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:

OXFORD, MI 48371


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.



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.



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.

South East

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 . . .



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
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.



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.

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