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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    A Unique Combination . . . For Such a Time As This

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 01:17:45 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan Healthcare Freedom Initiative, Michigan Republican Party, Michigan TEA Party Movement, Michigan 9-12 Project, Common Sense In Government, Fix Michigan Centers, Michigan HCF Coalition (all tags)

    Not too long ago, at a NATO naval conference, an American admiral found himself standing at a cocktail reception with high-ranking naval officers from most of the NATO countries, including English, Canadian, and American command-grade and flag-grade officers.  Everyone in the group (regardless of nationality) was chatting away in English, but a French officer in the group suddenly voiced a complaint.

    "Whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English."  He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

    The American admiral didn't miss a beat.  "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

    End of conversation.

    The Michigan Healthcare Freedom Initiative petition drive isn't four weeks old, and I've already personally reached into 26 counties (and collected 235 signatures).  I'm pretty sure that I can do a decent job of measuring up to my Michigan FairTax Proposal 2008 campaign work (51 counties, 1,637 signatures), if I can manage to stay in the field.  However, during this month, I have noticed a disturbing trend, and I'd be remiss in my responsibilities if I didn't say something about it.

    As a grassroots initiative, Michigan HCF was conceived during the final run-up to the House vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H. R. 3590).  The language borrowed heavily from Justin Amash's House Joint Resolution Z, and was vetted by the Goldwater Institute for constitutionality.  Wendy Day, President of Common Sense in Government, became a natural public face for the initiative.  The Monday after H. R. 3590 was voted up in Congress, Wendy and State Representative Tom McMillan (R-Rochester Hills) launched the ballot proposal.

    Due to a little bit of social networking, a coalition of Michigan TEA Party organizations rapidly gathered around the initiative and spread it statewide in a hurry.  But during this time, an open question was whether or not the Michigan Republican Party would come onboard with the initiative.  A state representative in addition to Amash, as well as a state senator, had initiated legislative action to nullify the forcible takeover of Michigan's economy and, as I said, the language of HJR-Z was chosen for the proposal.

    However, MIGOP, as an official participant in the initiative, was conspicuous by its absence.  This was a source of no small annoyance to not only the Michigan HCF Coalition, but also to the statewide network of Fix Michigan Centers and county committee offices, who were being inundated with requests for petitions and official support.  As much as tea partiers are normally loathe to associate themselves with either of the major political parties, they apparently believed that the state republicans should be behind Michigan HCF.  Additionally, the state party committee has resources at its disposal that, properly employed, can all but guarantee that the initiative will have enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

    Surprisingly enough, last week, the Michigan Republican Party did officially place its support behind Michigan HCF, and offered the coalition access to a formidable field network.

    Keep in mind that MIGOP has the Fix Michigan Centers, which are very adaptable as regional collection and distribution points for petitions and field supplies.  The FMCs also have an in-house staff that can provide training for circulators and have built solid rapports with the county organizations, which, in the context of MIHCF, provides for a neat and orderly way to account for not only every petition page in circulation, but also for every signature collected.  Additionally, via the county committees, MIGOP has a network that drills all the way down to the precinct level, which will come in very handy in meeting CSIG's benchmark of collecting signatures from 10% of the voting population of each of Michigan's 83 counties.

    The state republicans also have an experienced legal staff that has been committed to tabulating and vetting every single signature collected, so that CSIG will have a running tally (updated weekly) of where the usable signature count stands relative to the turn-in target of 500,000.

    And while the grassroots organizations were understandably frustrated at the seeming delay in MIGOP's reaction, in all fairness to the Michigan Republican Party there is a reason for this.  First, because the state party was going to be effectively putting its stamp of approval on the initiative, they had to make sure that certain legal requirements were met (such as the petition officially clearing the State Board of Canvassers, which took an extra week).  Also, bringing the sheer political firepower that the state party has at its disposal to bear in support of Michigan HCF is not unlike maneuvering a battleship . . . that's a scary amount of firepower that can be very accurately targeted, but it takes a few minutes to get into position.  In order to get it right the first time - very important on something like this - MIGOP had to make sure that the entire network was in sync and ready to run like a Swiss watch as soon as the green light was given.

    By contrast, the grassroots organization of the Michigan TEA Party Movement, which is comprised of a coalition of independently-operating organizations, can react very nimbly to situational changes (including major strategy shifts) in no more time than it takes to make a few dozen phone calls.  But while these organizations can respond and shift resources around with relatively lightning-like speed, the sheer magnitude of what is required for an initiative such as this would quickly overwhelm all but the largest of them.  Extending the battleship analogy, these organizations are like patrol cutters . . . not much firepower, but you'd be amazed at how fast they can get to where they need to be.

    But even though a flotilla of patrol cutters can collectively employ a downright deadly amount of ordnance, they would be absolutely no match for a full-size task force of cruisers and destroyers; and that analogy applies very well here.  The Michigan HCF Coalition, when they operate in concert, is an impressive force that only a fool would dare ignore.  But they simply do not have the in-house resources to wage a sustained fight against those who are intent on imposing a socialist imperative within the State of Michigan.  Extending the naval analogy one more time, the coalition needs heavy gunfire support and air cover.

    Enter the Michigan Republican Party.  The statewide organization of the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt (Teddy, that is), and Reagan brings some very big sticks into this fight.  On their own, they have engaged Governor Granholm, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid, and President Obama on three levels; legislatively, legally, and in providing logistic support to the coalition.

    So why is this a problem?

    Seriously, no sooner was MIGOP officially involved on behalf of the Michigan Healthcare Freedom Initiative, then some TEA Party organizers started kvetching about the state party "co-opting" their grassroots efforts.  (Even a county executive was bellyaching.)  And the screwy part is that these were, for the most part, the same people who two weeks previously were carping about the state party's silence!  Could you make up your mind?

    The United States of America entered World War Two on the side of the Allied Nations not to establish a world empire, but because they realized that a much greater evil was on the move . . . an evil that threatened to plunge the world into a thousand years of darkness if it wasn't beaten then and there.  Had America sat out the war, kept its awesome military and industrial might out of the conflict, then it's very likely that the Axis Powers would have systematically overrun the entire Eastern Hemisphere, and isolated America and Canada to be dealt with at a convenient time later.

    But when American forces went ashore at Normandy, they did not fly the British, Canadian, French, Polish, or any other flag except their own; nor did they ask those nations to fly the stars and stripes.  When that war was won, and those European nations realized that an American presence was absolutely integral to ensuring that something like this did not happen again, the United States did not seek to co-opt our allies.  Instead, we simply negotiated - in a spirit of mutual trust, respect, and friendship - the permission to establish just enough of a presence on their soil to send a clear signal to those who might intend them harm.  That message was, "This is our friend; if you mess with them, then you will answer to us."

    That very same concept is true here.  The Michigan Healthcare Freedom Initiative is a righteous concept, and very desperately needed in this fight against the statist imperative that threatens to envelop our great state like a locust plague.  Even though this isn't a conflict of bullets and bombs (yet), make no mistake that what is happening right now is very much a civil war for the soul of this nation . . . and Michigan is very much a critical front in this fight.

    The Michigan Republican Party has no desire to co-opt the Michigan HCF Coalition, nor do they ask us to fly their flag instead of our own.  However, be well aware that without the leverage and resources that MIGOP can bring into play, the outcome of this effort is very much in doubt.  Afterward, they have no desire to superimpose themselves on the members of the coalition; instead, they'll just let the Michigan Democrats know that they're our friends.

    Everyone in this alliance needs to set aside their territorial instincts and tribal personalities.  We're working for a greater cause here, taking a stand to say to those who would impose tyranny, "No, we've had enough of this.  Here, now, is where this wave breaks."

    But simply stopping the advance of socialism will not be enough, and any reasonable person knows this.  Over the next three cycles, elections will have to be won; and, as has happened before, the larger party establishment may forget what they were elected to do in the first place.  It took us 97 years to deteriorate from the constitutional republic that the Founding Fathers established to a nation on the verge of a socialist democracy remade into the image of Karl Marx.  That damage will not be repaired in eight to twelve years, but a very good foundation can be re-laid in that time.

    But what we can - and must - do is begin the intergenerational struggle to turn this mess around.  The Socialist-Democrats were convinced that their 2008 electoral tsunami entitled them to do things in Washington as they saw fit, abandon any pretense of bi-partisanship, and screw "We the People."  The TEA Party Movement proved them wrong, awakened a nation, and put the career politicians on notice.  We must not, under any circumstance, lose that momentum.  Nor must we abandon our allies in the major parties, even though we will have to be fearless in keeping them honest.

    Instead, each of us needs to do the responsible thing politically.  Stay informed and aware of what's going on locally, in the state, and nationally.  Become the single point of light in your neighborhood, at school, at work, or wherever it is that you go.  Some will resist, but others will enjoy the light so much that they will absorb it themselves.  Over time, your torch will light many candles.  Only in that way will we permanently push back the looming darkness of Socialism.

    In the meantime, let's go kick some jackass.

    < Tea Party After Action Reports | Macomb County Rally/Event Roundup >

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    UP North here (4.00 / 1) (#1)
    by JGillman on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:17:28 AM EST
    I have petitions and can collect them for you when you have them completed.

    Look me up I am in the book (Traverse City) as I have been for almost 20 years..  Leave a message if you need copies.

    Kevin, great report.

    Don't worry too much about the Kvetching.  Given the morality of the issue, and the number of 912ers and Tea Partiers on the way to becoming delegates, things will be quite alright in the working together arena for a while I think.

    Over in Macomb County... (4.00 / 1) (#2)
    by KG One on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 08:32:27 AM EST
    ...truth be told, this is the first that I've heard about any "friction" between Michigan HCF, TEA Party and the GOP.

    Most people that I've spoken with from about six counties and after one pad of petitions are generally supportive of the measure regardless of who is holding the clipboard.

    At Tea Parties and various rallies, circulators from different groups have literally been bumping into one another, but we have been friendly and even coordinating which parts of the crowd have and have not been canvassed.

    I would explain the above by saying that for the most part, people recognize what the stakes are here.

    At least that is my observation from this corner of Michigan.

    • Coordinating by JGillman, 04/16/2010 08:49:18 AM EST (none / 0)
      • I have... by KG One, 04/16/2010 09:02:27 AM EST (none / 0)
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