Tuesday, November 22, 2005

 

Michigan Politics

It was fun. I've had a good time, put in some time and got a lot out of it but this will be my last post at Michigan Politics. I thank you all for visiting, reading, and contributing to the dialouge that began to grow here. I will be moving over to Michigan Liberal and will start posting there. I encourage you all (even republicans) to check the site out. It is bursting with information and has some nice tech behind it. I think the dialouge that happened here was healthy and hope it continues at Michigan Liberal.

Again, thanks for reading, I'm going to leave the site up, there are plenty of predictions in the earlier posts, and I wouldn't want the cover anything up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

 

More Hot Primaries Brewing

The 28th Senate District, home to Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema is uber-safe, and big names are lining up to fill it after Sikkema is term limited next year. So far Joanne Voorhees and Mark Jansen, both former state reps have entered the race. 2006 is going to be fun.

 

New Thoughts About the 8th

I've been thinking about Jim Marcinkowski a bit and I might have to change my tune. I think this guy is backed by the democratic establishment and I really doubt that anybody will be able to challenge him in the primary successfully. What does his candidacy mean for Rogers and the race next year? It going to be interesting.

Rogers is ex-FBI, sits on the intelligence committee, has ties to DeLay etc, while this Marcinkowski fellow is ex-CIA (an operative, not an analyst), knows Valerie Plame and has no paper trail when it comes to issues and voting. While he hasn't come out on issues, I'm going to assume he must be somewhat moderate, which should play well in a district that has more conservative voters than liberals.

Rogers is in a tough spot, he certainly hasn't dodged any bullets this year. He will have to move to the right (if he gets involved at all) in the GOP primary against Flynn and back to the center to deal with Marcinkowski.

I also find it quite amusing that the election is going to be about national security, not the economy, in a state like Michigan and in a district like the 8th. I suppose it goes to show. This should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

 

No charges

Fieger and Lee O'Brien will not be charged in the extortion attempt involving Mike Cox, says Oakland County prosecutor. Press confrence going on right now . . . Says Fieger had serious ethical violations, though. Nothing can be charged, he said.

 

The 8th

I've heard rumors about this guy, but I guess MIRS finally got a hang of it. Fron Politics[Michigan] comes news that--well no news really. The dems are looking to run somebody against Rogers, and they still don't know who. Jim Marcinkowski is one of the possibilites. The above link has a quick profile of him. I assume he will be the last to jump into the race, if any other dems got it, he would lose. Here's why.
From the FEC:

MARCINKOWSKI, JAMES MR.
OXFORD, MI 48371
CITY OF ROYAL OAK/DISTRICT ATTORN

BUSH, GEORGE W
VIA BUSH FOR PRESIDENT INC.

11/23/1999 250.00 20990021129

Or his page here, which is too long to reprint. Copy his last name into the field under Contributor analysis. The problem might not be that he is a DINO, but not a dem at all.

Monday, November 14, 2005

 

More Exciting Primaries

Let's see, we have the gop senate nomination, an interesting contest for the 69th district, some in the tri-city area and now another in around Lansing. This race promises to be interesting. Former (very popular) Mayor David Hollister's son David, will run for the democratic nomination in the 68th house district. The LSJ has a good story on it. He joins Chris Lewless and Joan Bauer in what should be a spirited campaign. This will be close, but I think Hollister might have the name to take it. The district his currently held by term limited Michael Murphy, who usually gets almost 70%.

I wonder what Michael Murphy is doing these days?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

 

A Really Bad Idea

I'm not a big fan of state mandated graduation requirements, but I realize that they can be very helpful. For example, the state could require that every student pass a course in how to handle money. That way people could stop getting fleeced by late fees and pay-advance loans. They could even learn how to fill out tax forms, it would be something that everybody would use and currently, very few students get.

Instead, the state proposes this, what amounts to an entire high school program. Four years locked in. It's stupid and I don't like it. Here's my favorite quote from the article:

"It's not fair for one child in one district to have an advantage over another child in another district as they get ready to go to college."

How about the fact that some students are worth $7,000 to the state and go to school in run down hell holes while other learn in palaces and the state deems them worth over $12,000. That doesn't seem "fair" to me.

It would be nice if every high school could be a prep school for college and every student could attend college, but they really just can't (except in Kalamazoo). I hope the state legislature does the right thing for once and kicks this proposal back to where it belongs.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

 

Cox, Fieger Share Pipe

I could care less what you do behind closed doors in your personal life. If you like to cheat on your wife or smoke crack, go for it. I don't care who you are, if you're a politician, a doctor, a teacher, just as long as it doesn't get in the way of what you do (smoking crack might not fall into that category).

Here's what I don't want to see, anything. This mess with Fieger and Cox isn't really what I expected when Fieger announced his candidacy a couple weeks ago. I expected to get this kind of tripe from Fieger, I didn't expect Mike Cox to show his true colors. Today Mike Cox released a tape of the "blackmail call" that Fieger supposedly ordered through some Cox/Feiger crony out for a book deal named Lee O'Brian. This all smells phony to me and I don't like it.

I guess we've managed to avoid the whole hollywood crap here in Michigan for awhile but the way things are going, it wouldn't surprise me if they released "Cox in too Deep" on DVD next week. It makes me sick. If this is what you want to do with your life, call Entertainment Weekly, not the Free Press.

Friday, November 11, 2005

 

Who's stalling now?

With all the brouhaha over the Cox/Feiger episode, it has been an easy week to overlook a real policy issue that could have real political implications. That of course would be the apparent collapse of the tax deal announced by Governor Granholm and legislative leaders just last week.

The Governor is promising to veto portions of the 12-bill package that the House and Senate passed on Thursday and it is worth pondering what political implications this will have.

Remember, one of the main talking points for Granholm and her supporters (other than "Bush did it") has been that the Republicans have been stalling on acting on her jobs package. As she has repeatedly said "Jobs can't wait".

Now with Granholm's veto imminent, we get this
from Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema: "Let's do something good for Michigan right now."

With Granholm holding out for what she thinks is a better deal, will she lose the ability to accuse the Republicans of stalling and make herself susceptible to the same charge?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

 

No More AdSense

I got rid of the AdSense thing I put up a few days back, it wasn't really making any money and was linking to places that had all sorts of spyware they wanted to put on your computer.

In lieu of that, I've decided to sell ad space to people (or campaigns) that feel like paying the $5 a month it would cost to get a server. About 50 people come to the site each day, I would guess that most of them have at least a passing interest in politics. If you're interested, write me, we'll work something out. (jonkoller@gmail.com)

 

How they got it so wrong

Both the Free Press and the Detroit News offer up explanations on how they, and the local television stations got the race so dead wrong on Tuesday night.

Turns out both Channel 4/Detroit News and Channel 7/Free Press exit polled by calling people. Big mistake in Detroit, where a plethera of residents don't use traditional land lines.

In both stories, the Freep and the News deflect the fact that THEY got it wrong, saying it was the pollsters. If you hired someone to do something, and they got it wrong, it still means you got it wrong.

 

Hardball

Maybe you're not from Michigan, or maybe you're from the big city so maybe you don't know. I can't recall the number, but an outrageous number of school districts cancel school for the start of deer hunting season. There is nothing worse you could do to somebody than cancel deer hunting season. I don't hunt, but have a lot of friends that do, that this is really the worst possible thing in the world. And the governor isn't messing around.

According to the Free Press, GOP bait n' switch tactics ove the tobacco settlement bill won't be working against Granholm unless they are willing to give up their deer hunting recess. This is nice to see, I was wondering when Granholm was gonna stop messing around with wiffle balls. This is hardball, and things are going to get messy.

As an aside, this is the second story I read in about 10 minutes that used the term "hastily called news conference," (the other is here) . Is something going on?

Thanks to Matt at Michigan Liberal for the tip

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

Questions, Questions...

I was talking with my cousin today and yesterday's election came up. He asked the obvious question, "How the hell did Kwame win?"

I don't think it's really that tough, he got more people to vote for him and not just a few more people. People are talking about how this will benefit one group or another, but in reality, Detroit needs help, maybe Kilpatrick can do it, maybe he can't. I suppose we're going to have to find out along with the rest of Detroit.

 

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

I was excited 4 years ago when he won, I really like to see young people in office, and I really hope Kwame doesn't let Detroit down again. He did a good thing yesterday, over 220 thousand people voted in the election, over a third of the 18+ population and probably a lot more than that of the eligible voters. In Detroit, only 330 thousand turned out for the presidential election. For an off year election, that's a big deal. Kilpatrick got young people interested in politics and now he's got to do his part and not let them down.

Good luck Kwame, I don' t think Detroit will give you a third chance, so don't mess this one up.

 

Results

So clearly the big news of the day is the massive upset in the Detroit mayoral race and the clear inability of pollsters to understand Detroit. Here are links to results from around the state.

West
Mid-Michigan
South East
Tri-City
UP

I think those cover mostly everything, if I'm missing stuff, send me a link.

 

18-year-old HS student wins mayoral seat

This kid is my new favorite mayor. He's an 18-year-old high school senior who ran because of a lack of interest by others in local politics. He was a write-in, and the incumbent didn't campaign because he said the kid didn't have a "credibility." How does that foot taste?

I don't know his political leanings, but I want to track this Sessions kid.

 

Kwame wins, Currie loses

Well once again proving those pesky exit polls are completely bull, Kwame comes back and wins, after both ABC and NBC locally had called the race for Hendrix at 8:05 p.m.

The best news of the morning is Jackie Currie was defeated 113,232 to 99,607.

 

It's Late

I'm off to bed, the morning will tell who won the race. Right now, Hendrix is holding on to a slim lead, 50%-49% with 62% of precincts reporting. The margin is under 1700 votes. Feel free to post updates in the comments.

 

Races Coming In

The latest tally from Channel 4:

Hendrix: 51%
Kilpatrick: 48%

with 61% of precincts counted.

The lead is about 2,600 votes.

In Lansing, Bernero has established a clear lead with 62% of the ballots counted, he leads Benavides by about 23 points. Chris Swope has a slightly smaller lead over sitting Lansing Clerk Debbie Miner.

 

Waiting for Detroit and Lansing

If you're following the results at DetNews.com, they messed up and switched the tallies. With 52% reporting, Kwame trails Hendrix 52%-47% or by about 4 thousand votes. Try here.

In Lansing, with 44% of ballots counted, Bernero leads Benavides with over 62% of the vote. He has declared victory but Benavides called him arrogant, saying the best is to come. He's a funny guy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

 

Results start to trickle in

From around the state, the Free Press is reporting that State Rep. Clarence Phillips has beaten incumbent mayor Willie Payne in Pontiac today. I'm not sure, but I think the seat will remain vacant until next year (does anybody know for sure?). The seat is solid blue and Phillips is term limited after this cycle.

In East Lansing, Kevin Beard and Victor Loomis, an incumbent won seats on the City Council, beating out William Sharp and John Fournier.

In Ferndale, a ballot question legalizing medical marijuana has passed.

In Lansing, Virg Bernero is leading sitting Mayor Tony Benavides 60%-40% while Chris Swope is leading incumbent Clerk Debbie Miner by a slightly smaller margin. 23% of precincts are reporting.

And finally, in Detroit very early results put Hendrix up about 35 points over Kilpatrick, but like I said, these are very early.

 

Dead Heat in Detroit

The first exit polls are mixed, as the Detroit News shows Hendrix up 10 points while the Free Press puts him up only 4. The DetNews poll included about 200 more voters, so take what you will from that.

Things have been swirling around Detroit Clerk Jackie Currie for some time now, but things are really starting to heat up today. Matt has posted a lot about this over at Michigan Liberal but tonight, a judge has issued an order that would keep ballots from being sent to the clerk's office. Here are some stories from the Free Press and the Detroit News.

The NAACP also filed suit against the MiGOP over poll monitors that the party sent to the election today. Here's a story.

 

Hendrix winning after exit polls

Both the Free Press and the Detroit News showing Hendrix ahead via exit polls.

I wouldn't trust them though. Jackie Currie and those funny absentee ballots could change things . . .

 

H-95

The dem primary for the 95th house seat is heating up as Saginaw city councilwoman Roma Thurin enters the race for the Democratic nomination. The seat is solid blue with outgoing Rep. Carl Williams gathering over 75% of the vote in the last election. The current field includes Joyce Seals and Mark S. Kraych. My preference is Kraych, he is heavily involved in the Wellstone Project and has a lot of good ideas to bring to state government. Either way, this is going to be a rough race.

Thanks to MINewsRoundup for the tip

 

Poor Schwarz

This guy just doesn't get any love. The Club for Growth will be funding his opponent again this year, only this time, they've gotten into the game early. Last year's election was a mess for the conservatives. Check out the repub primary with 73467 total votes.

14.0%-- Bisbee
11.4 % --DeRossett
6.7% ---DeWeese
27.8% --Schwarz
22.4%--Smith
17.7 % --Walberg

The conservative vote was split, mainly between the Club for Growth candidate and son of fmr. Rep Nick Smith, Brad Smith and Tim Walberg a former state legisltor. The year the conservatives aren't messing around, putting their backing solidly behind Walberg very early on. Schwarz has a lot of cash on hand, about 330k while Walberg hasn't started raising money yet. This race could get hot, but Schwarz really isn't as moderate as many had feared and he hasn't made too many new enemies on the right. I suspect that the sitting congressman will take this race easily, but you never know. I'll be keeping an eye on this race.

 

MCRI Takes Another Blow

Today Mike Bouchard came out against the MCRI, calling it flawed. I like the way that different people oppose this thing. Butler was against it because he thinks we live in a racist society anyway and what's a little more racism? DeVos and Bouchard are against it because it will hurt white people just as much as it hurts blacks. Zandstra is for it because he is an ideolouge. Personally, I'm for it and against it. If its passage spurs some sort of push for equality in the education system, the I'm all for it. If it doesn't, then it really is the best we've got. I'll probably wait to decide till nexy year.

Anyway, this brings up a lot of interesting issues. Bouchard coming out against this proposal means that only Zandstra is for it among the statewide republican candidates. This will clearly help Zandstra in the primary amongst the kind of people that vote in republican primaries. If, however, he doesn't win, then there will be no supporters of MCRI amongst the GOP challengers for statewide office. I don't think that it would help out the ticket very much at all. The goopers have to be careful not to alienate their base.

 

It's Election Day

Go out and vote, it's really the right thing to do. A lot of people would give up their lives just to do it, you might as well take the trip. I'll be posting results as they come in tonight and tomorrow.

Monday, November 07, 2005

 

National Divides

They're starting to show up on the local level. From MiNewsRoundup comes this gem about rifts forming between old friends. It's no suprise to me that cracks are starting to form in the Republican coalition. The race that the article details is one between Shaula Johnston and Rosalynn Bliss for the 2nd ward Grand Rapids City Commission. Bliss is pro-abortion, pro-labor while Johnston is anti-abortion, anti-labor. The surprise here is that the pro-labor group actually backed the pro-labor candidate, despite the fact that their memebers are mostly anti-abortion.

Could this be the start of something new? A society where people vote for their interests instead of their beliefs? Times are getting rough, it wouldn't be that big of a shocker. Here's a snip from a questionaire:

Rosalynn Bliss, 2nd Ward: Bliss is in support of this—she called it a “family living wage.” She support incentives for diversity as well and believes that the money would stay in the community. She described the payment of higher wages as a way of valuing families and said that you cannot balance the City budget on the backs of the working class.

Shaula Johnston, 2nd Ward: No, she will not promote a living wage at this time. Her goal is to save money and not spend it.

This is a race to watch.

 

The Day Before

The posts have been sparce recently, due mainly to midterms and internet problems, but today is a new day, and tomorrow is Election Day. It will (hopefully) bring to a close both an ugly and a boring race. The Free Press has a little ditty on the Detroit race while the LSJ has one about the Lansing race. Neither offer much insight. I think Virg will carry the day in Lansing, maybe by about 25 points. As for the Detroit race, your guess is as good as mine, I suspect Hendrix will win, but it could be close (which is not to say it will be).

 

New Zogby Poll

Check it out. Who knows what to make of online polls, I think they're just about as good as ordinary ones (or just as bad). Anyhow, if you don't feel like following the link, or if you just don't like anything that has to do with flash, here is a summary:

In the Senate, Stabenow leads Butler, Bouchard and Zandstra, 53/38, 54/35 and 54/35, respectively. Zogby didn't do any polling on the primary, but right now, it doesn't look to make much of a difference. Butler does seem to have gained a bit of headway, however, not all of his money was spend for naught.

In the gov race, some surprising news for Granholm. It shows her leading DeVos 54/36, what ammounts to a 10 point gain over a recent Mitchell Research poll put out a few weeks ago. Don't put too much stock in it, Granholm has a tough race ahead of her.

Friday, November 04, 2005

 

Site Changes

It took some time, but I finally fixed the dark comment problem (I kinda feel like an idiot) so now when you click on the little little pound sign under each post, you'll be able to see the comments.

I also decided to put up AdSense, if I make some money, I'd really like to get me a server, blogger is starting to cramp my style.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

 

Out of the Woodwork

I just picked this up from Matt over at Michigan Liberal. Mike Rogers will be challenged from the right (what!?!) in the primary nexy year. Here's the story. Patrick Flynn of Green Oak has thrown his hat into the ring, complaining about a trip Rogers' sponsored to bring former EPA Director C.T. Whitman to the state to promote her book. Whitman is no fan of the uber conservatives (like this Flynn fellow) and it does seem a bit odd that Rogers would bring her.

Flynn's campaign will seem to focus on abortion and gay marriage and while he certainly won't win, Rogers will have to spend a bit of money, and probably say some really stupid things about how he isn't really a moderate. All in all, this is no good for Rogers, it makes him more vulnerable. I wouldn't expect the Club for Growth to get involved.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Detroit needs a new clerk

Alright, these (here and here here) ballot scandals in Detroit have gotten out of control. It is starting to become obvious to me, that Jackie Currie is watching out for those who watch out for her. I don’t live in the city, but hope those who do mark Janice Winfrey for clerk.

I hope she is all over the trail getting votes, but I haven’t seen much from her. She has bullets on her web site saying she wants to restore dignity in the absentee ballot process. I hope she gets tougher in the last week of the election. She needs to hammer home, the current clerk is shady as hell, and she is squeaky clean.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

 

Here's a Bill Idea

I like to call it the "Stinky Truck Bridge Fee." If a truck crosses a bridge from Canada to the US and smells a bit stinky, it pays a small fee, maybe a couple bucks a ton. I can imagine that most of the affected trucks would be hauling trash from Canada to Michigan, something that most people don't like.

I like it. In a couple years, we'll be mining our landfills for valuable natural resources that we "forgot" to recycle. Why not take all of Canada's trash if it's so great then? Well first off it's stinky, and nobody likes that. But we have a lot of space and we could make some requirements about stinkiness on the road. Second, their trucks really mess up the roads. More than anything else, they really ruin roads. So we can tax them (see "stinky truck bridge fee" above) accordingly.

But isn't trash bad for the environment? Not really. Trash in the environment can be bad, but trash in a landfill is a good thing. That's where it's supposed to be. Michigan has a lot of very well managed land fills, it's big business in this state and for good reason. There are a lot of really nice places in Michigan and there are a lot of really crappy ones (I know, I grew up in one). Putting a landfill in a crappy place can even make it better (see Mt. Trashmore).

So instead of debating about fake environmental issues like "Stopping Canadian Trash," we could be talking about stopping mercury pollution so we can eat Great Lakes fish again, or transitioning to wind power (Lake Michigan is a great place to do it), or forcing the Big 2.5 to do something about fuel economy. We could be talking about expanding public use of lands for hunting and fishing, or enlarging the size and increasing the quality of the state park system, or if we were really crazy, like Vern Ehlers crazy, we could talk about investing in sustainable systems that will bring jobs to the state.

Or, we could ban what could and should be a decent way for the state to make a couple bucks.

 

Complications

From the Free Press today, we learn that both Dick DeVos and Keith Butler will not be supporting the MCRI ballot proposal to get rid of affirmative action. Their statement was clearly coordinated, as they both announced on the same day. Bouchard made no such announcement. Zandstra has already come out in support of the proposal.

Here are a couple things to note. DeVos want's Butler to win the primary. He is the only candidate that could give DeVos any boost by helping bring the conservatice black vote to the repubs. That's why we see the collusion. As for the ballot proposal, this really complicates things. While I really doubt that these two will every bring up the subject again, I think the gooper base might not like this news. This is something that all those white suburban parents whose kids are applying to school probably care about. I presume that Bouchard will come out for MCRI, looking to find some way to capture the gooper base. This race has goten very interesting, more and more by the day. I'm sure there'll be fireworks before the end.

Monday, October 31, 2005

 

Corruption

I've never understood political corruption these days. The things politicians do for a couple bucks, it's crazy! Here's a story from Traverse City about US Rep. Dave Camp, who is bending over backwards to force the Army Corps of Engineers to grant a slightly larger variance to a resort owner. At stake is 45 feet of beach. The owner of the resort put up a bit over $5,000 for the favor making the deal worth around $100 a foot. That seems awfully cheap to me.

Just thought I'd pass that along; Dave Camp has rock bottom rates.

 

Chaos in Lansing

The window has closed. All policy-making in Lansing has been shut out in favor of election positioning. My favorite headline is: "Frenzy to Cut Taxes Permeates Capitol." Keep in mind that until a few days ago, there was an actual drive to invest in the state by funding high-tech firms and various other future related things. That's all gone now, with both majority leaders Sikkema and DeRoche both offering (what most consider) ill concieved plans to cut taxes that would only need to be raised again in a couple years. DeRoche's is particularly bad, it eats up 700 million over 3 years and offers no way to fund that plan after that.

Republicans need to get with the times. Taxes are really not the chief burden on business anymore. Insurance is the big killer. To their credit, the gop did go after liability insurance by trying to make it illegal for people to sue for damages, but I'm still waiting for a proposal to make it illegal for people to get sick or injured. Heavy industry will continue to leave this state, and the state will continue to transition to a more high-tech economy, but there is a very significant time lag in the process. The only way to slow the exodus of industry today is to cover the health care of their workers.

Diversification doesn't happen overnight and college diplomas don't either, but industry does pack up factories faster than we can say "Wait."

 

Random

So I met John Edwards and other Michigan bloggers last week, I've been working on a post about it, but I've had a lot of computer troubles and not a lot of time. A GIANT thanks goes out to Mark Maynard for typing up a transcript of our Q&A with Edwards.

Also, I really want to increase the Michigan Blogs catagory on the left, so use the comments to tell me about your favorite Michigan Blog.

 

The GOTV Contest

It doesn't matter how many people want you to win an election, it matters how many show up to vote. I can't say I know what motivates people, but there are a couple big things up in the air right now for 2006 in Michigan.

First is the Senate candidacy of Keith Butler, an Oakland county reverend, millionaire, conservative black man. It's not the standard combination and not one that would beat Stabenow. What it might do, is make the GOP ticket a bit more appealing to black people, both in Detroit and elsewhere (and yes, there are black people in Michigan that don't live in Detroit). It might provide push the govs race over the top, or maybe seal a win for a couple congressional seats, lr state leg seats. But now we hear news that white Oakland county sheriff Mike Bouchard is back in the race after a breif period of health problems. Throw in Jerry Zandstra into the mix, probably the choice of West Michigan republicans, and who knows which candidate will come out on top.

Bottom line: I don't think any of them can beat Stabenow, Butler would take some of the wind out of the Dems sails but Zandstra or Bouchard might be able to give a push to the GOP ticket as a whole. Who knows.

But there's another issue coming down the pipes; it's the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. It doesn't really have anything to do with civil rights, but it would make illegal the consideration of race as a factor in both university admissions and public (and I suppose private) contracting. This could get a lot of attention from minority communities, or it might not. I think universities are going to find ways to let in poor black and hispanic kids whether they have high test scores or not, so I can't imagine what this bill hopes to accomplish except rile up a big group of people. This is another question make though. The proposal isn't even guaranteed to be on the ballot yet (it seems like it will though), but it seems like a lot of national money will be going into the race.

My take? I think this is a much bigger factor due to the contracting clause. Cities have all kinds of minority business agreements to promote small minority businesses. This proposal would get rid of all those programs, putting a lot of businesses out of business and a lot of people out of work. I think that is going to line up a lot of people against this and really work to get them to the polls. It was a bad idea for the MiGOP to let this get on the ballot. It's like gay marriage for the Dems, its just not the issue that brings out your side, but it sure does bring out theirs.

2006 is going to be a big one in Michigan.

[Update: -6:45 pm 10/31/2005- News today that MCRI is one step closer to the ballot, no news if there will be further challenges. Here's a link.]

Sunday, October 30, 2005

 

Bouchard back in the race

Sunday Detroit News reports that Bouchard is going to announce he's back in the senate race to try to unseat Stabenow. He will be a formable foe, as he's a popular figure in Oakland County, and should be able to garner a large amount of cash.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

 

Racism? What Racism?

(Black) Senate candidate Keith Butler is perplexed by efforts by party officials to convince Bouchard to enter the race, a move that would erase the frontrunner status that Butler has enjoyed up till now. He can't understand why Liddy Dole wouldn't want him to be their candidate. After all, isn't the GOP the party of African-Americans?

As a note, I'm usually the last person to call something racist, but this is really just a no-brainer. The only other reason they possibly couldn't like Butler is because he's rich, wait a sec, shouldn't that make the GOP love him?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

 

ANOTHER Poll

I know, these are getting old, but this one is important. EPIC/MRA just released a poll on economic blame (props to MNR). Here are the results:

Michigan's economic problems:
Bush: 39%
Granholm: 24%
Both: 14%
Neither: 14%
Undecided: 9%

Manufacturing losses in Michigan:
Bush: 43%
Granholm: 19%
Both: 12%
Neither: 14%
Undecided: 12%

That's bad news for DeVos. Especially on the manufacturing losses. He is going to have to make one hell of a pitch to convince people to change their minds. I think Granholm will be a better campaigner than to let that happen. The poll also gave some early numbers on the race:

Granholm opinion: 55/35/9
Granholm job rating: 46/52/2

Granholm v. DeVos (last month):
Granholm: 53% (50)
DeVos: 30% (30)
Undecided: 17% (20)

A third would reelect Granholm, a third would consider someone new and only 18% would vote against her while 16% can't make up their minds.

DeVos has 69% name recognition with 20/16/33 approval, it looks like early on, people are willing to give him a chance.

 

A Bevy of Polls

A bunch of polls came out over the last couple days, here they are:

Check out this right/wrong direction poll from SUSA

SUSA 50 state Senatorial Approval Poll:
Levin: 53/37
Stabenow: 47/33

In the Detroit Mayoral race, U-D Mercy released their (first I think) poll on the race. They show Hendrix up on Kilpatrick 60%-40%, I dunno how accurate that is though, it seems to me like the race is a bit closer than that.

Back to the state at large, Strategic Vision, a Republican outfit, has released a slew of numbers.

Below are the results of a three-day poll of registered voters in the state of Michigan. Results are based on telephone interviews with 1200 registered voters in Michigan, aged 18+, and conducted October 21-23, 2005. The margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

The format for these is approve/disapprove/undecided

Granholm's job performance: 44/49/7

Stabenow's job performance: 42/38/20

Levin job performance: 53/36/11

Bush job performance: 34/56/10

Bush on the economy: 29/60/11

Bush on Iraq: 36/54/10

Right Track/Wrong Track
Right 28%
Wrong 60%
Undecided 12%

Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers: 46/36/18

Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade:
Yes 34%
No 56%
Undecided 10%

Governor Race:
Jennifer Granholm 46%
Dick DeVos 35%
Undecided 19%

Republican Primary? (Republicans Only)
Keith Butler 28%
Jerry Zandstra 21%
Undecided 51%

Satisfied with current Republican Senate candidates: (Republicans only)
Satisfied 24%
Prefer another candidate 58%
Undecided 18%

Senate Race:
Debbie Stabenow 47%
Keith Butler 28%
Undecided 25%

Senate Race:
Debbie Stabenow 49%
Jerry Zandstra 22%
Undecided 29%


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

 

A New Way

If you're tired of typing blogspot in when you come to this site, you can now just type

http://www.mi-politics.com
-or-
http://mi-politics.com

For your convenience.

Monday, October 24, 2005

 

A New Strategy

And by the looks of it, a pretty good one. I've been noticing some strange behavior recently from the Granholm administration. First she called on Bush to lower gas prices (like she did), then she started a petition to do the same (through Bush) and just today she writes (publicly) to our congressional delegation asking them to do something about the auto industry at the federal level (like national health care.) I think there is generally a larger divide between national and state politics. Here's Granholm's problem, times are not good. If the 2006 election is a referendum on her, she'll lose in a landslide. If, however, it is a referendum on the Bush administration (33% approval), then all she needs to do is divert the blame. There's no better way to do it than by looking busy.

Here's her plan. She won't run against DeVos, she'll run against Bush. I think it's kinda dirty, seeing as how Bush really has little interest in defending himself, but hey, DeVos can fight back. To defeat this plan, all DeVos has to do is side with Granholm on this and criticize Bush for destroying the Michigan economy... Yeah, I laughed to. This is looking to be a fun race.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

 

Bouchard at 90%

Not in the polls, of course. According to a news report, he is 90% committed to a run for Senate. I think we can expect an announcement around Wednesday. He will be meeting with the bigwigs in DC on Monday and state leaders on Tuesday. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is contemplating jumping into the two way race between Jerry Zandstra and Keith Butler. He has been elected as a State Rep and Senator, and now he wants more. Here's how his support seems to line up:

House Speaker Craig DeRoche: Three thumbs up, he's all for it.
Sec of State Terri Lynn Land: Even though I like primaries, I like Mikey even more.
Nat'l Committeeman Chuck Yob (older one): "He will pick up big money"
RSCC Chair Lizzy Dole: Go for it
MiGOP Chair Saul Anuzis: No problems mate!

So it looks to be a rough week for Butler, and Zandstra. I think that the establishment will totally switch to Bouchard, partially switch, or at the very least drop their endorsement of Butler. The last option would open up a window for Zandstra to get some monies. Who can say, this will be interesting. I think the GOP is making a mistake here. They're going to need all the money they can get, and I have a feeling that this primary is going to get ugly.

 

How the Congressional Races Fare

In Congress, there is some action in the sticks. Check out this article from the Ludington Daily News. Four congressional candidates have formed the "mc3" or the Michigan Congressional Challenger's Coalition. I harken back to my days in the c3i, but then I'm jolted back to reality. Four congressional challengers have combined thier forces, their losing forces (sorry guys).

Kimon Kotos in the 2nd district, Mike Huckleberry in the 4th district, Bob Alexander in the 8th district and Steve Reifman in the 9th district all lost to incumbents last year. I hate to point it out, but not one of them broke 40% in the last election. But these guys are gluttons for punishment. With the exception of Bob Alexander, the mc3 will be running again next year.

Mad props to Kimon Kotos, who not only has to coolest name, but will run again aginst Hoekstra, not something that anybody can really relish doing. And the same to Mike Hickleberry, who will run against David Camp, not quite as bad, but still no walk in the park.

In the 8th district, no democratic candidate has emerged to challenge Mike Rogers except Eric Crosley, who has been in and out of the picture, and hasn't returned my e-mails.

On to the 9th, where there is an over abundance of candidates. Announced already are Rhonda Ross and, of course, Steve Reifman. They might have to share the primary with John Ashcraft and John Murray, who knows.

Off to the 11th, where lurks Thaddeus McCotter, the sophomore gooper. He is facing either radio host Tony Trupiano or Ray Raczkowski who will face off in a primary.

 

Lansing

In the final weeks before the 2005 election, races are coming down to the wire. One that isn't is the race for mayor of Lansing.

Virg Bernero was endorsed by the Lansing State Journal today en route to a rout of sitting Mayor Tony Benavides. I think this race is going to get dirtier before the end, but I don't think it will make much of a difference. While Virg clearly didn't enjoy being a legislator, and probably wasn't very good at it as a result, I think he'll do a good job as mayor. He's energetic and passionate, two qualities that make good administrators and bad legislators.

Friday, October 21, 2005

 

The Race Heats Up

A couple stories came out today on the Detroit Mayoral race. SUSA released a new poll showing Hendrix's lead shrinking, now within the margin of error. Henrix leads %50-%46 with %4 undecided and a %5 margin of error.

Then there's this gem from Michigan Liberal. It seems Kwame hasn't been paying his bills. He's been closing in on Hendrix since the challenger's son was arrested but if this hits news stands, it's not going to reflect well. As far as this being something huge, it's not, but this race is going to be close, and every slip will matter.

 

The Senate $$$

While the field might not be fully set, the third quarter numbers are. Stabenow is holding an impressive lead while fundraising for the two Republican candidates didn't quite meet expectations.

Name
















On Hand












Raised








Spent










Net Gain
Stabenow
















$4,702,000












$1,161,000








$361,000










$800,000
Butler
















$765,000












$610,000








$250,000










$360,000
Zandstra
















$49,000












$112,000








$111,000










$1,000


Butler is going to have to start raising some more cash if he expects to buy Zandstra out of the race. Butler has a ton of baggage, and I think he's gonna need more than 6:1 to beat Zandstra. Aside from Stabenow, who raised a ton of cash, these numbers are unimpressive and not very telling at all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 

That Time of the Month Again

SurveyUSA released Bush approval numbers for the 50 states today, you can see them all here. The Michigan numbers aren't much of a surprise, 33%-65% (That's 33% approve). It's too soon to tell how all this will impact the 2006 elections, but it isn't always easy to tie state and local elections to a president during mid-terms. Not easy, but these numbers are really bad. The Granholm numbers should be coming out soon along with the rest of the governors.

 

For Real?

There seems to be some back room workings going on as Zandstra and Butler position themselves for next year's primary. According to Politics[Michigan] (getting a good rap today), the National Journal is reporting that Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard might be looking at entering the race for Senate. While I would normally just pass this off as utter silliness, George Weeks column a few days back makes me reconsider. If it were not for Butler's institutional and money advantage, this race would be done, but the way things stand now, it could get real interesting real fast. Divide and conquer is the strategy.

Think back to the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Granholm didn't break %50. She ran against Blanchard and Bonior. Check out this article about how the race was looking after the 2000 election. Granholm beats Bonior %42-%29 two years out. That's much to close for her liking, primaries are supposed to be easy things. From what I remember, there was quite a bit of surprise when Blanchard entered the race. All he did was cannibalize support from Bonior, he never had a chance of winning.

Was anybody surprised when Granholm selected Rick Wiener (Blanchard's Chief of Staff) to hold the same position in her own administration? When you divide and conquer, the players are on your side, and sometimes you have to pay them to be there. If the sheriff does indeed enter the race, I think he'll draw the most votes from Butler, but not nearly enough to win outright. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some in the party that aren't very happy with Butler and are pushing to "diversify" the field.

 

In Case You Haven't Noticed,

I like crazy ideas. ICDP:Dispatch is linking to a letter from Walter Cronkite proposing a mid-term convention. I have some misgivings about that kind of thing, it seems a bit like an arms race but oh well. It could do good things. As for it's probability of happening, stranger things have happened.

 

An Interesting Editorial

From Politics[Michigan], the Kalamazoo Gazzette is running a stupid editorial about the unicameral legislature the MDP is working on. It is titled: Win Elections the Old-Fashioned Way. I like Kalamazoo, but their editorial board is full of morons. They proclaim the greatness of our system, where the supior candidate always wins and is bolstered by a superior state ticket. Their message? Don't tamper with the system.

That seems pretty reasonable right? I mean, we have a legislature that is amazingly responsive to the people, at least the people who donate thousands to underwrite their campaigns. You don't need to look much farther than the Telecom Bill that the senate just passed to realize who is running the show in Lansing. So why is it that we are represented by so much scum, these despicable people willing to sell out millions of people for a couple thousand dollars?

They've got nothing to lose, they still get elected, no problem.

I've got a scenerio for you, suppose this proposal was put foreward and it did pass. What would happen? (By the way, this was the kind of question you should have asked yourself before you wrote your editorial). Well, a board would re-draw district lines. But what proposals would the Republicans and the Democrats put foreward? Gerrymandering doesn't really work anymore does it? It's not how many seats you win, it's how many people you get to vote for you that matters in terms of the final overall makeup of a body. So how do you get people to vote in an election? I'll tell you what I'd do, I'd make 'em all real tight. Every district in the state would be 50/50. That way, like you said, the superior candidate would win, partisanship aside. Each base would turn out to support their candidate and independants would come out in force to vote for the stronger of the two. Applied historically, the overall makeup of the house would be around 50/50.

There is no clear winner in this proposal except democracy. More people would vote because more people's vote would count.

The assertion that this is just a power play by the dems to kick the GOP out of power is somewhat absurd, the dems are already poised to take back the Senate and probably the House in the next election cycle. This should not be confused with term-limiting.

I could clearly go on about this but I'll spare you.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

 

George Weeks...

He like the Robert Novak of Michigan without the treason stuff. His column today is about rumors circulating that Congressman Pete Hoekstra is considering a run for Senate in 2006. I can't imagine why he would quit the House and his post as the chairman for the House Intelligence Committee just to get beat by Stabenow. I sense there is some pressure being applied here. Butler and the party want to drive Zandstra out of the race, and as the motto goes, divide and conquer. Butler spokes people are saying that Zandstra is spreading the rumors, possibly an attempt to slow down Butler's fundraising... Either way, if another candidate does enter the race, things will only get more interesting.

 

Detroiters reconsidering Hendrix

A new poll put out by Mitchell Research puts Hendrix over Kilpatrick %48-%35 with %17 undecided. The poll was done on the 10-13 of October and the really interesting part was that Hendrix's lead was cut in half the second two days of polling compared to the first two, from %15 to %7. The race is tightening with only a couple weeks to go. Sources in Detroit tell me that momentum is swinging solidly in Kilpatrick's favor.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

 

Tech help...

I'm looking to make this site a bit more robust- adding accounts, new url, less blogger, you get the picture. If anybody out there has that kind of expertise, write me at jonkoller@gmail.com

That would rock.

 

How the Congressmen Fared

A breakdown of the third quarter for our congressional delegation.

Name
On Hand



Raised Spent Net Gain
Stupak
$123,214


$140,548 $73,658 $66,890
Hoekstra
$279,068


$69,125 $19,228 $49,897
Ehlers
$402,489


$37,260 $22,483 $14,777
Camp
$1,025,202


$121,993 $64,870 $57,123
Kildee
$650,692


$84,075 $26,211 $57,864
Upton
$731,596


$75,073 $49,850 $25,223
Schwarz
$339,986


$183,449 $149,704 $33,745
Rogers
$925,009


$180,224 $109,436 $70,788
Knollenberg
$977,496


$137,165 $133,030 $4,135
Miller
$941,602


$83,073 $24,099 $58,974
McCotter
$334,477


$94,721 $30,718 $64,003
Levin
$188,696


$152,940 $37,287 $115,653
Kilpatrick
$385,429


$21,100 $14,142 $6,958
Conyers
$183,976



$0
$2,944
-$2,944
Dingell
$577,473


$190,050 $89,263 $100,787

Thanks to the FEC...
The Senate will be up soon.
[Update with Conyers' numbers... they seem a bit odd]

Friday, October 14, 2005

 

What's Delphi Anyway?

So we've got a problem. 15,000 workers are about to be out a job, and not just some minimum wage stuff. $60k a year plus benefits is a decent living for anybody. It's times like these that make me wish we had embraced free-trade sooner, if we were going to at all. If we had lost all our manufacturing jobs 30 years ago to Asia, Africa and South America, today we would be kicking some ass. Transitions in economies tend to cause blips in the system. The problem is, those blips aren't just lines on a piece of paper, they are people's lives, and they tend to last a lifetime. So what can the state do? As far as I can see, there are really only three options that involve doing anything.

First, we could pay Delphi to operate and continue to pay its workers. Sound a bit Soviet? Isn't going to happen and probably for the best.

Second, we could bust the unions and keep Delphi. The would mean letting them pay their workers minimum wage with no benefits. Hell, that's the only way they can turn a profit. I don't like this option. This is just de facto option 1, I call it the Wal-Mark option. Instead of subsidizing the company, the state just takes care of their workers, a job the company should be doing. I don't like it. Not one bit. (Plus I'm a big fan of unions, and busting unions makes me angry.)

Third, we could teach these workers how to do something else. There is a lot of money floating around out there just looking for somebody who knows how to use it. U of M just built three or four giant new buildings and is working to hire people to fill them. I can only assume that this is the case all over the state, at least that's what Granholm is saying.

I like education. I'm a civil engineering student, it's not that hard, but for some reason there is only one person over 30 in any of my classes. Why isn't the state paying for older people (ie adults) to go to college? I just don't get it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

 

Is there a bigger non-story, story out there?

This has to be the biggest non-story I've read in a long time.

Summary: Shelby Township trustee drives into a ditch. Said she had drinks earlier in the night. Her BAC is below the legal limit. She is given no ticket.

Slow newsday? Personal vendetta?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

 

Anyone heard of ethics?

This has to be one of the worst things I've seen a metro-Detroit media outlet ever do. I thought victims of domestic violence were not named, or shown on TV unless they give permission?

Channel 7 does not quote the victim, or her family. This makes me sick. Anyone want to voice their concerns with the ethics of the story can contact them via their website. Their general manager is Grace Gilchrist.

 

I Love the Michigan Daily

They've done a much better job this year with typos, but they still can't get thier headlines right.

The Headline (frontpage, no less):

"Candidate’s son pleads guilty to drunk driving"

The Actual Story (the truth and in the daily):

"A not-guilty plea was entered for Stephen Hendrix in the drunken driving case." p. 7

I suppose at least they try.



 

Butler's Money

The Hill is reporting that Keith Butler only managed to raise 500k in the third quarter, compared to the 1.2 mill raised by Stabenow. I read somewhere that Yob the younger is saying that Zandstra raised about 200k (sorry no link). I think republicans realize that this primary race will be close and they don't want to give either candidate a blank check.

In other news, you've probably seen this elsewhere, but go vote for Michigan in the ActBlue poll, vote for Michigan. This is the year that dems can take the state senate, but they need the cash to do it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

 

Something Bizarre

So remember a couple weeks back when Mayor Kilpatrick said that crazy thing in the debate about Hendrix having law problems in his family? "Everybody was like, there he goes again, Krazy Kwame running his mouth." If you were watching the news tonight, you noticed something odd. Hendrix's son was arrested in April on DUI charges but a complaint wasn't filed till 9/14/2005, the day before the debate when Mayor Kilpatrick made the above statement. Coincidence? Methinks not. A lot of fishy bussiness has been going on about this election... who knows what will happen next?

 

Feeds

I've had these feeds since I started the blog, but I never really made it all that obvious. Now you can read the blog without the rich colors straining your eyes.

 

And there won't even be an election

Today, Geoffrey Fieger announced his candidacy for Attn. General. He had earlier hinted that he was considering challenging Granholm for gov in the primary on Tim Skubick's "Off the Record" but it looks like he things this race will be easier. On one hand, it will be easier, beating Granholm would have been impossible, but he probably could have forced her to take some tough positions. There is no primary for the AG nomination though, it is decided at the caucus. While Fieger has some sway in vote rich Detroit, I think race will play a factor here, making for an interesting caucus. Granholm's pick is fmr. Grand Rapids Judge Scott Bowen, she just appointed Judge Pablo Cortes to fill his old position, so he could start campaigning. The first into the race was State Rep Alexander Lipsey (D-60) of Kalamazoo who is term limited next year. So now we have a three way match-up. What to do?!?

Here's what I think. The MDP and Granholm will team up on Lipsey and try to get him to run for State Senate against Tom George (R-20), a 1st term republican representing Kalamazoo County and a bit of Van Buren. By "team up" I mean "promise him a lot of campaign dollars." In fact, that's probably the reason why he ran in the first place. Looking back I did think it was odd that he would back out of a race to unseat a conservative republican in a liberal (voted for Kerry +5) district. I even think he said he wasn't looking for a floor fight. Sounds like all he was looking for was a bit of free cash. Nobody has filed for the senate seat yet.

Now Fieger just threw his hat into the ring! He is a popular guy in Detroit and even though Granholm will push Bowen hard, who knows if that will be enough. Granholm might let Lipsey stir in the race for a bit, even through the convention. I think we all know Fieger well enough that he will certainly put on a show for us at the convention. Bowen would probably prevail in a three way race, but there is a potential that he could lose head to head against Fieger. Does this mean that Granholm will be buying Lipsey in instead of out? How exciting!!!!

 

A Bump in the Road

Just in time for the evening news cycle last night, the son of Detroit Mayoral candidate Freman Hendrix was arrested in Ann Arbor on domestic abuse charges. Somebody also decided to bash up his car. It looks like Kwame was right afterall. Who can say how this will affect things, I think if Freman deals with this well, it might help. This could be something people in Detroit can deal with.

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