Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Census Data Out: Michigan Loses

From Yahoo News:
"Only one state, Michigan, lost population during the past decade." Read the whole story here.

Why did this happen? There will be many reasons pointed to, some beyond anyone's control, i.e. the weather. But, from a political standpoint, there are three things that affect the economy, the availability of jobs, and hence the migration of workers and families: Tax Policy, Regulatory Policy and Labor Policy.
  • Michigan may be the only state in the union that has a personal income tax AND a business tax AND a sales tax. 
  • Michigan has some of the most onerous regulations on businesses; the Department of Environmental Quality is just one example. They are one of only two states that duplicate the EPA and actually have regulations that are more stringent that federal standards. That makes business investment and growth more difficult.
  • Michigan is not a right-to-work state. The five fastest growing states are Right-to-Work. Four of the five slowest growing states are not.
Lawmakers will have much to do to turn around Michigan's economy. Look for the governor to quickly get to work on easing the tax burden, streamlining the regulatory process and addressing worker free choice issues.

Friday, October 8, 2010

There is a Difference Between "Change" and "Reform"

All throughout his campaign for President, and ever since he was elected, Mr. Obama has spoken about hope and change. The assumption was that the change would be for the better. But is change what America really wanted out of Washington, or was reform perhaps a better descriptor?

What is the difference between change and reform? I was reading a great book the other day, "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin. He quoted the legendary member of parliament, Edmund Burke who said this,

"There is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any designs, will constantly be confounding,--that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation. The former alters the substance of the objects themselves, and gets rid of all their essential good as well as of all the accidental evil annexed to them. Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be known beforehand. Reform is not change in the substance or in the primary modification of the object, but a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of. So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was."

Edmund Burke had it exactly right. So could it be that when he talked about change, Mr. Obama was either an "ill man with ill designs, or a weak man incapable of any designs?" Looking back over the last 21 months, it sure would seem that we were served one or the other. My guess would be the former.

I think the voters across the country were looking for reform two years ago. They didn't get it. This year, they are hungrier for reformation than they have been in a long time, perhaps going back to 1773. They don't want to change Washington, they want to throw the incumbents out and reform it. I guess we will see in 25 days.

I recommend "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin.

AG Candidate David Leyton: Lies to his own clients?

If David Leyton wants to be the next Michigan Attorney General, his background needs to be closely examined. A recent story about Leyton has gone largely unreported by the mainstream press. Looks like a pretty major deal. Here is a posting from Saul Anuzis, National GOP Committeeman:
Leyton Lies to Families of Murder Victims AND Clients: Sued for Malpractice, Settles
By Saul Anuzis
Posted on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 07:44:56 AM EST

This morning Lansing insider publication Gongwer reported that Democratic Attorney General candidate David Leyton, a former trial attorney, recently settled a malpractice lawsuit brought against him by a former client. Gongwer reports:

The settlement, filed in 2003, was the result of Mr. Leyton's representation of an automobile crash victim's family. Vanessa Beck sued Mr. Leyton after he urged her to sign a waiver that then released two of the three potential defendants in her lawsuit from liability. The waiver was part of a settlement with the driver of the vehicle that struck Ronald Beck's motorcycle, killing him.

"David Leyton wants to be the state's top attorney, but he isn't talented enough to be late-night TV's top ambulance chaser," said Michigan Republican Party Communications Director Jennifer Hoff. "Even small mistakes from the attorney general ruin lives. How can we trust Leyton with the job when he can't read the key parts of legal documents, let alone the fine print?"

Taking a look at the actual suit and the settlement, there's more to the story than Gongwer reports. Leyton settled the suit for over $50,000 after being accused of `misrepresenting the true nature and full legal consequences' of the settlement he coaxed his clients into.

Is there anyone this guy won't lie to to get a settlement?

David Leyton lied to his clients as a trial lawyer and he lied to the families of murder victims as a prosecutor in Flint. Why on earth would Michigan voters believe a single word Leyton says as a candidate for Attorney General?"

Vanessa Beck clearly isn't the only one. Dan and Debbie McIntosh recently appeared on Flint Talk Radio and presented transcripts proving they were lied to by Leyton, the Genesee County Prosecutor, and tricked into signing off on a plea bargain for one of three of their son's killers.

Leyton promised the family he would prosecute two others involved in their son's slaying if they agreed to the plea but after obtaining the McIntosh's consent later declined to bring the charges he'd promised.

Jen Hoff is right- We can't trust David Leyton.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who Will Be the Next Majority Leader?

As I opined in my newsletter, the Senate Majority Leader will likely be the most powerful Republican in the legislative branch next year. It looks like it will either be Randy Richardville (L) or John Proos (R). It is important that you are informed about who is running for the job and who may actually win it. You need to know the voting records of the two individuals vying for this position. So, to review the voting records of Proos and Richardville by category click on the links below:
Proos on: taxes, education, economic development, labor.
Richardville on: taxes, education, economic development, labor.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Thank God for the support from the federal government..." House Speaker Andy Dillon

Lawmakers passed a "balanced" budget just before a looming October 1st shutdown. But just how courageous was the legislature? Did they really squeeze the budget? Consider, it was balanced with over $1 billion in federal one-time money. So really, the budget is still $1 billion out of balance.

Of note is the fact that $316 million of that federal money was earmarked for public education. Ironically, US Senator Tom Coburn just released a report showing over $2.3 billion of pork in federal education funding.

When is the legislature going to grow a spine and do what needs to be done? The next governor, likely businessman Rick Snyder, will have his work cut out for him as he inherits a looming budget that is at least $1 billion out of whack.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"It took time to free the slaves" saith Obama.

See video of his speech tonight here.

I don't think it will take much time to replace the "regime"...maybe about 33 days. And then, in two more years, we can finish the job.

Breaking News: Obama, FBI, Planned Parenthood, Join Forces to Stifle Free Speech

This breaking story comes to us from Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Documents LifeNews.com obtained today reveal the Obama administration partnered with leading pro-abortion organizations to host an FBI training seminar in August with the main focus of declaring as "violent" the free speech activities of pro-life Americans.

On August 25, 2010, the FBI and the United States Department of Justice co-sponsored a training seminar with Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

When information about the seminar, which took place at FBI headquarters in Portland, Oregon, reached pro-life advocates, they asked officials for permission to attend and were granted access to the seminar and the training materials. Read more here.

This arrogant attempt by the Obama administration, working in concert with his liberal "friends" will only lead to a further galvanization of millions of freedom loving Americans who will go to the polls and vote to protect their free speech.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michigan: Family Income Falling the Fastest in the United States

Recent data reveals Michigan now ranks 37th in median family income. That is a 21.3% decline in just the last 9 years. In fact, per-family income has dropped over 6% in the last year alone. In 2000 Michigan ranked 16th, in the mid-1960's Michigan was in the top five states for per-capita income.

In the last decade, Michigan has lost over 1,000,000 highly-paid manufacturing jobs. And what has our current governor done about it? As reported in the Detroit News, "Granholm, speaking Tuesday at a conference on manufacturing in Washington, D.C., said Michigan was creating more than 60,000 new jobs through green programs -- many partially funded by federal grants." I might emphasize that a) these jobs are subsidized by the government, and, b) Michigan is still "creating" these jobs, most of them do not yet, actually exist.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can You Trust SEIU?

From the September 09, 2010 FoxNews.com website:

Election Panel Dismisses Complaint Against SEIU, Clears Way for Union to Amass War Chest

Despite a finding by the Federal Election Commission's general counsel that the Service Employees International Union violated election law when it required local affiliates to contribute to its political action fund, the FEC's full board quietly voted to overrule its staff attorney and dismissed the original complaint -- clearing the way for the union to squeeze its locals to amass a $9 million war chest for the next election.
FBI Questioning Ex-SEIU President Andy Stern 

Andy Stern, the most frequent visitor to the White House in 2009, is under investigation for a possible payoff to a former SEIU local president who is now in prison for defrauding a non-profit organization. Seems Stern paid this guy $150,000 to "do nothing." Read the story here.

Another Attempt to Tax, Regulate and Put Businesses Out of Business

2010 Senate Bill 1503 (Impose licensure on commercial dog and cat breeders ) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on September 22, 2010, to impose licensure and regulations on commercial dog and cat breeders, with annual license fees of $100 to $150 plus a $200 application fee. Referred to the Senate Agriculture and Bioeconomy Committee on September 22, 2010.

How much you wanna bet this effort was led by the Humane Society of the United States. They are not what you think they are, as exposed by this website. But regardless how it came to the Senate, if passed, this legislation will cripple the dog and cat breeding business in Michigan. Think about it, $200 just to fill out the application form? Who would want to do that? More paperwork, more red tape, more hurdles to small business owners who just want to make a living. Michigan does not need this.

You can contact Senator Switalski here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Say What? The State Should Pay for Your Hearing Aid?

Nanny State Government on the March. A bill introduced by Sen. Tupac Hunter (D) on March 25, 2009, to authorize a refundable income tax credit for the full amount paid for the purchase of hearing aids has cleared committee and is on the Senate floor for a final vote. If passed, it would go to the House for consideration. Essentially, under this bill, the state would reimburse all hearing aid purchases with no limit or means-test threshold.
Get ready for similar bills requiring the state to pay for wheel chairs, canes, walkers, eyeglasses, contact lenses...who knows where it could all end?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Republican Candidates Wanted: RINOs Need Not Apply

There is a lot of talk coming from the pundits, pollsters and politicians about what the Christine O'Donnell win in Delaware means. Can she win the general? Is the GOP engaged in a Civil War? Can the Republican Party survive the apparent infighting?

There are many things this stunning victory for a "tea party" candidate, along with several other upsets across the country means for the party and the nation. But I believe there is something very important going on. In spite of how these conservative victories, even in blue states, may affect chances for GOP wins in November, one thing is for sure: the voters are getting increasingly fed up with Republicans who do not stand for the principles of the Republican party. No longer are they buying the argument, "We need to keep the (R) candidates, even if we don't like how they vote."

The voters across America are cleaning house. They are standing for party discipline in ways too many elected officials won't. In growing numbers, voters are telling centrist, moderate and RINO Republicans, "You are running at your own peril." Voters are looking for the real deal. They want candidates who believe in the Core Principles.

That will result in a better party, a party voters will support in greater numbers. It will ultimately lead to victories at the polls and success in moving a truly conservative agenda through Congress.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

White House to Save Mankind from Carp Attacks! $80 million for a Carp Czar.

Put on the scuba gear! Get the spear-guns! This is no joke! Just ask Illinois Senator Dick Durbin...
"This is a serious challenge, a serious threat," Durbin said. "When it comes to the Asian carp threat, we are not in denial. We are not in a go-slow mode. We are in a full attack, full-speed ahead mode. We want to stop this carp from advancing."

He is commenting on the announcement made just yesterday that the White House will spend $80 million to fight the invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes. They have appointed John Goss, former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and current director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation as the new "Carp Czar." And what will Czar Goss do with the $80 million? Goss said he's waiting for a study by the Army Corps of Engineers to form his own opinion on whether the watersheds should be permanently separated. That study is not due to be completed until next year. He is waiting 'until next year'. He must be a Cubs fan.

Maybe if the White House had recommended to their Chicago buddies a year ago that they should close the locks, we wouldn't need an $80 million czar.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Governor Chris Christie: Taxpayer's Hero

This guy tells it jut as it should be. The liberal media always wants to make conservatives who want to reduce government out to be angry, right-wing ideologues. Gov. Christie puts that argument to rest! Watch his response to a reporter's leading question.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where is this guy's TelePrompter?

David Cameron, the new Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain, gave a four-minute speech in front of No. 10 Downing Street. It is noteworthy that he did this without notes or a TelePrompter. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gazette reports on Kalamazoo Tea Party

“Yes, there is a place for government, but it must be limited,” said Hoogendyk, of Texas Township. “As government grows, our liberties shrink. ...It’s time for us to stand up and say enough.” Read story here.

Carry on Luggage: A Lesson in Corporate and Government Behavior

This video is instructive. It is an apparent example of how tax policy affects behavior, (tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is not.) As reported in this story, it seems that airlines pay taxes based on airfares charged, but do not pay taxes at the same rate (if at all) for charges on carry-on luggage. The airlines need revenue, but they would rather not pay taxes on that revenue because it eats into the profits they need to invest in new equipment and employees.

But what is also noteworthy is the bold arrogance of Chuck Schumer (D), New York. He, like too many of his Senate and House colleagues, seems to think that it is up to him to fix this problem. Rather than impose more regulations, fees and taxes, how about if you just lower tax rates on airlines, Mr.Schumer? Maybe if airlines can make a higher profit margin, they can lower fares, compete more freely, and make air travel more affordable.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stupak portrayed as Judas by a fellow Democrat.

This excerpt is from the Jewish World Review.

Stupak's clumsy fall from grace is a lesson in human frailty. In a matter of hours, he went from representing the majority of Americans who don't want public money spent on abortion to leading the army on the other side.

Something must have gone bump in the night.  Whatever it was, demonizing Stupak seems excessive and redundant given punishments to come. Already he has lost a speaking invitation to the Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast next month. 
His political future, otherwise, may have been foretold by a late-night anecdote.  After the Sunday vote, a group of Democrats, including Stupak, gathered in a pub to celebrate. In a biblical moment, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was spotted planting a big kiss on Stupak's cheek.  To a Catholic man well versed in the Gospel, this is not a comforting gesture.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter Demonstrates Statesmanship. Go Get 'em Thad!

Watch Congressman McCotter speak for the American people about the travesty that is "National Health Care" in under four minutes. Click here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Congresman Upton has an Epiphany

March 11, 2010 by WLKM
Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) made the following statement in support of the Republican effort to ban earmarks.  The effort comes on the heels of a report released last week by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that estimates deficits resulting from the President’s record-breaking $3.8 trillion budget will amount to nearly $9.8 trillion over the next decade – $1.2 trillion higher than the White House’s initial forecast.
            “The current earmark system is clearly broken and riddled with scandal – we must work to regain the trust of the American people.  Banning all earmarks is a big step toward getting our fiscal house in order.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that the President’s budget is a blueprint for disaster that puts us on the fast track to financial ruin.  We are in desperate need of additional budget reforms, including the line-item veto and spending caps to ensure that we do not cripple the livelihoods of future generations….let alone this one.”

It is nice to know that the Congressman feel this way now. A year ago, he was one of only 16 Republicans to defy his party and vote for the Obama Omnibus Appropriations Act. This bill HR 1105 has 9,287 earmarks worth over $13 Billion. Read more about it here.

Yup. He Folded. Stupak Sells Out

Politico reports that The Obama White House and anti-abortion Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) have reached a deal on preventing the use of tax dollars for health care abortions. This closes a process that lasted late into Saturday night and into Sunday. Politico's sources report that President Obama will sign an executive order that no federal funds will be used to help pay for abortions in the Obama Health Care Reform Bill.

Bottom line: You cannot stop portions of legislation with an executive order. It is unconstitutional. The brief blog below from National Review Online expresses it simply:

I know we tire of the hypocrisy, but I really think this is remarkable. We spent the eight years through January 19, 2009, listening to Democrats complain that President Bush had purportedly caused a constitutional crisis by issuing signing statements when he signed bills into law. Democrats and Arlen Specter (now a Democrat) complained that these unenforceable, non-binding expressions of the executive's interpretation of the laws Bush was signing were a usurpation Congress's power to enact legislation.

But now Democrats are going to abide not a mere signing statement but an executive order that purports to have the effect of legislation - in fact, has the effect of nullifying legislation that Congress is simultaneously enacting?
The Susan B. Anthony List observation that EOs can be rescinded at the president's whim is of course true. This particuar EO is also a nullity - presidents cannot enact laws, the Supreme Court has said they cannot impound funds that Congress allocates, and (as a friend points out) the line-item veto has been held unconstitutional, so they can't use executive orders to strike provisions in a bill. So this anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.

But even if all that weren't true, how do we go from congressional Democrats claiming that signing statements were a shredding of the Constitution to congressional Democrats acquiescing in a claim that the president can enact or cancel out statutory law by diktat?

You need to contact Stupak's office NOW. Click here to link directly to his office.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Will Stupak Hold Up Under the Intense Pressure? Or Will He Compromise?

On the one hand...This is an excerpt from the New York Post.

   "President Obama's attempts to ram health- care reform through an increasingly reluctant Congress are starting to resemble a really eventful episode of "The Sopranos."
   Those who oppose the president can expect the political equivalent of a horse head between their sheets.
Some of this is just traditional electioneering: On-the-fence Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln is getting a primary challenger with some backing from the national Democratic machine.
   But some of it is much nastier. For instance, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), whose opposition to abortion funding has become one of the bill's biggest hurdles, is now seeing attacks on his ethics.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow recently questioned the legality of the low rent that a conservative Christian group charges Stupak for his DC apartment. She even noted ominously that disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stayed at the same building. The liberal blog Daily Kos has picked up on the charges and suggested that both the IRS and the House Ethics Committee investigate.
   "Politics ain't beanbag," as Mr. Dooley noted. Presidents have always twisted arms and made deals. And when two-thirds of voters are opposed to your plans, you may have no choice but to play hardball.
   But when Obama promised to change the way Washington does business, we didn't think he meant making it a "family" business."

On the other hand...here is an excerpt from the Huffington Post.

   "Everyone's going around saying there's a compromise--there's no such thing," Stupak said. Though the Michigan representative did admit meeting with both House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) this week to talk about potential fixes to the bill, such discussions have not yet produced results.
   "I'm more optimistic than I was a week ago," Stupak said about reaching an acceptable compromise on abortion wording in the bill. Any such a compromise must fix the wording before the bill goes up for a vote, Stupak continued.
Maybe you should send a note to his office and encourage him to stand firm. 

Only 16 Republicans (Two from Michigan) Got on This Bus

If there is one common frustration with Congress that is shared by most Americans it's the spending and deficits. Congressmen can swear off taxes, but at the federal level, they can still spend without raising taxes, they just print money and borrow.  Congress is now passing budgets with deficits over $1 trillion per year!
The House Republicans in Washington have a website: www.gop.gov. On February 25, 2009, they published a summary of HR 1105, "The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009". The purpose of the site is to inform voters of what is going on in Congress and the GOP's position on various bill in Congress. Without question, the message from gop.gov is, "this bill costs too much money."

Regarding HR 1105, gop.gov said: "The $32 billion increase represents the largest one-year hike in annual appropriated spending percentage since the Carter administration, with the exception of funding immediately after September 11th.  And since many of these programs and agencies received funding in the recent "stimulus," the combined increase is $301 billion or 80% over Fiscal Year 2008."

The website lists numerous "concerns" about the legislation, such as: 
  • $545 million that will be funneled to International abortion providers
  • $1.45 billion for Amtrak (because they keep losing money)
  • $181 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, a suspected shell organization of ACORN
  • $155 million in additional funding for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $80 million for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery
  • $1.9 billion for the Dept. of Energy for "energy efficiency initiatives"
  • $300,000 to National Fish and Wildlife Service for "Loon Research"
  • $1.1 billion for "Cattle Studies"
  • $347 million to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, in part to pay for trophies and certificates for mine rescues and first-aid work
The list goes on, and on, and on...you can read all the inglorious details here.
The website expresses serious concerns with the Omnibus Bill and its wasteful spending. The GOP was mostly successful in convincing Republican members of Congress to NOT support the bill. Of the 178 Republicans serving, only 16 voted for the Omnibus. (Two are from Michigan.) Find them all here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Signed the Mt. Vernon Statement

The Mount Vernon Statement
Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century
We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
See the entire statement here

I hope you will join me in signing this important document.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Great Essay About Waste in Government on Transportation

This essay was submitted to me by David Wisz of Birmingham, Michigan. I edited it only slightly.

Next to National Health Care, no liberal dream has lingered longer than forcing people out of cars and into mass transit – even in Michigan.  Like health care, the justifications shift with the political winds; the current rational is “jobs”.  However, unlike real jobs created by the private sector, taxpayers are forced to subsidize these public sector union “jobs.”

The 2010 SMART bus operating budget is $122 Million to support 900 union employees.  About one-third of the total bus operating expenses are siphoned from Michigan’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) - a mass transit subsidy carved from Michigan’s annual road budget.  Nearly all CTF funds come from federal fuel taxes (18.4 centers per gallon), state fuel taxes, and state vehicle registration fees.

CTF is a redistribution of wealth from the Michigan’s car and truck drivers to public sector union-controlled mass transit agencies like SMART bus. Car and truck drivers actually pay substantially more for bus trips they never take than do the bus riders themselves as less than 10% of SMART bus revenue comes from ridership. 

Even now, MI House Bills 5768, 5769 and 5770 have introduced a TAX HIKE of 8 cents on gasoline (currently 19 cents per gallon) and 12 cents on diesel (currently 15 cents per gallon).

Yet even this is not enough…

MI House Bills HB 5731-33 have been introduced to form a Regional Mass Transit Authority which will have the power to levy taxes to subsidize Michigan mass transit projects similar to those in France, Spain and Japan which cost an average of  $51 million per mile.

We have also seen attempts at the County level by “Republican” Oakland County Commissioner Dave Potts who was the only “Republican” to vote with ALL the Democrats for a $17 million county-wide bus TAX HIKE – despite a veto threat by Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson - in his attempt to subsidize the public sector bus unions.

Now too, on the local level, Troy is pushing a 29% TAX increase, the largest property TAX HIKE in city history and Bloomfield Township is pushing a similar TAX HIKE with the encouragement of Mr. Potts. We already pay for bus trips we never take and may soon subsidize the Troy-Birmingham Transit center Bus Station we will never use. 

Citizens and Business owners are fed up with high taxes and wild government spending on such inefficient mass transit ploys which are primarily designed to TRANSFER WEALTH from taxpayers to public sector unions. Rather than spending more, we should follow the lead of New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie and cut millions from these mass transit boondoggles.

As President Reagan said: “Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Candice Miller Responds

A few days ago, I reported on an article from the Mackinac Center based on a report by the Club for Growth. You can read my article here:

I received an email recently from Eric Ventimiglia of Candice Miller's office. He copied me on a communication from Congresswoman Miller and asked me to share it with my readers: I am happy to oblige.

“It is interesting that over half of Michigan's Republican Congressional delegation was graded as failing on some cherry-picked arbitrary grading system in regards to being fiscally conservative.   Members of Congress take thousands of votes, so obviously if you want to, you can always find some you don't agree with.  I would respectfully point out that on what I consider to be the marquis votes on demonstrating true fiscal conservationism,   I believe I have reflected the will of the majority of my constituents. Some examples include:
  • I voted against the TARP Wall Street bailout twice
  • I voted against the $787 billion stimulus bill
  • I voted against raising the debt limit by 1.9 billion
  • I voted against the Cap and Trade Energy tax bill
  • I voted against the government takeover of the health care system
  • I voted against Obama's budget
  • I voted many, many times for amendments that would have cut almost $100 billion from the overall budget… 
One other item of note:  I have made a conscious effort not to abuse the process-- my requests have been for hospitals, domestic violence abuse shelters, local first responders, military construction projects at Selfridge, etc.  However, this year I will not be requesting any earmarks, as I hope we can fix a now broken system. 
Additionally I would point out that I am a co-sponsor of legislation that requires the Federal Reserve to be audited, as well as a balanced budget constitutional amendment.  Anyway, my point is, there will always be some votes that reasonable folks will disagree on-- I appreciate that--but I sincerely feel that I represent the values of the majority of the hard-working men and women that have given me the honor of representing them in the U.S. House of Representatives, not only on issues of fiscal conservatism but other core value issues like the sanctity of life and constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.”

RePORK Card for Michigan

"The Myrtle Beach International Trade and Conference Center", "The Institute for Seafood Studies", "The Commercial Kitchen Business Incubator Project", "potato research in Idaho, Oregon and Washington." Would your Congressman vote on earmarks to spend your tax dollars on such projects as these? Apparently so.

Club for Growth has issued their annual RePORK card.
The scorecard consists of 68 earmark-killing amendments introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, and two of his budget-cutting allies in Congress. These legislators launched a similar assault on earmarks during the 2008 federal budget battle. Support from Michigan politicians for five of the targeted spending projects were examined in the September/October 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential. Read their full report here.

Of the fifteen Congressman from Michigan, only four received a passing grade. Here are the rankings:
HoekstraPete Hoekstra.................................97% (A)
McCotterThad McCotter................................85% (B+)
EhlersVern Ehlers.....................................78% (B-)
RogersMike Rogers....................................66% (D+)
Fred Upton......................................53% (F)
Mark Schauer.................................43% (F)
Candice Miller................................31% (F)
Dave Camp.....................................24% (F)
Gary Peters.....................................1% (F)
Everyone Else (Conyers, Dingell, Kildee, Cheeks-Kilpatrick, Levin, Stupak............0% (F)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fight The Gas Tax Increase!

Town Hall meetings on the massive Ball and Byrnes gas and diesel fuel tax hikes, HB 5768 & HB 5769 will be coming to a town near you. It is an effort by big-government pols to gin up support for these huge tax increases. (8 cents per gallon on gas and 12 cents per gallon on diesel.) Democrat Speaker Pro-tem and Transportation Appropriations Chair, Pam Byrnes will be chairing these local town hall meetings.

This is your opportunity to let your voice be heard. These are public meetings. Byrnes and company will undoubtedly attempt to pack the meetings with union bosses and big-government supporters who will express their support. They were not very forthcoming with details to the public about these meetings. In fact, we received this sketchy information just today:
  • Monday, February 22, 10:00 a.m. Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Texas Twp. Campus (map)
  • Monday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City (map)
  • Monday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. Eagle Crest Conference Center, Ypsilanti (map)
If you are a blogger in one of these communities, please get the word out. You can learn more about these bills here and here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Home Improvement by Government Committee. Is Anyone Surprised at the Price?

"I'm from the government, and I can caulk your house for just $57,000. But, don't worry about it, the taxpayers will cover it." Read the NRO story here. Read the Los Angeles Times story here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

There is so much pork, they have to start shooting the pigs in the street!

2010 Senate Bill 1136 (Authorize shooting of at-large swine ) Introduced by Sen. Ron Jelinek (R) on February 11, 2010, to allow animal control officers or individuals with any hunting license to kill swine running at large on public property.
  • Referred to the Senate Agriculture and Bioeconomy Committee on February 11, 2010. 
Read the text of the bill here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Center Right Meeting Feb. 18, 9:30 a.m. Lansing

Ingham Building
116 West Ottawa (Next to House Biggby)
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Confirmed Guests:
* Ron Weiser, Michigan State GOP Chairman
* Patrick Wright, Mackinac: Unwilling Union Members - revisited
* Jay Riemersma, Candidate for Congress
* Randy Bain, Bedford Township: Road Tax
* James Dally, Business Owner: How Local Municipalities "Do Business" with Contract Bids
* Dave Agema (and others): The Governor's Budget for 2011

We are sure to have a great meeting. Ron Weiser, GOP state Party Chairman will be updating on how we are going to "win in '10". Patrick Wright and others, will be updating us on how 40,000+ family-owned day care centers will be paying union dues, unwillingly and how the "union" continues to operate even after their funding was cut off.

Jay Riemersma will tell us why he is running for Congress in the 2nd district, currently held by Pete Hoekstra. Randy Bain, from Bedford Township in Monroe County will tell us about a road tax the township is trying to impose on its citizens. James Dally, from Mavcon Construction will tell us several examples of how local governments are apparently awarding construction contracts arbitrarily, to 5th, 6th and 7th lowest qualified bidders. Dave Agema will update on us on how the governor intends to raise several hundred million in new taxes without causing a taxpayer revolt. It will blow you away!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kalamazoo County Democrat Party Chair: A Real Classy Guy!

Southwest Michigan Tea Party Activist Scott Arnett, kindly invited the Kalamazoo County Democrats to attend the Ronald Reagan birthday party celebration this Saturday. Seems like a sensible and courteous thing to do, especially since many independent and democrat voters are members of local tea party groups. Here is part of that invitation:

This is a formal invitation to the county Democratic Party to help celebrate the 99th birthday of the Great Communicator. We are holding a birthday party for President Ronald Reagan on Feb. 6th at the Fetzer Center Auditorium on the WMU campus. The festivities will be held at 11am to 2:30pm, including cake and ice cream. Please let your fellow leadership, candidates, and caucus know that the timeless principles and economic philosophy of President Reagan are to be remembered and celebrated.

Mr. Pawloski was not content to politely decline. He had to show his class (or lack thereof) with the following response, which I received a copy of:

I passed your invitation onto our leadership and they collectively agreed to tell you to take your invitation fold it five ways and stick it where the moon don’t shine!
PS: Your website violates campaign finance laws. Tell that to the derilict jack hoogydick and his cronies who are funding your rinky dink operation.
David C. Pawloski, Chair
Kalamazoo County Democratic Party

Not only does Mr. Pawloski lack class and common courtesy, he isn't a very good speller, either.

Governor Granholm to Give State of State speech from Capitol Steps?!

Traditionally, the governor gives her state of the state address from inside the chamber of the House of Representatives. We have found out that the governor reserved the steps outside for tomorrow night. Is she giving her speech from outside, or is she just trying to discourage taxpayers and voters from gathering to exercise their right to free speech on the steps of the building that "we the people" own?

The media is reporting there may be 1,000 people in attendance outside the Capitol. Those steps might be kinda crowded. Come tomorrow night and find out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rick Snyder to Launch Campaign During Super Bowl

I received an e-mail blast from the Snyder campaign announcing that he will be doing TV ads during the Super Bowl. Considering that they are produced by Strategic Perception Inc., of Hollywood California, which has done ads for John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, they should be stellar!

Snyder and Schwarzenegger and McCain, oh, my!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Lost Opportunity: Too Much Regulation and Taxation

I recently received a letter from a reader. Here are her thoughts, summarized.

My husband was negotiating with a foreign company to open a processing plant for our dehydrated fruits and vegetables and a distribution center in the United States for our products. He had been offered the job of managing the distribution center. The owners came here to review his idea. They found many advantages to locating in Michigan:

  • Warehousing cost were favorable
  • West Michigan growers and their supply of fruit and vegetables was advantageous
  • Outbound shipping was favorable, even a day faster than larger cities in other states
  • Available labor pool was favorable
With all these positives, they chose another state to open their Distribution Center and Processing Plant. The reasons:

  • Michigan Single Business Tax
  • Excessive state and local licensing fees
  • Electricity (to operate the drying equipment) was too expensive
My husband and I cannot relocate, he would be too far away to operate our farm and work for the company. Our farm and my business are still here. If we could get what we owe on the farm, we would be out of Michigan. Instead, we have been blown away...just like Governor Granholm said we would.

Tell Gery Peters, "No thanks" Tomorrow, in His Neighborhood

9th Congressional District Republican Party
Concerned Citizens will Gather to Rally Against Socialized Medicine and FOR Consumer Choice in Health Care 

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 30, 2010, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, a gathering of tea party activists, Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats from the 9th district and surrounding areas will gather in Bloomfield Township, near U.S. Congressman Gary Peters’ home, to tell Mr. Peters, “No Thanks” to the healthcare takeover scheme that continues to be pushed by Congressional Democrats and President Obama. 

The activists will also be walking the surrounding neighborhoods with literature detailing the huge boondoggle this massive government entitlement would be.  The printed material will have information about how to contact Congressman Peters and encourage frustrated citizens to respectfully express their opinion on his previous ‘yes’ vote, as well as urging him to vote ‘no’ on any further consideration on the package of bills.  Special guest speakers will include Americans for Prosperity State Board Chair, Jack Hoogendyk. 

Activists will gather at the MDOT carpool parking lot at I-75 and exit 74 (Adams Road), Bloomfield Township, near the northwest corner of Adams & Square Lake Roads. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Congress Flies to Denmark - You Get the Bill. ($1,000,000)

CBS News Reports:
For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars.

And who went on the trip? (Michigan Delegation in bold)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Ed Markey
Rep. Charles Rangel
Rep. Bart Gordon
Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. Joe Barton 
Rep. Fred Upton
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Jay Inslee
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Rep. John Sullivan
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. GK Butterfield
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
President Obama
Sen. James Inhofe
Sen. John Kerry

Read the full CBS Report here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hit and Run, Below-the-Belt Politics

On January 19th, I moderated a Town Hall Meeting in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the Health Care bill working its way through Congress. One of the guest speakers was Congressman Pete Hoekstra. After his initial presentation, he took some questions. One of the questions he was asked was whether he regretted his decision to vote for the bailout. His complete answer, paraphrased, was that he could defend it based on what he knew at the time and how essential he felt it was, but that looking back from where we are today and how the money was misused, he regrets it.

It looks like someone from the Rick Snyder campaign, playing gotcha politics, recorded the entire forum and took about 8 seconds of Pete Hoekstra's answer where he said, "...I can defend it..." and put it out on You Tube as a hit piece. The attempt is to make it look like like Pete unapologetically defends his decision. Apparently the Snyder campaign does not observe Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow republican." But, then, Mr. Snyder has a very highly paid consulting firm that has the money and the scruples (or lack thereof) to to spend on such low-ball tactics.

Too bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Compulsory Education to Age 18: Bad Idea. Repeal: Good Idea

Just before the holidays, the legislature passed "Race To The Top" legislation into law. These bills were essentially improvements in how we educate children in Michigan. The motivation for it may not have been the best: to be eligible for millions in federal money. But, in the end, the legislation was pretty good stuff. You can read the objectives here. The Democrats slipped a "compulsory education to age 18" bill in as part of the package,even though it was not part of the federal mandates.

There is no evidence, (zero, none, nada) that keeping kids in school two more years improves test scores or achievement. But the bill was passed anyway.

On January 20, Senator Randy RICHARDVILLE, with co-sponsorships from NOFS, CROPSEY, PAPPAGEORGE, KAHN, JANSEN, HARDIMAN, GILBERT and JELINEK, introduced SB 1076, which will simply repeal the mandatory attendance to 18 and bring it back down to 16. Kudos to these Senators for removing his unneeded expansion of government. Let's allow the parents be responsible for keeping their children in school as long as they believe they should.

Center Right Coalition Meeting Friday. Get There Early!

Farmington Hills Public Library
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Friday, January 22
32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills

Confirmed Guests: 

  • Pete Hoekstra, Candidate for Governor
  • Brian Rooney, Candidate for US Congress
  • Simon Haddad, Clinton Township: PA 312 Repeal Resolution
  • Patrick Wright, Paul Kersey, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Debbie DeBacker, Troy Citizens United: 29% City Tax Increase Proposal
  • David Wisz, Birmingham Traffic and Safety Board: The $17 Million "Green Transit Center to Nowhere"
  • And others...

Planning to come? Please RSVP.