Thursday, September 29, 2005


New Polling numbers

These are from Strategic Vision, an out of state republican polling joint, so don't put too much weight behind the numbers, they do, however seem to line up pretty well.

Granholm Approval:
Approve 45%
Disapprove 48%
Undecided 7%

Jennifer Granholm 47%
Dick DeVos 33%
Undecided 20%

Stabenow Approval:
Approve 44%
Disapprove 39%
Undecided 17%

Debbie Stabenow 48%
Keith Butler 27%
Undecided 25%

Debbie Stabenow 51%
Jerry Zandstra 21%
Undecided 28%

Keith Butler 27%
Jerry Zandstra 18%
Undecided 55%

There's a lot of other content from the poll, I think Condi snuck a few questions in there, or someone did for her. Posts have been slow recently, I've been swamped, but things should pick up again after next week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Looking for writers

I have some sort of vision for this site and it includes several authors writing about interesting politics and races around the state. If you live somewhere (maybe even in Michigan) and you want to spend a couple minutes every now and again writing for this blog, that would be sweet. I would be most happy if the people who want to write have a different background from mine, either geographically or ideologically. Anyhow, think it over, send me a letter.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Guns, Gays and God

And the winner is.... Well come on now, they used "Gays" in the last election, and you certainly don't want to beat a dead horse into the ground, it looks like GUNS are up. But not really what you'd think. Legislation was introduced in the House that would relieve a person of their duty to flee before responding to an attack by force, or at least that's what I've read in various papers. Thing is, you don't have to flee. What this law would do, is allow for people to not be held liable for actions they take when they feel threatened. Say I'm taking a candy bar out of my pocket but John T. Happy sees me and things my candy bar is really a gun that I'm about to use to commit a crime. Under new legislation he can pull out his concealed firearm (as long as he's not in a school or church) and shoot me. Does he go to jail? Not under this new law.

Now hold on, that's never going to happen is it? No, it won't, but neither will somebody get sued or go to jail for defending themselves in a reasonable manner. This law is excessive and bad. The problems that it tries to prevent don't exist at all.

I've never shot a real gun so I won't say if I like them or not, but I have exercised my rights, and I do like them. In fact, I would like lots more rights, it makes me more free. The right to kill somebody and not have to answer for it however, is not a right that I nor anybody else in this country should have. I gladly cede this right.

Every time a police office fires their weapon, a full report is made out. For Americans that fire their weapons to kill others, we have a good judicial system that works out what will happen. This attempt to inject guns into an election that looks to go badly for the GOP is exceedingly weak. Just because people in Michigan like their guns, it doesn't mean they like shooting them, and it really doesn't mean they like shooting them at people. MIGOP is reaching...

Btw, this legislation was passed in Florida recently and national gun-control groups are raising money to defeat it here. I don't understand why this is a gun-control issue, it's more of a stupid politics making stupid laws issue but oh well.


Hendrix Already the Mayor-elect?

A new poll released by EPIC/MRA shows Freman Hendrix with a giant lead over Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. With 6 weeks to go, Hendrix leads 51%-32% with 17% undecided. The mayors desperation attacks seem to be doing no good. The mayor's approval rating is 36%. This is really becoming a massacre.


Zandstra Don't get no Love

Wow, I knew that the GOP would back Butler, but I didn't know they would disrespect Zandstra. According to this Detroit News article, people couldn't even hear Zandstra's speach because people were talking over him during a recent gathering of GOP leaders. Note the poll at the end of the story:

Butler: 13%
Zandstra: 7%
Undecided: 80%

After a bit of bio information:
Butler: 22%
Zandstra: 30%
Undecided: 48%

Zandstra is a strong candidate, the GOP higher-ups aren't giving him the time of day and they'll regret it. They're going to spend millions and millions on this primary, making noise for a candidate that is going to get beat. I think it's going to get dirty before the dust settles. The GOP is falling into the polling trap, looking at some numbers and thinking that running a black man will win you an election. It's not the case. Not only will Butler lose the primary, but black voters will come out in force to vote against the party that rejected them and their candidate. It looks like George Bush hates black people a bit more these days.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


The GOP Dilemma

Oh what to do? Over the last few years, the GOP has been trying to woo black voters, with some success, by telling black people how much the party of rich white CEO's loves them by digging up the few rich black republican CEO's and having them run for office. That was the thinking when Ken Melhman chose Rev. Kieth Butler as the candidate to run against Senator Debbie Stabenow. He's a crazy conservative, deep roots in the party, totally crazy, incredibly rich and above all else, black. How could it get better than that? If he could take just a third of the Detroit (the black) vote then he could trounce Stabenow. So Melhman annointed him and the endorcements rolled in. But then something happened, Rev. Jerry Zandstra showed up on the scene. Some white guy from the western (ie republican) part of the state wanted in on the show. But who would support this guy? The party would have no part in it. In fact, at his website, there is no endorcements page and he only lists one endorcement, from the chair of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

This past weekend, both candidates have been wooing party leaders at a big GOP shindig on Macinac Island. The problem with Zandstra is that he's white. The problem with Butler is that he'll lose. And that is a very big problem for the GOP. Butler could spend 10 times as much money and Zandstra (he won't) and still lose. The republican primary voters in this state live in the western (republican) part, not in Detroit (black). The funny thing is, I don't think this is about race, it's about religion.

Butler runs a cultish non-denominational church that worships money and being rich, he himself is compensated quite well from his operations... his followers don't seem to mind because hell, it's a blessing to be rich and fly around in private jets. That kind of thing makes God happy. Zandstra, on the other hand, is Christian Reformed, the modern name of the Calvinist Church. A large number of Dutch Calvinists (now Christian Reform) immigrated to western Michigan some time ago. Hence city names like Holland. If you're not familiar with the religion, it's very strict, and very decent. One of the really decent Christian denominations that I've come across. For some reason I can't understand, they're all Republican. While they don't mind black people (too much), they aren't so down with whacko extravagant mega churches, like Butler's. They will vote in the primary, and Zandztra will win because he represnets their values well, Butler does not.

By now, Ken is getting a headache. They've already thrown all this money to Butler! What to do? Without the support of the western part of the state (they don't like DeVos for the same reasons), not only will the GOP lose the governor and senate, they might drop another state house seat just out of resentment over a weak state ticket. On the other hand, they get Butler and maybe a few extra votes in Detroit. The meeting this weekend is big news. Over the next week we'll see how it pans out.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Knollenberg gets one too

Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-9) has officially gotten a new challenger. Rhonda Ross has just launched her website and is formalizing her paperwork. Steve Reifman, last years candidate, intends to run again, but the 2nd time around, people start getting tired of you. This will be Knolleberg's 8th time around, maybe people are getting tired of him...


What's it gonna be?

Sources tell me the Dem Party higher ups will be making a decision soon about which ballot proposals to push. It seems some of the voter access ideas are putting the fear of God (or at least Karl Rove, I don't know which is worse) in the state GOP. The republicans were a bit too greedy in the last re-districting, they are in a position to lose both the house, senate and congressional delegation. Meanwhile, Stabenow and Granholm look to be in solidish positions. The GOP are going to fight furiously this election and they know every bit will count from here on out. Tim Skubick writes in the LSJ about national party interference in these balot matters. On the money front, the neither party is messing around, check out these numbers from

Name 01/05-7/05
2004 Cycle
House Republican Campaign Committee 1,023,796
Senate Republican Campaign Committee 787,230
House Democratic Fund 545,201
Senate Democratic Fund 373,531

2006 is gonna be a brawl.


New poll numbers

From MRG (Media Research Group) and EPIC/MRA via the Detroit Free Press. EPIC/MRA asks only likley voters while MRG is for all registered voters.

Granholm Numbers (favorable/approve/disapprove):
MRG: 54/56/34
EPIC/MRA: 57/46/49

Granholm: %49
DeVos: %34
Undecided: %16

Granholm: %50 (56)
DeVos: %30 (36)
Undecided: %20 (8)

Granholm Numbers (approve/disapprove):
EPIC/MRA: 54/37

Stabenow: %49
Butler: %25
Undecided: %26

Stabenow: %50
Zandstra: %22
Undecided: %28

Bush Numbers (approve/disapprove):
MRG: 40/53
EPIC/MRA: 36/63

Wow, these numbers are really all over the place. I'm not going to read too much into them this early on. All I can infer is that Granholm somehow is avoiding the wrath of a state with the nations highest (or almost) unemployment rate. One thing to note is Bush's numbers, they are very low. Very, very low. That might not bode well for GOPers this next fall.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Big $$$ News

ActBlue, the online fund raising website for democratic candidates announced today that they will be expanding to state and local races. This is pretty exciting stuff, this organization takes all the work out of online fundraising for any democratic candidate. The catch however, is that they need cash to get it all started, dealing with campaign finance laws and whatnot. If you like your democrats, scroll down and donate to the Michigan site. Anybody who underestimates the power of the internet will pay with years of sorrow.


The Byrum Dynasty

Barb Byrum, daughter of House Minority Leader Diane Byrum (D-67) will be be running for her mother's seat after she is kicked out by term limits this year. This is a seat that Republicans had been watering at the mouth over, but now it looks quite a bit more distant. Byrum (the younger) is clearly looking to scare away a lot of outside cash by raising some major money before the reporting deadline. She has a $100 a plate dinner planned with Granholm. That's some major cash for a candidate at any level. She'll be going into the new year reporting well over $10k, who knows if the GOP will stay away or call her.

This seat changes my predictions as well, the Dems are now slated to pick up 5 seats, and lose none, with 5 up in the air.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I missed the last one

Tip to Michigan Liberal, for bringing up the last drunk driving incident (I was away at the time). The perp was none other than State Rep. David Law (R-39) who was weaving in and out of his lane while driving his Jeep a bit too fast. He doesn't have a safe seat either. He won his last election with only %52.4 of the vote in a district that voted for Kerry %51.2. He spend almost 200k on the last race, his opponent only spent 75k. This is a race that would have been close anyway, I called that months ago, but this single event pushes this seat to a lean dem catagory. From Friday April 22, 2005"

David Law represents the 39th district in Oakland county. He easily outspent his opponent Michael Schwartz. The district was held previously by Marc Shulman and he was quite popular but Law only managed to take 52% in the election. This one would be costly for the democrats but a little leadership and money from the state could haul this one in.

Anybody with heart could beat this guy.


SUSA Numbers

I've never thought that these polls were very good, but I suppose they can show some general trends that could be more or less accurate. Survey USA has realeased their current installment of Governor ratings, Granhold doesn't look too hot at the outset, but if you look at the breakdown for certain things, she starts to look pretty good. First off, liberals, %14 of the population only give her a %54 approval, you can bet they'll all vote for her when it comes to election time. Detroit, %20 of the state, only gives her %46 approval, and she'll get %85-%90 of the vote there. So while 40/56 doesn't look all that hot, she's really in pretty good shape. The people that don't approve are the ones that don't have jobs (or have shitty ones), and given a choice between Granholm and Dick (I export jobs to China) DeVos, they'll vote for her. I think it will be a landslide.


State House-45th

State Rep. John Garfield has checked into rehab after being arrested for drunk driving. The news is fresh, but I would guess that somebody will try to run against him, maybe both in the primary and in the general election. He won his first term with 69%, the second with 63%. His first primary was a close one, where he edged out two other front runners with less than 30% of the vote. The prospect of a dem beating Garfield is pretty bleak, Kerry didn't manage to break %40 in this district.

Monday, September 19, 2005


State Sen-23rd

Gretchen Whitmer has filed paperwork to run for the 23rd Senate District. Her treasurer will be none other than the great Frank J. Kelley. The only thing that could possibly make this race interesting would be if Virg lost his bid to become the next mayor of Lansing (doubt it). I don't think Whitmer would back down from the primary, but who knows. Anyway, she's a lock for the seat, she's also the only one to file paperwork to form a committee for the seat.

In other news, federal reporting is coming up soon, we'll see how all the federal candidates are doing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005



State Rep. Neal Nitz (78-R) is a heartless idiot. He is feverently pushing a bill that will empower the state to remove roadside memorials, including ones being currently maintained by family and friends, and establish some bizarre system where after some period of time, the family must pay a fee for some wierd sign. I don't get it. He won his last election with only %60 of the vote. I hope somebody beats him, in the primary or otherwise. Sick.


Michigan News Roundup

Alex Shulman has just started a great new site, Michigan News Roundup. I'll probably stop posting news updates here, moving more towards commentary and analysis. Check it out there's a link on the left.

Friday, September 16, 2005


A Picture Finally in Focus

There's been a lot of talk recently about the expected funding cut for Michigan Youth Correctional Facility by Gov. Granholm. State Sen. Michelle McManus has been making a lot of noise about the matter, seemingly determined to prevent the Granholm funding veto. The issue is, the prison employs around half of the county residents, granted there are only around 500 residents, it will still have a significant impact. Today, however, the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service filed a suit aganst the state, trying to force them to make upgrades to the facility. While McManus is claiming that the suit is merely a threat, an attempt to scare away any support she might have gathered, I see it the other way around. The way the Granholm Administration has been dealing with the issue (fishy like), it seemed like they knew something that others did not. It would not surprise me if the advocacy service tipped of Granholm of their upcoming suit so that she could cut the funding. Either way, it was a nice piece of manuvering by the advocacy service. Karl couldn't have done better himself.


Death Throes

It seems like the Detroit mayoral race will get worse before it gets better. The election is more than a month off and Kilpatrick has dragged the race to new lows. He isn't raising money well and doesn't look good in the polls. Here's an article on the debate last night.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Term Limits update

It looks like the final language coming out of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will be quite a bit different than what we saw earlier. The new plan limits any office holder to 14 years in either chamber, which is right where it is now (two 4 year senate terms and three 2 year house terms). A lot of politicians already serve 14 years anyway, this bill would just allow certain members to stay put and serve out their time in one chamber. This, in my mind, takes the worst of two systems. First, you kick out the people who really care about government pre-maturely. Voters are good judges, they know what they like and they like voting for their candidates. Second, you re-establish the seniority system, but this time without the massive amount of institutional knowledge. That way, business and industry only need to get into the pockets of the few at the top, and they only need to do it every 5 years or so instead of every 2 like the situation exists now. This seems awfully bad to me. A better idea would be to do away with term limits entirely. It would make a lot more sense for everybody involved.


Abortion and the Courts

Once again, Republicans and abortion foes overreached when they pushed through the Legal Birth Definition Act. Most interestingly it included would provide that doctors could potentially be held criminally liable for infant deaths. Yesterday, US District Court struck down the law, calling it vague and an undue infringement on women's rights.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Term Limits Less Limiting?

I am convinced that there will be a constitutional ammendment on the ballot the next election cycle that would in some way ammend the way Michigan does term limits. Here's a story from the Free Press about some Chamber of Commerce action on the subject. Limits would be increased to 12 years in both the House and Senate (up from 6 and 8, respectively).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Wiener is Out

He leaves on a high note. Granhom Chief of Staff Rick Wiener resigned today after what many consider to be Granhom's best week in office. His replacement is John Burchett, who seems to be a pretty interesting fellow. If you're interested, here's a link.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Nice work at Michigan Liberal

Go check out the work done at Michigan Liberal on the competitive state senate races in 2006, it's very nicely done.


Lots of News

The squrmish bewteen Reps Joe Schwarz and Candice Miller has taken an interesting turn as the final report from the base closing comission was handed to the president for his consideration. The 24 A-10 Warthogs that seemed to rest in Granholm's hand only a few days ago seem to have been sent to Selfridge Air Nat'l Gard Base, in Miller's district, instead of a 12-12 compromise that Granholm was leaning towards. Battle Creek story here and the Macolm Daily story here. This seems to have caught everybody off guard, except Miller of course, I wonder what kind of strings she had to pull to get this in the report...

In other news, State Rep. Alexander Lipsey (D-60, Kalamazoo) is beginning to up his profile in preparation for the Attn. General race. In recent weeks, he has appeared on "Off the Record" and has got his name in the paper opposing possible action by Attn. Gen. Mike Cox that would limit low-income and elderly voting. There is no primary for this election, and the candidate will be chosen during the MDP caucus.

In Lansing, a tentative compromise seems to have been reached on next years budget. It brings decent news for schools, who will recieve a 175$ per pupil increase. I think we should spend $20k per student, but then again, nobody asked me.

In the governors race, State Sen. Nancy Cassis has finally bowed out, leaving only Dick DeVos to challenge Granholm. He will lose. Pyramid schemes aren't that popular these days. It is unclear whether she would run as Lt. Governor for DeVos.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


The 69th

It looks to be an interesting primary battle in the 69th as Mary Lindeman has scheduled a fundraiser on the 22nd of September. Her matchup with East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows will be interesting. He will have the strong backing of the state party with Frank Kelley as his treasurer but Lindeman has run before and knows how to campaign without a lot of cash. She nearly beat current rep Gretchen Whitmer for the seat 5 years ago in the primary while being outspent 10-1. (300k-30k). I could get bloody. I'm not sure, but she might be the wife of very popular drain commisssioner Pat Lindeman, which would really put the county and state at odds with one another.


One for Rogers

My sincere apologies for missing it... Mike Rogers has some opposition from none other than Eric Crosley, an english professor from Lansing. Is he unknown? Yes. But who knows, if he didn't piss off too many of his students (felons I think), they'd be a good labor pool. Anyhow, I'll find out more about him in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


It's all in the wording

A proposed constitutional ammedment that seems to have the support of Senate leader Ken Sikkema smells funny to me. This bill, is a reaction to Kelo v. New London, the recent Supreme Court ruling that gave cities the power to sieze private property for private use, a major shift from only the public use. While Michigan courts have not signed on to this particular idea, and they aren't forced to, this pre-emptive ammendment might be a good idea (if you like property rights). Don't get me wrong, I'm all for kicking people out of thier homes for public things, like schools and hospitals... but not for Wal-Marts. The problem with this bill is the last few words.

A taking of private property under subsection (1) is not
considered to be for the use or benefit of the public if the property is transferred to a private entity for the primary benefit of the private entity.

What the hell is the "Primary benefit of the private entity?" I don't know, let's let the courts decide. So the republicans finally had a chance to stand up for something they stole from the libertarian/democratic platform, and they can't even do it right. That's life I suppose.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Open Thread

So this is a first for the blog, this is a place to bring things up, discuss, spread rumors, whatever. I don't really care all that much.

Monday, September 05, 2005


An interesting contrast

One that the republicans don't need or want right now, but interesting none the less. Last Wednesday, the Republicans in the house, lead by Speaker Craig DeRoche pushed throuh a "1 Billion Dollar Tax Cut Plan," or at least, that's what they call it. Funny thing is, the budget is due October 1, and they're not done with it. Interesting thing is, Senate leader Ken Sikkema isn't going to play ball. Here we have an interesting situation involving three parties. One is Granholm, who offered a well thought out although poorly presented revamp of the Single Bussiness Tax. Her proposal is revenue neutral and she claims it will help out industries in need. Negotiations over the summer on the bill have proved fruitless and here we see the divergent Republican response. On one hand, we have the very intelligent veteran Ken Sikkema, who cares about passing a budget and doesn't give a shit about holding up appearances. On the other is the more or less rookie DeRoche, a second term State Rep with little prior experience who puts foreward a political bill that his own compadre in the Senate has no interest in. One explanation is that we have a carreer legislator looking out for the state and a rookie looking towards 2006. My feeling is that's the right one. Republicans haven't talked to each other in this state ever since term limits kicked out all the good ol' boys. Right here we have a case of the old versus the new. Ken isn't going out on his belly.


The Lansing Mayoral Race

State Senator Virg Bernero has raised a bunch more cash than current mayor, Tony Benavides, putting some nails into his coffin. That makes the 23rd senate seat open for sure, but nobody has filed any paperwork to fill it. The 69th, however, which is being vacated by term-limited Gretchen Whitmer, looks to already by taken. East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows has filed his paperwork, and listed Former Attn. General Frank Kelley as his treasurer. When Frank Kelley talks, people listen. I wonder why Meadows isn't gunning for the senate seat if he has somebody like Kelley on board...

Thursday, September 01, 2005


The New Look

Any opinions? At this point I kinda consider finished unless there somebody out there is having seizures...

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