Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Congratulations, Judge Pierangeli

Congratulations to Scott Pierangeli, who was appointed to the Kalamazoo County Probate Court.

Scott Pierangeli, former Kalamazoo County assistant prosecutor, appointed probate court judge

Pierangeli lost a tough race for Kalamazoo County Prosecutor in 2012 to Jeffrey Getting, who fired Pierangeli after winning the election.  Pierangeli was previously secretary of the Kalamazoo GOP 2008-2012.

Another State Senate Candidate

There is another Republican candidate for state senate.

Kalamazoo resident Ron Zuiderveen Jr. announces he will seek state Senate seat
Zuiderveen Jr., who hasn't previously held public office, said in a statement announcing his release that he intends to run as "the people's candidate" because he believes in limited government and personal responsibility.  
Zuiderveen Jr., 46, said a few years ago he was divorced, lost his home to foreclosure and his car was repossessed. He said his handicapped son, Steven, also died around this time.  
But, in the past year, Zuiderveen Jr. says he has rededicated his life to Christianity and felt compelled to run for public office.
His platform isn't too specific, although he sounds fairly conservative.  A first-time candidate is unlikely to beat established politicians such as O'Brien and Wenke, but he could hurt O'Brien if he attracts conservatives upset at her votes on Medicaid expansion and Common Core.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2014 Kalamazoo County Commission Election Preview

This post was last updated October 22, 2014.

Republicans won a 6-5 majority on the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2010. The map is likely to maintain a Republican majority, but several districts will have competitive races. Six incumbents will retire, four to run for state representative.  Only two of the remaining commissioners were in office before 2010.  These are Republican Jeff Heppler and democrat John Taylor, who were both elected in 2002.  They are probably the favorites to be the leaders of the commission next year.

Incumbents are marked below with asterisks. The following post has detailed descriptions of the districts and their political leanings. The numbers given are the percentage the Republican county commission candidate got in 2012, Mitt Romney's 2-party percentage in 2012, and Ruth Johnson's percentage in 2010.

Kalamazoo County Commission Districts.

List of Kalamazoo County Candidates

District 1 [N Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R% 2012: 13.9 Romney: 13.5 Johnson: 20.3
Democrat: Stephanie Moore
Republican: none
Carolyn Alford, who has held office since 2006, is retiring. She defeated fellow incumbent Robert Barnard in this minority-majority district in 2012.  Moore is a Kalamazoo city commissioner who has been convicted of several crimes over the years.  She won the primary with 55% over Barnard (21%), Vicki Cohn (13%), and Rico White (11%).

District 2 [SE Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R% 2012: 0 Romney: 28.1 Johnson: 33.4
Democrat: Kevin Wordelman
Republican: David Lee
Incumbent David Buskirk, who is the board vice-chairman and has held this seat since 1992, retired to run for the democrat nomination in the 60th state house district, which he lost. Wordelman, a union organizer at WMU, defeated Jeremy Orr 68-32 in the primary.

District 3 [SW Kalamazoo] Safe Democrat
R% 2012: 31.1 Romney: 30.1 Johnson: 37.2
Democrat: John Taylor*
Republican: Sonjalita Hulbert
Taylor, who was first elected in 2002 by 13 votes, is safe here.  He was recently elected chair of the Kalamazoo democrat party.  Hulbert is a black conservative.

District 4 [Kalamazoo Twp, Parchment] Safe Democrat
R% 2012: 32.2 Romney: 31.7 Johnson: 41.8
Democrat: Michael Seals*
Republican: none
Seals, who defeated fellow democrat Franklin Thompson in 2010, is unopposed.

District 5 [Alamo, N Oshtemo, NW Kalamazoo Twp] Likely Democrat
R% 2012: 44.3 Romney: 47.2 Johnson: 56.9
Democrat: Julie Rogers*
Republican: Chuck Ybema
Rogers defeated David Worthams in 2012 to win this swingy open seat.  Ybema was the Republican nominee for state rep in the 60th district in 2008 before moving here.

District 6 [Cooper, Richland, Ross] Safe Republican
R% 2012: 54 Romney: 54.7 Johnson: 62.9
Democrat: none
Republican: Jeff Heppler*
Heppler has been on the board since 2002. In 2012, he defeated Tom Novak, who had applied for an open seat claiming to be an independent and received the votes of all the democrats. Heppler won the 2014 primary with 53% over Linda Winters (29%) and Neal Turluck (17%), who finished third in the 2012 primary.

District 7 [Comstock, Galesburg, Charleston, Climax, Wakeshma] Lean Republican
R% 2012: 50.9 Romney: 50.6 Johnson: 59.3
Democrat: David Burgess
Republican: Roger Tuinier*
Tuinier, who is a greenhouse owner, barely defeated Leroy Crabtree in 2012.  Crabtree defeated Republican incumbent Joe VanBruggen 50.7-49.3 in 2006. He was defeated by Ann Nieuwenhuis in 2008 54.5-45.5, and lost a rematch in 2010 61.9-38.1.  Burgess is a Comstock Township Trustee who finished fourth of eight candidates in 2012.

District 8 [Pavillion, Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde] Safe Republican
R% 2012: 100 Romney: 55.1 Johnson: 63.5
Democrat: Bret Willis
Republican: John Gisler
Moderate Republican board chairman David Maturen, who has been on the board since 2002, is running for state house in the 63rd district.  Former commissioner John Gisler, who deferred to him in the 2012 Republican primary, is running this year.

District 9 [Texas, SE Oshtemo] Safe Republican
R% 2012: 53.9 Romney: 51.7 Johnson: 62.5
Democrat: Scott Spicer
Republican: Dale Shugars
Brandt Iden, who was elected in 2010, is running for state house in the 61st district.  Shugars is a conservative former state senator (1994-2002) and state rep (1990-1994).  He won 72% to moderate Brian Kovacik's 28%.  Spicer lost a dem primary for county commission in 2010.

District 10 [W Portage] Likely Republican
R% 2012: 52.8 Romney: 49.4 Johnson: 58.8
Democrat: Larry Provancher
Republican: Stan Runyon
Conservative Republican Phil Stinchcomb defeated democrat Michael Quinn 56.4-43.6 in 2010, and defeated Connor Farrell in 2012.  Stinchcomb lost a bid for state house in the 61st district.  Runyon is the Kalamazoo GOP Treasurer.  Provancher, who is 78, was a democrat county commissioner representing central Portage 1995-2002.  He defeated Mary Roscoe 61-39 in the primary.

District 11 [E Portage] Likely Republican
R% 2012: 52.5 Romney: 47.5 Johnson: 56.5
Democrat: Jamie Jager
Republican: Scott McGraw
John Zull, who has been on the board since 2000, is retiring. In 2012, he defeated Jamie Jager, who was nominated as a write-in.  McGraw formerly worked for the Kalamazoo Homebuilders Association and now runs the Kalamazoo Business Alliance.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spending in Oshtemo

Oshtemo will be taxing more and spending more.

Oshtemo Township board approves 1 percent pay hike for officials, increases meeting pay for trustees
The board voted Tuesday to raise the salaries for the supervisor, clerk and treasurer 1 percent to $64,653 each.  
The trustees’ annual salary of $2,400 was approved unchanged.

Their per-meeting pay for township board meetings will go from $50 to $100, while their committee meeting pay will stay at $50 per meeting.
Oshtemo Township raises assessments for police protection, looks to put more deputies on patrol
The township board voted unanimously Tuesday to set the rates at 1.25 mills for the residential, agricultural and industrial properties in district 2009-1 and 3.25 for the commercial, multi-family and high-density residential properties in district 2003-1.

Currently, district 2009-1 pays 0.5 mills and district 2003-1 pays 2.5 mills.

With the change in rates, the owner of a home with a market value of $144,000 -- the average in Oshtemo Township – will pay $90 a year, up from $36 currently, starting in 2014.

For a commercial property with a market value of $736,086 -- the average in Oshtemo -- the change means a tax increase from $954 to $1,240 annually. For a multi-family property with a market value of $2,471,784 -- the average in Oshtemo -- the change means an increase from $3,089 to $4,016.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another candidate in 63

Marshall school board president Vic Potter is the second candidate to run for the Republican nomination in the 63rd district after Dave Maturen.

Marshall school board president files for 63rd District seat

UPDATE: Marshall school board president Victor Potter announces run for 63rd District state House seat

Thursday, November 07, 2013

David Maturen Running for State House District 63

Kalamazoo County commission chairman David Maturen is running for state house in the district of term-limited House Speaker Jase Bolger.

Kalamazoo County Board Chair David Maturen announces candidacy for state House
“My number one priority is building on the efforts of Gov. Snyder and the Republican legislative delegation to once again make Michigan a magnet for job creation” Maturen said. “Requiring sensible regulatory reforms, ensuring efficient and effective delivery of governmental services and keeping taxes low to allow businesses to reinvest in equipment and technology and families to keep more of their had earned dollars to spend on their priorities, will all aid in achieving that goal.”
This is little surpirising, but maybe it shouldn't be. Maturen was interested in running in 2008, but deferred to Bolger.  He was elected to the county commission in 2002 and hasn't had a competitive race since then.

Maturen represents about 23000 people in county commission district 8, which includes Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft, Brady, Pavilion, and Portage 2.  However, only Brady and Pavilion are in the 63rd. They together have about 10,500 people.  Furthermore, Maturen has only had Pavilion for one term, leaving Brady (pop 4200) as his core base.  That's only about 5% of the district.

There are several other possible candidates.  Former Calhoun GOP chairman and former Calhoun County Commissioner Greg Moore have both been mentioned as candidates, but neither seem to have announced yet.  Moore lost the 62nd district 38-62 in 2008, and Mobley lost it 45-55 in 2010.  Both are now in the 63rd due to redistricting.

Election Results

All the incumbents were reelected in Kalamazoo.  Bobby Hopewell won a fourth term as Mayor and sixth on the commission.  David Andersen will be vice-mayor, succeeding Hannah McKinney, who retired.  The other incumbents in descending order were Don Cooney, Barb Miller, Robert Cinabro, and Stephanie Moore.  The seventh seat will go to former democrat county commissioner Jack Urban.  The runners up were Tracy Hall, Jeff Weisman, Nicholas Boyd, Rico White, Mike Perrin, E Allen Hayes, Birletta Bean-Hardeman, Fred Lawrence. Republicans remain shut out here.

In Portage, Pete Strazdas was reelected Mayor unopposed.  Incumbents Claudette Reid and Terry Urban finished first an third.  Republican former county commissioner Nasim Ansari finished second; he will fill the seat of Ed Sackley.  Richard Ford finished fourth. This could be important, as there is an open seat following the resignation of Elizabeth Campbell, and the runner up is commonly appointed to an open seat in Portage. Unqualified 25-year-old democrat Connor Farrell finished a disappointing fifth.  Kevin Park was sixth.

There were a bunch of other elections scattered across the country. See this excellent roundup from RedRacingHorses:

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Goodacre Running in 60

The 60th district race already has David Buskirk and Jon Hoadley, and it's getting more crowded.

Kalamazoo Township Trustee Pamela Goodacre announces 2014 state House run
"Earlier this year members of our local and state community approached me to discuss the need for my candidacy to run for the Michigan 60th District House of Representatives," said Goodacre, who revealed in September that she was considering a run. "After much consideration and prayer, I am very excited to announce my decision to step up to the challenge."

Goodacre currently works as an intermittent lecturer for the University of Michigan and has served as a Kalamazoo Township Trustee since 2012. She said her work as an educator has made her want to be a voice for education in the state.

"As an educator, I believe in the necessity for not only job creation but also training, education and job preparation," Goodacre said. "I stand firmly for social justices, education and job creation."

Goodacre said she is trying to step up to provide more Democratic voice in Lansing for those she believes are underrepresented.

"In the past, I have been a strong advocate for families, women and children’s rights, public education, sensible gun laws, a living wage, and issues of equality, diversity and inclusion," she said. "These 21st Century issues warrant different actions and a different dedication."

Monday, November 04, 2013

Phil's In

County commissioner Phil Stinchcomb is officially running for state rep in the 61st district.

Kalamazoo County Commissioner Phil Stinchcomb announces 2014 state House bid
"I am motivated by three reasons -- 1) Valerie, 2) Tyler, 3) Michael -- My three children," Stinchcomb said in a press release. "I cannot stand back and watch progressives of Lansing or Washington D.C. steal our posterity's future."
What could that be a reference to?


Previous: Phil Stinchcomb for State House

Upton for Amnesty, Again

The stupid party strikes again.

Congressman Fred Upton says he will be part of 'bipartisan effort' to pass immigration reform this fall
A bipartisan approach has more chance of success than trying to persuade hard-liners in the Republican caucus, he said.  
"There are people that will never be a yes vote," he said. "There are some that want to send all 11 million home. That doesn't happen ... Let's just take that off the table."
Let's not.  Bipartisanship is when democrats and Republicans get together to screw the public.
Upton, however, stopped short of calling for a pathway to citizenship, saying, "We need somewhat of a pathway to legal status."
No citizenship would protect Republican politicians (for a while, anyways), but would leave illegals free to take your jobs.