and doesn't make clear which passages are chronologically later and negate earlier passages. Many passages have no context and assume outside historical knowledge from the reader. There are varying translations, and it is hard to read. The Hadith (sayings of Mohammed) illuminates many passages.

The Koran describes itself as the word of God (Allah) revealed to Mohammed. Spencer details the history of the revelation and compilation of the Koran, along with various disputed and lost passages.

Spencer describes the similarities between the Koran and the Bible. Many passages of the Koran assume knowledge of the corresponding Bible stories, while others have key changes from the Bible. Corresponding passages include Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Other stories are based on heretical Jewish and Christian texts.

Spencer points out that many Muslims don't know what is in the Koran. He also outlines some of the issues with translation of the Koran. Mohammed is the central human in the Koran, and is seen as both a fulfillment of historical examples and a moral example for Muslims.

Spencer makes it clear that Allah hates infidels and has torment in store for them. He details the deep-seated antisemitism that pervades the Koran. The Koran rejects the divinity of Jesus and demands that Christians be oppressed.

As Spencer details, the Koran preaches the inferiority of women and legitimizes polygamy. The Koran preaches both nonviolence and violence, and Koranic scholars believe that the later passages that preach violence supersede the earlier nonviolent ones.

Spencer points out that the Koran does not preach loving your enemies and does not contain a version of the Golden Rule for all people--only for Muslims.

Spencer opposes banning the Koran and is highly skeptical of efforts to reinterpret it. He advocates first that Westerners actually understand the Koran and its implications. He supports monitoring Islamic communities in America for radical and retrograde ideas. He advocates ending Muslim immigration and foreign aid to Muslim countries.

Spencer's book is a worthy introduction to these important issues.

Friday, July 06, 2012

What Has the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ever Done for Us?

One of the arguments that supporters of Congressman Fred Upton use is that he should be supported because of his position as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It is stated or implied that this benefits the 6th district or conservatives in general.

Fred Upton being chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is great--for Fred Upton. He raised two million dollars from big corporations eager to buy influence. He got endorsements from several beltway conservative organizations hoping that he won't bury the bills they support. He's a bigshot in Washington.

But how does this benefit us? Nobody has explained how this is supposed to benefit the 6th district. The main "benefit" that powerful congressmen provide their districts is pork projects. But even those often benefit a few connected cronies rather than the public at large.

As for conservative issues, Upton may hold some good positions, but he is unreliable at best. The bill he is best known for was the incandescent light bulb ban, which he trumpeted in 2007, but later tried to pretend he never supported.

He also changed his position on global warming, and passed a bill manipulating daylight savings time.

Any of the potential Republican replacements for Upton as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee would be more conservative. That includes Joe Barton, John Shimkus, and Joe Pitts. So his position is no benefit to conservatives.

Conservatives would benefit from a congressman who is actually a movement conservative and who would fight for conservative values. That's not Upton.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Upton/Hoogendyk Debate 2

Congressman Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk met for a second debate today on WKZO. I'll link to audio when I can find it.

Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk agree on much during second debate

Some observations:

The media's choice of questions is incredibly frustrating. This is a Republican primary debate, not a general election debate. Questions should focus on issues of interest to Republican primary voters, particularly issues where candidates disagree. Obamacare and the Keystone Pipeline are issues where Upton and Jack agree, at least on the bottom line (No and Yes, respectively). So of course they spent a lot of time on these issues.

Still, there were some interesting contrasts. It now comes out that despite hyping himself as Obamacare's biggest enemy, Upton actually supports several major provisions of Obamacare. Specifically, he supports keeping children on their parents' insurance until 26, and he supports the provision banning insurance companies from "discriminating" based on "preexisting conditions", meaning that you can wait to get sick until you buy insurance. But if you support that, on what basis can you oppose the individual mandate? The whole point of the mandate is that people have to buy insurance or else insurance companies would go broke since everyone wouldn't buy insurance until they got sick. How does Upton square that circle?

As Jack pointed out, Upton is hardly a principled opponent of government involvement in health care. Upton supported the Medicare prescription drug bill. Upton defended his vote by pointing out that the bill is popular. When is free stuff ever unpopular? The problem is that all the free stuff handed out by self-serving politicians is bankrupting the country.

Upton also supported the expansion of SCHIP, and was one of very few Republicans supporting overriding President Bush's veto. Upton again failed to defend his vote. He pointed out that SCHIP was created by Newt Gingrich, whom he cited as a conservative authority, showing how out of touch with conservatives he is.

On Keystone, despite Upton's talk, he folded at the first opportunity, voting for a massive highway bill not including the Keystone Pipeline because President Obama threatened to veto it. As Jack said, why not make him do it? Republicans have gotten Obama to sign some things he opposed before, like ending the national parks gun ban, by attaching them to larger bills. What's the point of supporting the Keystone Pipeline if you won't fight for it?

On immigration, Jack's response was weak, ceding too much ground to the left.

Also noteworthy is that for the second straight debate, Upton did not bring up any of the smears against Jack that he has been promoting in his mailings. Apparently he doesn't want to bring them up in a forum where Jack has a chance to respond.

Upton/Hoogendyk Debate
Upton Botches Election Data Again

Monday, July 02, 2012

Upton Botches Election Data Again

In my analysis of the debate between Congressman Fred Upton and Jack Hoogendyk, I pointed out that Upton made several mistakes in his analysis of election data.

Upton/Hoogendyk Debate
Upton: Well, I don't know if he could win or not. Voters will make that decision. I do know as I watched his career in the House and watched him run for nine offices in nine years, a career candidate on a host of fronts, governor, U.S. Senate, I watched him as a state Rep take what I considered a safe Republican district in Portage and make it awfully close, in fact, it had a recount to make sure he crossed the finish line as a Republican. When he ran for U.S. Senate, in that same district, Carl Levin beat him. What we saw with Jack in the state house was a steady decline in terms of support from the people that knew him best. Those that live in the same precinct.

[Me: I'm not sure what "district/precinct" means. I'll Assume Upton meant district. It's true that Jack's percentages declined. They were 57%/55%/51% in 02/04/06. (See http://electionmagic.com/.) But Upton doesn't mention that his own percentages declined, winning 69%/65%/61% in those same years. Thus Upton lost more support than Jack did over the same period. Julie Rogers wasted taxpayers' money with a recount, even though she clearly had no chance of success.
Carl Levin was an entrenched incumbent and Jack had no money, so it's no surprise he didn't win. He did easily win his own precinct, Texas 6, though. Upton could have taken on Levin in 1996, but he passed. It's a flat-out whopper to say that Larry DeShazor won handily. Larry got 51.06%.]
But another statement that Upton made slipped right by me at the time.

Transcript of Fred Upton, Jack Hoogendyk debate on Sunday
We have a diverse district. It went for Obama and President Clinton twice, particularly with Kalamazoo. It is diverse, that gives us strength, but it is one district where people don't care if you have an 'R' or 'D' next to your name.
It is true that the 1990s version was won by Clinton in 1992 and 1996. But the 6th district has changed since then. The 90s version had only a small part of Allegan County. The 2000s version had about half of Allegan. The new (2010s) version that Jack and Upton are running for this time has all but a tiny sliver of staunchly conservative Allegan County.

Running the numbers for 1992 and 1996, we find

County Bush Clinton Perot
Allegan 19077 12823 8742
Berrien 29252 25840 14056
Cass 7391 8047 4756
Kalamazoo 38035 43568 21666
St. Joseph 9836 7817 6209
Van Buren 10357 12466 7255
Total 113948 110561 62684

County Dole Clinton
Allegan 20859 14361
Berrien 28254 24614
Cass 7373 8207
Kalamazoo 40703 45644
St. Joseph 9764 8529
Van Buren 11347 13355
Total 118300 114710

(The numbers are slightly off due to the tiny sliver of Allegan missing, but this would not change the outcome.)

Thus Bill Clinton never won the CURRENT 6th district. That's even with Ross Perot taking a significant number of votes, more from the right than the left. The only democrat presidential nominee in recent decades to win the current 6th district is Obama. And that was after John McCain, who Upton endorsed early on in the primary, publicly abandoned the state of Michigan.

At least when it comes to election data, Fred Upton just can't get his facts straight.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Kalamazoo Charter Amendments Would Restrict Democracy

UPDATE: The controversial amendments were postponed for more study.

The Kalamazoo City Commission is considering several charter amendments.

Kalamazoo City Commission to consider placing charter amendments on November ballot
At a June 1 meeting, commissioners began considering several charter potential amendments, including changes in the way Kalamazoo voters elect the mayor and city commissioners. They may include moving the mayor to a separate ticket, changing commissioners' terms to four years from two, and establishing wards and electing city commissioners from those wards.
Considering each in turn...

Right now, the mayor of Kalamazoo is mainly a ceremonial position. He has no more power than any other city commissioner. Currently, the mayor is the candidate for city commission who receives the most votes. It isn't clear why this should change if he has the same power as any other commissioner.

What would be the purpose of changing commissioners' terms to four years? Campaigns for city commission are hardly long or arduous. This would only have the effect of making commissioners less accountable to the voters.

Political districts are desirable when political jurisdictions are large, so that legislators from one area cannot adequately represent citizens from another area. This applies to the United States, the state of Michigan, and perhaps even Kalamazoo County. But does it apply to the city of Kalamazoo, whose area is about 2/3 that of a township? Can someone from Winchell not represent Milwood? I think not.

A ward system would have the effect of making it harder to elect members of minority groups in the city of Kalamazoo, such as Hispanics or Republicans.

Upton Misrepresents RightMichigan.com

Recently a surrogate of Fred Upton posted an article promoting Upton and attacking Jack Hoogendyk on RightMichigan.com. It was a shoddy piece, with no documentation and with the same paragraph copied twice. It was the usual tripe that Upton's supporters have been spreading on Mlive.com and elsewhere.

Michigan 6: Fred Upton vs. Jack Hoogendyk

There was nothing too remarkable about this. RightMichigan's regular readers quickly tore the piece apart in the comments.

Then, a few days later, what should arrive in my mailbox?

The headline states that RightMichigan.com posted the analysis. This is false, except in the sense that it allowed a user to post the piece. As far as I can tell, he has never posted on the site before. The editor of RightMichigan, Jason Gillman, has endorsed Jack Hoogendyk, as have most if not all the regular contributors to the site (including me).

Notably, Upton's email does not have a link to the piece, unlike many of his other "in case you missed it" emails. This is probably because of the way the piece is shredded in the comments.

Upton trying to imply that Michigan's top conservative blog supports him when it doesn't is yet another addition to his disgraceful campaign.

See also: Maybe It Was A Frathouse Initiation