Monday, April 28, 2014

Lorence Wenke Statement

This is the statement the Lorence Wenke sent out over the weekend.  Since it doesn't seem to be available elsewhere on the internet, this blog will publish it.


Media Release from Lorence Wenke – State Senate Candidate April 25, 2014

I am leaving the Republican Party for two reasons:

1. The Republican Party leads the movement in Kalamazoo County, our state, and in our nation to discriminate against our gay family members, friends and neighbors.

I support the constitutional right of our gay family members to enjoy the same rights as our heterosexual family members. In 2004, I was one of two Republican legislators out of 63 to vote against the addition of the Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan’s Constitution. I was the only legislator to call it what it is - discrimination against our gay brothers and sisters. At that time, three local Republican legislators with gay brothers never said a word in support of gay rights. I challenge them with this question: “If you will not stand up for your own family members, who will you stand up for?”

Governor Snyder and Lt. Gov. Calley are not willing to publically take a position for or against gay rights. I can only assume it is because they fear the political consequences.

Republicans have encouraged many of our churches to support political efforts to discriminate against gays by condemning them for what they perceive as a sinful lifestyle choice. These same people often ignore the clear teachings of Jesus and Paul stating that remarriage after divorce is committing adultery. If the church required divorced members to live a celibate, single life, there would be fewer divorces and presumably marriage would be protected and valued.

As majority floor leader in 2004, Republican Representative Chris Ward helped ensure the placement of the Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot so that George W. Bush could be re-elected. Recently Mr. Ward wrote, “Looking back now, one of the things that bothers me the most about the whole episode was how dehumanizing it was. It was just politics. But it wasn’t politics. Those were people. We Republicans singled out a whole group of people, most of whom just wanted to be left alone, to forcefully discriminate against them for short-term political benefits. All around us were our friends, colleagues, family members, highly valued staff members and people we care about who this clearly was going to hurt. Nobody seemed to think a thing of it. My own particular purgatory is to be forever doomed to be on the wrong side of history.”

2. The Republican Party has abused taxpayer financially for the benefit of government employees

Most government employees have become an elite class of workers in Kalamazoo County, our state and In our nation with compensation packages far exceeding the private sector. Although the statistics in support of this over-compensation are overwhelming, I will not go into detail except for one example.

The City of Kalamazoo and the County of Kalamazoo have very similar compensation plans for their employees. For decades, Kalamazoo city commissioners have been mostly Democrats and Kalamazoo County commissioners have been mostly Republicans with a few notable exceptions. Republicans John Vander Ploeg, Al Heilman and Mary Balkema were Kalamazoo city commissioners. They said almost nothing about the generous compensation of city employees.

Republican small business owner, John Vander Ploeg, former Republican Party chairman, Al Heilman, and current Kalamazoo County Treasurer, Mary Balkema talk about good government but they are silent because there is a price to pay in business and on Election Day for anyone who opposes generous benefits for so many.

Most city and county employees can retire with 75% of their last pay check for life, as well as health care that is nearly free. Recently, a city manager retired after 22 years of work with an annual pension of $110,000 for the rest of his life. An assistant retired with an annual pension of $87,000.

This decision has been difficult. I have been a Republican for many years and served as both a Kalamazoo county commissioner and state representative as a member of the Republican Party. Most Republicans are good citizens and good friends who are sincere in their desire to make our communities better places to live. Although, I am leaving the party, I hope to maintain the relationships that I have built within the party.

I welcome the support of anyone who values economic and social freedom. I believe citizens need a choice in elections for economic freedom and social freedom that we do not have now.

In closing, I am leaving the Republican Party, including many who I consider to be friends, because of the suffering and injustice needlessly inflicted on our gay family members. I consider it an honor to have anti-gay citizens vote against me because of my support for equal rights for our gay family members. I am leaving the Republican Party because our spending of taxpayer dollars has been immoral and is leading our country to bankruptcy. I have joined the Libertarian Party and expect to be on the ballot in November as their Kalamazoo County Senate Candidate (20th District).

Lorence Wenke
3598 Wyngate Meadow
Galesburg, MI 49053

Friday, April 25, 2014

MCRI Upheld!

The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) is constitutional.  The MRCI banned racial discrimination in government hiring and college admissions.  Of course, the US Constitution and Civil Rights Act already don't allow this.  But liberals were ignoring this to support 'affirmative action' to discriminate against whites and asians.  Thus the MCRI was needed.

The bogus claim against the MCRI was that it discriminated against minorities since it made it harder to enact a policy they support.  First of all, there is no one minority position on affirmative action, as many minorities, from Thomas Sowell to Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas oppose racial preferences.  Further, it is far from obvious that racial preferences actually help minorities, since (particularly in college admissions) they lead to mismatching and higher minority dropout rates.

Setting that aside, the argument is still bogus.  Michigan's Constitution was amended in the usual manner.  Supporters had to convince a majority of the public to the MCRI, opponents had to convince a majority to oppose it.  The supporters won 58-42, despite being significantly outspent.  They beat everyone on the left, plus the Chamber of Commerce, Dick DeVos, and significant chunk of the Republican establishment.  Further, the MCRI could be repealed using the same exact process--convincing a majority of the public to repeal it.  But that won't happen, since the public doesn't like racial preferences.

Thankfully, BAMN's attempt to get unelected judges to overrule Michigan's voters failed.

Filing Deadline Passed

The filing deadline for Michigan public offices passed on Tuesday.  This blogs articles on Michigan elections have been updated with all the latest candidate filings.  These articles contain lists of candidates, previous election data, analysis, and ratings of the races.  They are linked on the sidebar at right.

The list of all state candidates is here:

The list of Kalamazoo County candidates is here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Terrence Moore on Common Core

Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College recently gave a very informative presentation on Common Core. This is well worth watching.