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Sitting in the political director's office at Cox 2010 campaign headquarters earlier today, hashing over one seemingly life-or-death detail or another, when someone scanning their blackberry shouted "Chet Zarko died?!"
We jumped on Facebook and Twitter and instinctively checked Outside Lansing and a few of Chet's other haunts (heading immediately to blogs and social networking websites--I like to think the irony is not lost on Chet this evening) scanning for news, hoping to find a reassuring word or some indication the rumor was wrong.
We know now that it wasn't. Chetly Zarko passed away over the weekend at his home with, we're told, a book in his hand. He was 39 years old.
Chet Zarko was the original Michigan conservative blogger. When this site was in its infancy back in early 2007 Chet had already been at the game for years. When Rightys in Michigan claimed three or four "new media" sites to their name, Chet's was the gold standard. Ditto when there were dozens. And with over one-hundred Righty Blogs going strong, there was still only one Chet Zarko.
While many have started blogging since or blogged more actively, there will never be another Chet. His boldness... his dry wit... his sharp (SHARP) mind... his drive and dedication... his willingness to put in the extra hour to get something right instead of simply getting something first... Chet was the sort of guy the blogging game, the activist game and the governing game could use more of.
I mean c'mon, now. The guy was banned at MichLib, compared (lovingly) to Darth Vader by the Mainstream Media and had the guts and the tenacity to legitimately give Mark Brewer fits. On handheld camera no less.
Swung by one of the man's favorite haunts earlier this evening to see if they'd gotten the news. Over on Michigan Liberal they're mourning Chet, themselves. No name calling, no vitriol. A healthy respect and an admiration.
Chet was that kind of guy. He was pointed, he was passionate and he understood the power of his beliefs. But he was friendly, open and just plain good people. And everyone knew it.
I'm going to miss the man as conservative thinker. I'll miss him as a blogger. I'll miss him as a researcher and an activist and a standard bearer. Mostly, I'll miss him as a friend.
Pouring a little out for you tonight in Livonia Chet. We'll see you on the other side.
(2 comments) Comments >>
I hesitate to even discuss this issue but the Michigan Regressisphere's latest game is starting to get dangerous. Physically dangerous.
The Left doesn't like waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture. Waterboarding is the devil. The Left especially doesn't like the Bush administration because it used waterboarding as an interrogation technique to garner information about terror attacks from unrepentant terrorists. Can't torture terrorists... that's inhumane. American citizens and fellow Michiganders with whom you happen to disagree politically? Apparently that's a different story.
(8 comments, 493 words in story) Full Story
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