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Vern Ehlers

Eyes on Ehlers

by: kelster

Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 05:58:59 AM EST

( - promoted by Eric B.)

Politico has a story on Ehler's press conference, scheduled for today in Grand Rapids, "to address questions about his future plans as a member of Congress."

If Ehlers decides to step down, Politico expects "a fiercely-contested GOP primary in western Michigan's conservative heartland."

What are your thoughts on Justin Amash?

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

Redistricting Michigan 2012

by: Menhen

Sat May 23, 2009 at 11:26:57 AM EDT

(Fun with maps! - promoted by rich)

Crossposted at Swing State Project http://www.swingstateproject.c...

Lately there has been a lot of Debate over the number of Democratic Congressional Districts that Democrats could gerrymander out of the state of Michigan if they had complete control (right now they hold the Governorship and State House.  They stand a good chance at taking control of the State Senate while the Governor's race is a tossup).  A few people have said that it is possible to succesfully draw a map that would yield 12 Democratic seats and only 2 Republican seats.  I've been trying for several weeks to draw a 12-2 map, meanwhile protecting endangered incumbents (specifically Schauer) and I've determined that a 12-2 map would be far overeaching and in a neutral or Republican leaning year might end up 9-5 or worse. I think the best Michigan Democrats could do is create 11 safe or Democrat leaning districts and 3 strongly Republican districts.  I've drawn a map that I think does just that, although I still am not entirely confident that we could hold both of my "Thumb" districts in a Republican year.  But without further ado, here's my map.

There's More... :: (19 Comments, 1135 words in story)

Two-Faced and Ass-Backwards

by: kelster

Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 11:23:03 AM EST

(! - promoted by Eric B.)

I just spent an interesting 30 minutes or so looking at the voting records of the MI Congressional delegation.

If Dave Camp, Vern Ehlers, Pete Hoekstra or Fred Upton represent your district, be sure to ask -- loud and often -- how they can square their votes in favor of the $700 bank bailout , with their votes against the economic stimulus package.

That would be the same economic stimulus package which will

protect[s] Michigan schools, universities and health care providers from deep budget cuts. Also of significance, it also provides $1 billion in new Medicaid health care for the unemployed and their children in a state with a 10.6-percent unemployment rate. There's $1 billion for road construction.

Ask Dave, Vern, Pete and Fred why they think it's more important to throw money at the financial industry -- with no oversight and no accountability, with $87,000 carpets and corporate jets -- than to help unemployed Americans or rebuild our infrastructure.  

Ask them why their much-vaunted sense of "fiscal responsibility" doesn't extend to Michigan families who are desperately trying to keep their jobs and their homes.

Ask them why they call themselves "representatives," when they're even out of step with GOP leaders in Lansing:

Republicans on the state Senate Appropriations Committee seemed to welcome all the federal cash coming Lansing's way. Sen. Tom George of Kalamazoo, who has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor in 2010, said Michigan was deserving of even more given the state's disproportionate loss of jobs this decade.
Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Friday Coffee Talk

by: BZP

Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:21:10 AM EDT

Happy Friday! Enjoy your cup-o-links...

Local, State, National Politics
  • BFM: Pete Hoekstra Is A Scaremonger. "If Pete Hoekstra wants to talk about terror, he should talk about the terror uninsured people feel in their hearts when they're faced with sudden illness, burdensome medical debt or premature death."
  • Dan Scripps: Intro @ WSCC Debate. Great speech by Dan at a debate for the 101st House district race.
  • Media Mouse: Ehlers, Levin, and Stabenow Evaluated on Support for the Middle Class. Carl got an "A," Debbie got an "A+" and Rep. Ehlers got an "F."
State Government/Legislation
  • LSJ Editorial: Prison costs: State's only choice is to spend less on imprisonment. "Michigan imprisons more people and spends more money doing it than its neighbors. That gives those states an edge, either via greater investments in other public services or the ability to hold down taxes."
  • Michigan Messenger: Film production incentive package is fast-tracked through the Legislature. "We have the opportunity to do something that will have an important effect on our economy," said Rep. Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale, one of the sponsors of the bipartisan, bicameral package of bills. "We can expect to see increased film production in the state this year."
  • Ann Arbor Business Review: Lenders: State licensing a good step for stability. "Barbara Banco of BANCO Mortgage Centre in Birmingham has been in the lending business for some 25 years, and believes the bills are long overdue, and that loan officer accountability is a long time coming."
  • AP: Michigan governor signs bill to create optional driver's licenses. "The legislation is aimed at meeting tougher identification rules required by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative."
  • Freep Editorial: Region needs to move together on new plan for light rail. "In any case, for light rail on Woodward to succeed, the entire region must get behind the plan. Metro Detroit can't afford to let more infighting destroy another opportunity to start building a woefully needed regional mass transit system."
Environment, Energy & the Economy
  • WMR: Wind and Cow Chips -- The Key to West Michigan's Future?. "West Michigan can move from being an office furniture, pharmaceutical, and auto part manufacturing economy (while keeping as many of those jobs as possible) to being a life-sciences and alternative energy manufacturing economy if we're smart."
  • Bay City Times: State's first commercial windmill farm starts churning out power in Huron County. An accompanying BCT editorial urges Legislators to get on the stick and pass an RPS.
  • Michigan Future: Speak Up for the Creative Economy. Neeta Delaney of ArtServe Michigan puts in a plug for the March 19 Arts & Culture Advocacy Day at the Capitol.
  • Dave Dempsey: Who owns the Great Lakes? "In Michigan the debate is particularly keen, and pending legislation could either divest significant portions of lakes and streams from public control to private, or put Michigan in the region's lead in reaffirming Great Lakes water belongs to us all."
  • Freep: Illegal tobacco sales cost Michigan millions. "Big-time profiteers and small-time cheaters are smuggling 7 million cartons of cigarettes into the state annually to evade Michigan's high cigarette taxes, costing the state about $140 million a year."
Odds & Ends
  • K-Zoo Gazette: Report says Great Lakes pollution harming our health. "The report suggests pollution in some areas is causing health problems, including cancer and premature births. The document was produced by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
  • The Hub: Michigan filmmakers get the spotlight Sunday. Several nice profiles of Michigan filmmakers who will be featured at this week's East Lansing Film Festival (including one of my former professors).
Let me know if I forgot anything. Drop your links in the comments section...
Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Friday Coffee Talk

by: BZP

Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:29:52 AM EST

Happy Friday. Enjoy your morning cup-o-links!

State Government/Legislation
  • Capitol Journal: UFC bill clears the Senate. "Bills that would sanction mixed martial arts contests in Michigan, including those under the rapidly-growing Ultimate Fighting Championships banner, passed the Senate today, paving the way for Michigan to cash in on the MMA phenomenon."
  • Mark Meadows: Misinformation surrounds move by State Police. Rep. Meadows shares a set of facts surrounding the Triangle Project, which he has been fighting to shut down.
Energy, Environment and the Economy
  • Freep: Report: Mich. 10th in U.S. for global warming emissions. "That's more global warming gases than 91 developing nations combined, said the report by the National Environmental Trust."
  • Freep Op-Ed: Package is a complete energy plan for state. DTE CEO Anthony Earley shares his support for the House version of the energy plan, which he says, "offers a path to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future for Michigan."
  • AA Biz Review: U-M considers new $50.9 million health data center. "The proposal calls for the construction of a 47,000-square-foot building on the university's north campus that will house an 11,000-square-foot data center."
  • Oakland Biz Review: Vehicles ready for auto show limelight. "While GM stole the show last year with its Chevrolet Volt concept, Chrysler could be positioned for similar performance this year. The newly independent automaker plans to unveil a sportwagon called the Dodge ZEO that will run on electric-only propulsion and have a range of at least 250 miles."
  • Lessenberry: Trashing Michigan. "Yes, Michigan has money problems. But they weren't bad enough to prevent the legislature from spending twelve million dollars on a presidential primary that only one party is taking part in." And yet, we can't fund the DEQ.
  • AP: State asks more questions as decision nears on U.P. mine. "You could knock me over with a feather if there's anything other than approval" from the DEQ, said Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, which is fighting the project.
Local, State, National Politics
  • Tim Skubick: Lt. gov. has a Gore choice. Hey, there are worse people one could be compared with than Al Gore.
  • Coalition for Progress: Future Political Training Opportunities. "Are you a progressive candidate or activist looking to develop your skills? If you didn't have a chance to attend Camp Wellstone in Lansing in October, or Camp Millie in Benzonia in November, there will be future training opportunities next year."
  • Walberg Watch: Does Walberg Support Torture? It looks like the minister voted against a bill because it contained a provision that would ban waterboarding. WWJD?
  • Media Mouse: Ehlers Votes against Bill Containing Torture Prohibition. Same goes for Congressman Ehlers.
Odds & Ends
  • Battle Creek Enquirer Editorial: Michigan ranks near last in funds to reduce smoking. "If the tobacco industry finds it profitable to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year marketing its products in Michigan, it only makes sense that spending a few million dollars annually promoting the dangers of tobacco also could be effective in reducing smoking."
  • The Upper Hand: Campaign Manager Needed for Clean Energy Campaign. "The Campaign manager will work statewide with a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals concerned about proposed new and expanded coal fired power plants throughout the state."
Let me know if I forgot anything. Drop your links in the comments section...
Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Wednesday Coffee Talk/Open Thread

by: BZP

Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:16:48 AM EST

Happy Hump Day! Enjoy your morning cup-o-links...

State Government/Legislation
  • LSJ: With focus on budget, other bills sit and wait. Chris Andrews takes a look at all the issues that have been ignored during the budget debate (hint: there's a lot).
  • AP: Senate plan would hurt Mich. rivers, critics say. Environmental groups are criticizing the Senate Republican water withdrawal bills; Sen. Birkholz accuses them of "grandstanding." You can read more on in this Free Press article.
  • Democratic Edge makes the case that term limits aren't the problem, it's the candidates, stupid.
  • Lessenberry: Jack takes a look at the current status of the workplace smoking ban bill that's being held up by Sen. Bishop.
  • Michigan Messenger: Some Planned Parenthood Clinics Closing Due to State Budget Changes. "Clinics in Hart and White Cloud have already closed and others in Mt. Pleasant, Muskegon and Grand Rapids will close by the end of the year. Officials are concerned that the closings will deny critical services to women in those communities and even increase abortions."
Michigan's Economy
  • The Conversation: Quicken Loans picks downtown Detroit. The Gov's blog does a nice job of sorting through the good news about Quicken moving to Detroit.
  • LSJ: Mayor to announce plans for park stage. It sounds like Mayor Virg Bernero will be announcing plans build a permanent outdoor performance venue in Adado Riverfront Park later this morning. Keep an eye on the LSJ for more details.
  • Mining Journal: Mine decision delayed. "Michelle Halley, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation, said she thinks it is ?interesting? the DEQ is seeking an extension. In her conversations with agency officials, she said it was unclear to her exactly what the DEQ would do during the extension period."
  • DetNews: GM launches effort to make Chevy green brand. GM is gearing up to re-launch Chevy as their environmentally-friendly brand by launching... a giant truck.
  • WWJ: Hunting Loonies: Canadian Consumers Could Provide Boost For Michigan Retailers. Here's an upside to the weak dollar: "Not only are there a lot of Canadians near Michigan, they are relatively affluent. AEG found that more than 520,700 Canadians live within an hour's drive of a Michigan border crossing and that their household incomes average $75,200 at the current exchange rate. That?s significantly higher than the roughly $46,000 (U.S.) average family income on this side of the border."
Local/State/National Politics
  • Media Mouse: Ehlers says he doesn't want to "go to war with Iran;" How has he Voted? Media Mouse has a great roundup of Rep. Ehler's voting record on Iran-related issues. Definitely worth a read.
  • BFM: Thaddeus McCotter - Today's Worst Person in the World. Keith chose McCotter for his ridiculous comments about Catholics United. You can watch the clip here.
  • Great Lakes, Great Times: Finally, my thoughts on the primary/caucus fiasco. Our own ScottyURB wants a caucus. Head over to his blog to share your thoughts.
Odds & Ends
  • BFM: We Sent Them to War, Why Can't We Send Them to College? "Now more than ever our returning soldiers need the assistance of the GI Bill. The good paying jobs that earlier veterans turned to in our automotive plants and steel mills are gone - and they're not coming back." To learn more about how Michigan Bloggers are supporting the troops, click here.
Let me know if I forgot anything. Drop your links in the comments section...
Discuss :: (15 Comments)

Pete Hoekstra and Michigan republicans ready to stay in Iraq

by: AikoAdam

Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 11:14:21 AM EDT

crossposted from The Audacity of Hoek
In an article from today's Detroit Free Press Pete Hoekstra says
"he just hopes the report leads to a discussion about what America's real threats are in the Middle East and around the world from "radical Jihadists" and how the nation is going to address them -- and not just with troops in Iraq."

This sounds alot like what he said in a memo released to republicans on February 10, 2007 on the eve of the "surge" debate:
"If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose."

there's more...even a movie!!!
There's More... :: (2 Comments, 255 words in story)

Pete Secchia's New Casino Scheme

by: emptywheel

Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 10:56:52 AM EDT

( - promoted by emptywheel)

My first response to Vern Ehler's call for Alberto Gonzales' resignation was that it must have something to do with Margaret Chiara. After all, when Chiara received word she was fired, she said she was being fired for politics. It's much more likely that Ehlers knows the politics behind the firing than we do. Then Pol Watcher suggested that Ehlers' call might be an attempt to protect his own behind:
Or is it that Vern knows his fingerprints are all over Chiara's firing? Chances are decent that Ehlers was doing some leg work on behalf of Pete Secchia or some other West Michigan Mafioso player and made some calls to quash an investigation, which is the underlying reason in every case of a fired U.S. Attorney so far. We already know Senator Pete Domenici and Representative Heather Wilson were guilty of the same thing. Chiara's been one of the last remaining mysteries but given Ehler's recent willingness to throw his party's Attorney General overboard, I think we should be asking ourselves why such a consistent party line Republican has found to will to buck the system. Is it because he's finding independence in his pending retirement, is he merely playing to the hometown crowd and backing a fellow Grand Rapids Republican to win some votes for his next run or is trying to stop an investigation before it finds his fingerprints on the knife in Margaret Chiara's back?

It's a great point, and one that invites us to check out what Pete Secchia has been proposing, just two weeks after Chiara's official departure (and three after Granholm signed a compact with the Gun Lake Tribe):
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 573 words in story)

Congressman Vern Ehlers calls for AG Gonzales' Resignation

by: Nazgul35

Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 11:23:49 AM EDT

Republican Congressman Vern Ehlers of Grand Rapids says he thinks U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should step down.

Ehlers made the remarks before giving an update on the Congress and current events at a noon event at Calvin College.

Drip...drip...drip.

If you ask me, I hope President Pissypants, Esq. holds onto him like the last deck chair on the Titanic...

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 19 words in story)

Ehlers: State of the Union "focused on issues and answers"

by: ScottyUrb

Sat Jan 27, 2007 at 02:56:16 AM EST

While many Republicans distance themselves from President Bush, Congrwessman Vern Ehlers is choosing not to.

"President Bush gave a good speech tonight that focused on issues and answers and stayed away from partisanship and divisions. It is my hope that the members of Congress who listened to the speech can take that spirit of cooperation, set aside partisan differences and work to move our nation forward.

"I was especially heartened by the President's call to strengthen the math and science skills of our children. Since joining Congress, one of my top priorities has been to improve the math and science standards in our nation's schools. I agree with the President about the importance of ensuring that our children receive the best education and training possible to equip them for the jobs of the future. This will allow our nation to remain competitive in the world economy. I also look forward to working with the President on his pledge to review and improve the No Child Left Behind Act, as I serve on the Education & Labor Committee, which has jurisdiction on this important legislation.

"I agree with President Bush about the necessity for our nation to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Although I may not agree with all of his solutions, we certainly agree on the need to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. His proposal to reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent over the next 10 years is a laudable goal - and one that we can achieve if we truly dedicate ourselves to it. I personally look forward to the opportunity to work to make this goal a reality."

"Finally, I appreciate the President's call to seek ways to provide health care insurance to the 47 million Americans who don't have it. There are promising initiatives in the states, particularly Gov. Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal in California. I hope President Bush and Congress pursue this goal and that, together, we can reach a solution."


For what it's worth: Romney is a likely contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.
Discuss :: (0 Comments)

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