Monthly Archives: July 2018

John James Campaign Resorts to Outright Lying in Final Days of Senate Race

It was previously demonstrated how the John James for Senate campaign had been taking his competitor Sandy Pensler out of content for the purposes of releasing misleading attacks about him. While that was bad enough, James has resorted to outright lying in the final days of the campaign as he tries to win in what looks to be a close race.

This meme was posted on John James’ campaign page a day following Pensler’s announcement that he received an endorsement from tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has one of the top conservative voting records in the Senate according to many popular conservative watchdog organizations.

“I’m pleased to endorse Sandy Pensler for U.S. Senate in Michigan. The Senate needs more outsiders who have created jobs and who won’t be part of the Washington, D.C. swamp. Sandy supports term limits, smaller government, lower taxes, and a constitutional conservative foreign policy, and he will stand up and fight in Washington,” Paul said.

Pensler’s understanding of market economics also prompted him to release a plan to end the deficit by making specific cuts to foreign aid, the department of education, domestic welfare, healthcare expenditures, and subsidies toward NATO. Will Pensler be able to implement this plan as soon as he is elected? Of course not, but he will be able to coherently articulate a solid fiscally conservative plan that can put America once again on solid ground.

Pensler’s issues page offers a great deal of substance. He wants to defund planned parenthood, supports judges “who interpret the law as written,” and supports free market solutions on healthcare. Some of his policy positions are more detailed than others. His healthcare page for instance is particularly substantative covering issues like price transparency, malpractice reform, competitive pricing for prescription drugs, health savings plans, living wills, and so on. He shows an incredible depth of knowledge on the pressing issues facing Americans, something that is very rare in a politician.

What does John James have to say about healthcare? The position on his official campaign website is as follows:

Image result for tumbleweed

That’s right. Healthcare isn’t even listed as an issue of concern on his page! Not even a basic, rudimentary policy position is listed. On the issues James does cover, he remains deliberately vague as much as possible. James thinks we should do a “better job preparing our service members for life outside of the military.” That is certainly a nice platitude, and it’s hard to disagree with that, but how precisely are you going to make that happen?

James says he “will work to eliminate poverty, not just make it more comfortable.” No further explanation is given. James believes that “hard working and honest Michiganders of all generations are owed a return on their lifelong investment into the System.” That sounds like it was written by a public relations consultant contracted by the MEDC, rather than an authentic sentiment. James claims he “will approve justices who will interpret the constitution as written” so he has the exact same position as Pensler in that regard.

The fact that James had to resort to outright lies in the end game of the campaign suggests that voters may be seeing that one candidate offers actual substance while the other offers nothing but fluff. Pensler’s candid comments on Trump, portrayed by the James campaign as Pensler slamming Trump, were actually complementary in their full context. Pensler’s comments about supporting a “living constitution” were in reference to the Convention of States, a project pushed by constitutional conservatives to amend the Constitution in an attempt to reign in the federal government. These misleading attacks missed the mark, so James had to push deliberate falsehoods in the final stretch. If James’ campaign is this dishonest, how can you trust the candidate when he talks to you on the campaign trail?

James is certainly offering his brand ‘Hope and Change’ to the voters without much in terms of specifics. I remember in the not too distant past when voters elected a similar candidate who promised the world without demonstrating any qualifications, competency or a real record. America really regretted that decision, and we should not duplicate that mistake here in Michigan. Pensler’s record is far from spotless, having ran as a moderate Republican back in the 1990s before ‘evolving’ and becoming more conservative over the years. But at least he has a record, other than bumper sticker slogans and corny taglines about being a fighter pilot.

We can be better than the Democrats, can’t we? Support the qualified candidate a week from today, not the empty suit.

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(6)

Michigan State Senate Primary Preview

All 38 seats in the Michigan Senate are up for election in 2014.  Republicans currently have a 27-11 supermajority, and have controlled the senate since 1983.

For the past few years, the state senate has been more moderate than the state house.  This cycle, there are several ideologically split Republican primaries that will determine how conservative the state senate will be next year. These will be in districts 12, 21, 24, 26, 30, 31, 34, and 35.

1. [Detroit riverfront, Downriver] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 28-72 McCain: 22.0 Romney: 21.5 Trump: XX
Incumbent: Coleman Young (D term-limited)
This is one of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Young, who lost badly in his bid for Detroit Mayor, is now running for Congress.  State reps Stephanie Chang (14-P), Bettie Cook Scott (06-10, 16-18), and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (10-16) are running for the D nomination, along with James Cole, Nicholas Rivera, and Stephanie Roehm.  Chang is a progressive favorite, but is opposed by Detroit Mayor Duggan and could struggle is a heavily black district. Pauline Monte is the R candidate.

2. [NE Detroit, Grosse Pointes] Safe democrat
SS 2014: 25-71 McCain: 20.1 Romney: 19.3 Trump: XX
Incumbent:  Bert Johnson (D term-limited)
One of five black-majority districts based in Detroit.  Johnson pled guilty to theft (hiring a fake employee to pay a debt).  There will be a special election at the same time as the general election.  Incredibly, eleven Ds are running.  Leading the pack is eight-time felon and disgraced former rep Brian Banks (12-17), who resigned in a plea bargain.  Former rep George Cushingberry Jr. (74-82, 04-10) is running after losing his seat on the Detroit city council due to scandal.  Former rep John Olumba (10-14) is running as a D after becoming an independent in 2013.  Former state rep Lamar Lemmons (99-06) is running.  Adam Hollier, Johnson’s former chief of staff, has received many endorsements as a (presumably) saner alternative to the other candidates.  Hamtramck city commissioner Abraham Aiyash has fundraised well in the Muslim community. Tommy Campbell, Lawrence Gannon, Anam Miah, William Phillips, and Regina Williams are also running.  Rs John Hauler and Lisa Papas are running.

You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(1)

July 2018 Michigan State Senate Fundraising

July 27 was the deadline for campaign finance reports for Michigan legislature.  Here are summaries of the total amount raised in Michigan state senate districts.  Totals include in-kind and late contributions.

1. (D) Chang 147K Scott XX Talabi 10K
2. (D) Banks 157K Hollier 121K Aiyash 106K Miah 10K Gannon 9K Cushingberry 8K Lemmons waiver Olumba waiver
3. (D) Santana 113K Woronchak 117K
4. (D) Bullock 56K Durhal 100K
5. (D) Knezek 253K
6. (D) Kosowski 107K Geiss 74K
7. (R) Cox 162K (D) Qadir 117K Polehanki 69K
8. (R) Lucido 147K Goike 41K
9. (D) Wojno 169K
10. (R) Shallal 47K MacDonald 21K (D) Yanez 126K
11. (D) J. Moss 90K
12. (R) Tedder 165K McCready 138K (D) Bayer 68K
13. (R) Knollenberg 252K (D) McMorrow 161K
14. (R) Johnson 56K
15. (R) Runestad 212K (D) Pulver 53K
16. (R) Shirkey 180K Dame 24K
17. (R) Zorn 254K (D) LaVoy 17K
18. (D) Irwin 158K Deatrick 224K Rajendra 153K
19. (R) Callton 265K Bizon 264K
20. (R) O’Brien 371K (D) McCann 137K
21. (R) LaSata 114K Pagel 116K
22. (R) Theis 122K
23. (D) Hertel 281K
24. (R) Barrett 227K Roberts 139K (D) Rossman-McKinney 313K
25. (R) Lauwers 76K
26. (R) Genetski 201K Nesbitt 213K Wickstra 140K (D) Lewis 29K
27. (D) Ananich 253K
28. (R) MacGregor 255K
29. (R) Afendoulis 427K (D) Brinks 289K
30. (R) Garcia 259K Haveman 97K Victory 237K DeBoer 10K
31. (R) Glenn 243K Daley 118K (D) Luczak 30K Jordan 24K
32. (R) Horn 270K (D) Phelps 36K Gaudreau 12K
33. (R) Outman 65K
34. (R) Bumstead 184K Hughes 1.1M (D) Lamonte 29K Sias-Hernandez 53K
35. (R) Franz 52K Rendon 102K VanderWall 126K
36. (R) Stamas 324K
37. (R) Schmidt 386K Gurr 7K
38. (R) McBroom 128K Carey 129K (D) Dianda 179K

You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)

A Major Mistake.

Contributions to NRCC and NRSC forsake donor intent.

Received this today.

WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have announced the transfer of $8 million to the NRSC and the NRCC in support of their midterm election efforts. The Trump Campaign will max out to nearly 100 candidates in its first round of contributions. The RNC will transfer $4 million to the NRSC and $4 million to the NRCC.

Not good.

Truth be told, I am still not a fan of my own state’s Republican political apparatus as they attempt to manipulate primary elections. Just take a look at who gets the stage when the president or Vice President comes to town.  But I am happy to contribute through my local dues and contributions to my local party, and sometimes nationally.

The RNC has not always been great in its finances historically, but has gotten a few of my shekels as contribution from time to time.  And the most recent iteration of it under chair McDaniel has been as an excellent

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)

Idiotorial Departments

Team Little Nerd grabs onto an iron life vest.

Brian Calley has picked up his second endorsement from a ‘major newspaper outlet’

Both the Free Press and the Detroit News have endorsed Mr. Mom (Brian Calley) for the gubernatorial position while purposefully ignoring surging candidate (Patrick Colbeck) altogether.

Readers should be reminded of whom these two ‘news’ outlets chose for the presidential contests in 2016.

The Detroit Free Press proposed that Felonious Von PantSuit was the ‘Mature choice.‘  And the Detroit News Clown show chose perennial loser Gary Johnson.  Obviously, these are well reasoned editorial geniuses.

There can be no doubt that such brilliance in electoral choice will be repeated, again and again.

 

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

It’s Still Illegal.

What happens if a bond approval is found to be nullified - AFTER the money is spent?

Michigan has a problem enforcing its constitution.

The old “taxation without representation” line has never been more relevant than when election time comes and voters are asked to approve a bond approval.  What is a problem, is that many voters for some ballot asks are not even eligible to engage in the process.

Surprise.

In the election law section of the Michigan Constitution, without any further qualification, it addresses who is entitled to vote on bonds or ad valorem increases that extend beyond 5 years.

Sec. 6. Whenever any question is required to be submitted by a political subdivision to the electors for the increase of the ad valorem tax rate limitation imposed by Section 6 of Article IX for a period of more than five years, or for the issue of bonds, only electors in, and who have property assessed for any ad valorem taxes in, any part of the district or territory to be affected by the result of such election or electors who are the lawful husbands or wives of such persons shall be entitled to vote thereon. All electors in the district or territory affected may vote on all other questions.

Emboldened part particularly pertinent.

Having looked at this in years past, I had an attorney do a bit of research, and it seems the application of our state law was subverted by a 1969 ruling, though not properly annotated to reflect it.  There is no subtext, or footnote

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(0)

In Case You Missed It

Antrim Debate video with Colbeck and Calley at the ACRP event at Shanty Creek Resort

Hines flaked out, and Bill Schuette likely felt the fundraiser nearby was a more productive use of his time.

Two candidates decided not to show for a major county party event. The Antrim county party, while not overly large has active and influential players and participants.  Ignoring this base might not be a good idea.

The content was good however. Typical 1 minute to 90 second responses were changed to three minute responses.  Allowing substantive answers to things that matter, and answer times for bit more of a philosophical element as well.

Worth the watch if you care about who might be Michigan’s next governor.

Or to help demonstrate that there can be more underneath the hood than soundbite soliloquies.

You Betcha! (10)Nuh Uh.(0)