Monday, October 31, 2005
Just thought I'd pass that along; Dave Camp has rock bottom rates.
Chaos in Lansing
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."
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
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
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Racism? What Racism?
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
Michigan's economic problems:
Manufacturing losses in Michigan:
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
Check out this right/wrong direction poll from SUSA
SUSA 50 state Senatorial Approval Poll:
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
Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers: 46/36/18
Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade:
Jennifer Granholm 46%
Dick DeVos 35%
Republican Primary? (Republicans Only)
Keith Butler 28%
Jerry Zandstra 21%
Satisfied with current Republican Senate candidates: (Republicans only)
Prefer another candidate 58%
Debbie Stabenow 47%
Keith Butler 28%
Debbie Stabenow 49%
Jerry Zandstra 22%
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
A New Way
For your convenience.
Monday, October 24, 2005
A New Strategy
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%
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
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.
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
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 $$$
|Name||On Hand||Raised||Spent||Net Gain|
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
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,
An Interesting Editorial
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
Detroiters reconsidering Hendrix
Saturday, October 15, 2005
That would rock.
How the Congressmen Fared
|Name||On Hand ||Raised||Spent||Net Gain |
|Conyers|| $183,976 ||$0 ||$2,944 ||-$2,944 |
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?
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?
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?
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
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.
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
And there won't even be an election
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
Sunday, October 09, 2005
So what lies at the end of Mark Brewer's crack pipe? First, as earlier noted at Michigan Liberal (see above link), the senate would be eliminated, creating a one house legislature. In order to slow down the legislative process, certain processed would be put in place to ensure that things couldn't slip in under the people's noses.
Second, independent redistricting to be done by a yet to be determined group of citizens. There would be limitations on what details could be considered when drawing districts.
Third and most radical, there are provisions in the proposal that ensure proportional representation. This is not a straight parliamentary system, but rather a mixed one. Most seats would be elected by district by district, but there would be a certain number of seats that would be selected as a correction factor, adjusting the final partisan makeup of the chamber to meet the state wide partisan vote, with (I assume) would have some threshold to keep out third parties. Afterall, this is being drawn up by the MDP.
When I first read about the unicameral legislature, I was as disappointed, if not more so than Matt, but after learning about this.... Wow. That's all I can say. What could be better for democracy than having your vote count regardless if your candidate wins or loses. There is about a month or two left until final decisions are made and the proposal is released to the public, but this is going to be huge!
Less Exciting News in Legislative Races
Jerry Hollister, son of the former mayor, will be running for the 68th house district, which is the west side of lansing. His father, David Hollister was the mayor of lansing before accepting a post as some economic development position with the gov. Michael Murphy currently holds the seat and gets about 70% of the vote each time out. This primary will be crowed, but I would think Jerry will win because of his name. The fmr mayor Hollister was very popular.
In the senate:
The Republican fav to replace Bev Hammerstrom (R-17) Randy Richardville has declined to run. The is a swing district and one that will probably now go to the dems.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
As a matter of catching up, a $10,000 raise to the commissioner’s chairperson and a $5,000 to each the vice-chairperson and the Republican and Democratic caucus leaders was approved on Sept. 22.
It was passed with a 15-8 vote, and in a time when everyone's budget is hurting. According to the Detroit Free Press article, some are backing down, but not all. Chuck Palmer-R who represents Troy and Clawson: “The damage has already been done," said Palmer, who voted for the increase. "It doesn't matter what we do; we're going to get criticized for it."
Please tell me who is going to criticize a board for NOT giving itself a raise? It’s own members? Please. That’s the sorriest excuse I’ve ever heard. At least try to justify it by giving us reasons why those members deserve that large of a jump in pay.
For the record, Palmer-R, Tom Middleton-R, William Patterson-R, Jeff Potter-R, Eric Wilson-R, Bill Bullard-R (and chairman of the board), Hugh Crawford-R, Greg Jamian-R, Jim Nash-D, Dave Woodward-D, Helanie Zack-D, David Coulter-D, Eric Coleman-D, Vincent Gregory-D and Mattie Hatchett-D voted for the raises.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Really, really funny
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Guv Race
This puts the governor is an interesting spot. She can't really drive up the negatives of an unknown without introducing him to the state. The question becomes, how can she hold onto her approvals? In this pre-campaign timeframe, her hands are tied and attacks must be made through others, like Mark Brewer (see this). There aren't many things she can do to defend herself against this fellow. Here's what I've come up with:
1) Tour the state and tell people how good she is and how great things are (not a good idea)
2) Do things to improve the economy (a good idea, not so plausible with the legislature, congress, federal administration, supreme court and state supreme court being what they are)
3) Do things to make it look like you're trying to improving the economy (good idea, hands down)
4) Blame the legislature for your problems (a wash -- it will help dem legislative candidates, but if voters are convinced the problem with the state is divided government, they'll elect a republican governor.)
5) The perfect combination I will outline below.
Right now, Granholm is trying to pass things to kick the economy into gear. The legislature won't have it though and she is blaming them for the problems. The question is, how to get to 1 and 2? Why not tour the state campaigning not for herself (but really for herself), but for dem legislative candidates, claiming that if there is a dem majority in the legislature, things will start getting done; the economy will start getting better. She can outline all the things she is pushing, all the ways that the legislature is ruining the state. She can tell people to call the their reps and senators and maybe she'll be able to push things through. This is how she can really, really blame the legislature while touring the state and getting all that free press DeVos has been sucking up recently and maybe even force the legislature into cooperating with her.
Monday, October 03, 2005
The Tony Trupiano Show
I talked to Tony last week about the race and he is very upbeat. I've heard that there are other considering running in the primary but I doubt anyone could mount an effective campaign against this guy. He is a talk radio show host, he talks to people for a living and is very good at it. He just pulled his archives from the net, which is too bad, there were some great shows. Tony is a nice guy, and he is well connected to the online community, with bloggers appearing on his show daily. You can expect that this will be one of the house races that garners nation-wide netroots support, both physical and ideological. He doesn't have a site up yet, but when he does, I'll post it here.
Knollenberg: Delay is a good leader
After Delay’s first indictment, Joe Knollenberg (R-9th district) said in a statement: “regardless of the outcome, we know that (Delay) has been a steadfast and effective leader for the Republican majority.”
Regardless of the outcome? If he’s thrown in jail, he’s still a good leader of your party? This is the same attitude that drove the Democrats out of power in the House, and perhaps this is a role reversal. Maybe the Dems could start with Knollenberg in 2006.
BTW: I recently answered Jon’s call for more writers, and will be blogging from time to time about Macomb County, and some Oakland County politics.