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Today in campaign news: Duggan to endorse Hobbs tonight

by: ScottyUrb

Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 14:40:47 PM EDT

* Hobbs just announced that Mayor Mike Duggan will announce his endorsement of Hobbs this evening at an event in Detroit.

* In this corner: the Devos-backed "Great Lakes Education Project." In this corner: Gary Glenn and Todd Courser. Ready? Fight

One mailer criticized Glenn's stance on tax policy and accused him of believing that the government should be able to "police bedrooms" and "imprison all gay citizens."

Warning: The article also mentions a guy whose last name rhymes with Ragema.

* Via email: Syed Taj, our 2012 nominee in the 11th, is backing Anil Kumar.

A couple tweets from MIRS tell us that Peters leads Land by 45-39, while Amash is up on Ellis 51-31.

* UPDATE: Mitchell poll in the 14th: Hobbs 38%, Clarke 25%, Lawrence 22%. But that's Mitchell, so take it with many grains of salt.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Richard Bernstein announces candidacy for state supreme court

by: Eric B.

Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:50:07 AM EDT

Hi, y'all, from Van Buren County. I interrupt my working vacation (charter fishing tomorrow!) to tell you that this morning Richard Bernstein has officially announced his candidacy for the state supreme court. The announcement comes courtesy a press release in Ye Olde Inbox from Vanguard Public Affairs, run by my fine pal T.J. Bucholz. As noted previously, Vanguard is currently this website's sponsor, but this is legitimate news since Bernstein starts the race with name recognition of about 120 percent.

I now return to my previously scheduled working vacation (charter fishing tomorrow!).

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Today in campaign news: Schauer releases a plan, Dillard may switch to Secretary of State

by: ScottyUrb

Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 21:42:50 PM EDT

Here's the plan.

* Both Skubick and MIRS are reporting that high-level Democrats are pushing for Godfrey Dillard to run for Secretary of State instead of Attorney General. I do know that he has quite a solid biography. Aside from that, this would satisfy that unofficial rule that in gubernatorial years, at least one of the Democratic nominees for Gov/LG/SoS/AG be non-white. (Not since 1966 have Dems nominated an all-white ticket.)

* Sen. Judy Emmons (R) was outraised by Democratic challenger Fred Sprague, $20,589.43 to $15,940. This seat is supposed to be a safe Republican seat, yet the Republican is getting outraised. Here's the database with all the filings.

Discuss :: (16 Comments)

Removing transparency from campaign finance was the greatest thing ever done on our behalf

by: Eric B.

Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:23:57 AM EDT

Saw this circulating over social media over the weekend. It's a story about ads being run in the Detroit area about the race for Wayne County executive.

CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Wayne County Executive race for the primary election is heating up, and now we have discovered that a group of Republicans is getting in the mix by funding ads that promote a Democratic candidate.

Once 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo started asking questions, people associated with the ads started scrambling to fix some important paperwork.

The candidate in question is Bill Wild, who I believe has zero shot of winning, but they are smear ads. And they are funded by ... who knows? The paper trail leads back to two possible Republican sources, but no one admits to being responsible. So, no one knows which means there's no way to hold anyone accountable or even ask why. It's almost as if they're kicking the tires on a new and exciting program of secretly funded smear ads being run for no particular reason. It's the free expression of speech, we're told.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Today in campaign news: Schauer in GR, Clements on the air

by: ScottyUrb

Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 21:14:48 PM EDT

* Lots of Democrats came to Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids hear Mark Schauer, Mark Totten, and various other candidates speak. (Peters had to attend to another matter.) The anti-fracking folks were also out in force.

Good read in Crain's about three of my favorite things: campaigns, technology, and the nexus between the two.

* As Mark mentioned in a diary, Paul Clements (running against Fred Upton) has his first ad. Spoiler alert: He comes across as more of a nerd than the self-proclaimed one.

* The Michigan Nurses Association is backing Anil Kumar. Keep in mind that Kumar is a doctor, for whatever that's worth.

* Rand Paul is hiring John Yob to help steer his PAC.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

This thread now open for your enjoyment and Graham Davis is a jerk

by: Eric B.

Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 14:00:00 PM EDT

Last weekend, while at work, I received a text message from Graham Davis telling me to go to hell. I told him to fuck off, which seemed like an appropriate response. Anyway, he posted all this on Facebook and I spent half an hour swearing at him. I later found out that some people thought that we were feuding. That's not the case. I am feuding, but it's with my neighbor. If you and I are connected on social media, you already know that, because that's where the feud is taking place. Also, in real life, like when I sabotaged the gargoyle he has in his yard and he wrote, "Baerren Go Home" in chalk-paint on his driveway.

For those of you who couldn't give less of a shit about who I'm feuding with, consider this the opening of the weekend thread.

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

Programming notes: Upcoming vacations and spotty blog service

by: Eric B.

Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 13:00:00 PM EDT

I'm going out of town next week to visit family. It's in South Haven. I'm told there's a charter fishing trip that involves perch, which will be excellent. I've gone there before and sort of faked out like I was still around by posting once or twice a day and pretending that I was just really busy doing things besides fishing and shooting guns and stuff. It was all lies. This year, there'll be no disguising it. My laptop shit the bed earlier this week (actually the DC power jack) and there's even more limited Internet access at where I'll be, which is the home of a neo-Luddite.

In the middle of next month, I'll be leaving town again for a week to do some backpacking between Cadillac and Manistee with the kid. I'd give you dates, but I assume some of you awful people would use that to start planning a mini-vacation using my couch to crash on and drinking what beer there is in the refrigerator.

Oh yeah, in between I'm doing a no-booze, no-caffeine vegan cleanse. That doesn't affect any of you, but it will explain things if you get a whiff of moral superiority and self-satisfaction coming off my posts.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Old man yells at cloud

by: Eric B.

Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

Detroit News political civility scold Jeffrey Hadden discovers reason 8,472 why to ignore liberal calls for being nicer to each other. This time, he links to a Washington Examiner article that says that the Shut Up Party (Democrats to the rest of us) want to use the FEC to shut down conservative media websites by telling Paul Ryan that he can't use campaign funds to purchase books in bulk and distribute them like it's a lit drop.

The chairman of the Federal Election Commission today blasted Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed rules on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations -- or even a ban.

Needless to say, there's a little bit of distortion at work there and a whole lot of dissembling. And, since it gets run through the wash-and-rinse cycle twice, it smells twice as fragrant.


Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Agenda 21 undermines Greg MacMaster by convincing his mother to endorse opponent

by: Eric B.

Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 11:14:05 AM EDT

The Empire strikes back!

TRAVERSE CITY — State Senate candidate Greg MacMaster gained endorsements from political officials in his opponent's hometown, including Traverse city's mayor, but primary foe Wayne Schmidt swiped a different sort of political prize: support from MacMaster's mother.

Alden resident Michelle MacMaster publicly endorsed Schmidt, a state representative from Traverse City, for the 37th State Senate seat over her son, a state representative from Kewadin. Macmaster and Schmidt face off during the Aug. 5 primary election for the Republican nomination to represent eight counties in northwest Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula, including Grand Traverse and Antrim counties.

Can there be any doubt that she and MacMaster's grown daughter, who is also endorsing Schmidt, are paid stooges of the United Nations, which is using this to strike back against a foe who has sought to undermine their Agenda 21 through legislative means? Can there be any other explanation?

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Source of Land millions still murky

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 15:15:52 PM EDT

Again, it's great that in response to Terri Lynn Land hiding from the media that the media went looking for Terri Lynn Land ... not her spokespeople, mind you, but the real Terri Lynn Land. The Terri Lynn Land they found was the Terri Lynn Land that we've been hearing that Republican insiders were afraid would get sussed out.

Precedent, however, is less clear when considering why the U.S. Supreme Court has kept in place contribution limits on spouses and relatives if they could simply move assets among accounts. FEC rulings on the subject have been somewhat inconsistent.

Jan Baran, a Republican election law expert in Washington, said it’s not only a question of whether the money came from a joint account but one of “where did the money come from originally,” and its purpose.

In the case of Land, the de facto Republican nominee to replace U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and a former Michigan secretary of state responsible for enforcing election laws, the original source of the funds remains unclear.

But, who could have predicted that in a campaign environment where shadowy money is considered speech would wind up being an excellent incubator for a mysterious $3 slush fund?

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Today in campaign news: Polling results in the 14th get an explanation

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 14:00:00 PM EDT

*--Via press release, Rudy Hobbs has landed the endorsement of some Pontiac people, including Oakland County Commissioner Mattie Hatchett. His campaign also says that they have the most money on hand moving into the home stretch of the campaign. Will it do any good? According to this story, what it's doing is helping Hansen Clarke.

That's it for today. If you have something else, as always, discuss in comments.

Discuss :: (21 Comments)

Wingnut doctor deflates silly D'Souza-related Costco conspiracy theory

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:34:05 AM EDT

Ben Carson, the Detroit-raised doctor who was big for about five minutes and remains big in wingnut political circles, has a column out in today's Detroit News that deflates the conspiracy theory making the rounds in wingnut conspiracy theory circles that Costco pulled Dinesh D'Souza's latest book (the one published as he heads off for a stint in prison) over politics because Costco's CEO wants to take away D'Souza's Constitutional right to have his books sold in every private retail chain (I'm a bit astonished that Fried Chicken Frank hasn't made passing allusions to the controversy).

In the case of Costco and the D’Souza book, lack of awareness was interpreted by many conservative customers as political misconduct because of Sinegal’s views. Although he and I differ politically, he continues to be a huge financial supporter of the Carson Scholars Fund and many other educational endeavors. When he was CEO, he could not sleep at night if someone else offered a better value on a product. He cared deeply about how employees were treated, and he refused to accept a salary comparable to other CEOs in the industry. He also has nothing to do with Costco book sales, nor would he wish to at this point. We have much common ground and are friends, even though we often discuss political issues.

This is a great representation of the current state of conservative thought: All art is either liberal or conservative, as are all business decisions. I don't usually go in for boycotting businesses because their owners don't align themselves politically to me, which means I don't go in for boycotts. But, these people do, and it makes them not only dumber for it, but also boring.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Gail Haines has deep concerns about bill that would ban brainwashing minors

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:23:36 AM EDT

MLive has a story about legislation introduced that would ban gender conversion therapy involving minors, which is to say that it would ban gender brainwashing involving minors. It seems like a slam dunk, because brain washing minors -- and anyone, really -- is generally considered to be a bad thing. Not necessarily so, however.

Zemke said he has had positive conversations with some Republican lawmakers in Lansing and expects to win some bipartisan support for his legislation. But his bill faces a hurdle in the House Health Policy Committee chaired by Rep. Gail Haines, R-Waterford.

"I think creating new laws that intervene in the relationship between parents and a child seems unnecessary," Haines told the MIRS subscription news service, noting her committee has a lot of other major bills to consider later this year.

This isn't religious indoctrination by parents, which is horrible enough, but instead telling someone that they aren't who they are. Parents who get behind that are bad parents and terrible people, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

By the way, this is a fine opportunity to share exactly what about this issue people don't get. It's another entirely unnecessary column from Nolan Finley, in which he has an imaginary conversation with a Home Depot clerk involving plumbing supplies. The difference between this column and those Taxicab Confession columns from the early aughts is that at least Finley has the decency to tell you he's making it all up, which is a fine sign that it's not worth taking seriously in the first place.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Warren mayor and Godwin's Law

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 10:59:28 AM EDT

I'm not sure where to even start with this.

Comparing atheists to Nazis and white supremacists, Fouts argued that Marshall's "reason station" would be fundamentally antagonistic to prayer.

"The city has certain values that I don't believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station," Fouts added. "I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here."

He said while disparaging atheists. Seriously, this is dumb on so many levels. It's like, as it pertains to religious diversity, Warren city government reached 1994 and promptly fell into a rut from which it has yet to extricate itself. It's a fine reminder that narrow-mindedness and religious bigotry isn't just for rustics.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

From the Department of WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED?: Uncompensated care costs down

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 16:00:00 PM EDT

From Healthcare Dive, an article on the impact of expanded Medicaid on the costs for uncompensated health care.

"We probably have seen an uptick in folks with the ability to pay for their healthcare," either through the Healthy Michigan Plan, health insurance exchange plans, or a local taxpayer-funded program for indigent care, said Andy Kruse, Genesys Health System's vice president of mission integration.

"I think in general our finance folks [are saying] that there is a leveling off or a decline in uncompensated care," Kruse said.

This is a consequence of both the exchanges and expanding Medicaid, more financially secure hospitals. The party of business wanted nothing to do with either of those, which means the party of business was all for more hospital closures and degrading service.

Also, Pat Colbeck, the stupidest man in our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect, wants to replace it with something market-based. That would be state-based health care exchanges, where people can shop for health insurance. Just thought I'd point that out.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)
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