Thursday, July 31, 2008

Will Signs Count in 66th House GOP Primary?

If you forecast the results of the Republican primary in the 66th House District based on square footage of signage around the county, Livingston County Commissioner Bill Rogers would win hands down.

But a Lansing political newsletter cautions that signs can be deceiving.

The Livingston Press and Argus for Thursday (July 31, 2008) notes that some Lansing analysts suggest Rogers could be upset by Jason Corosanite.

Word is that Rogers is taking the win for granted. He certainly seemed too casual about matters at the recent Livingston Press and Argus debate. But Rogers is a big name in this county and Corosanite has a steep hill to climb.

County Convention Upcoming

It's not in Denver, and Barack Obama won't be there. But we're having a convention in August anyway.

The Livingston County Democratic Party will holds its county convention at 7 p.m. on August 16 at party headquarters, 10321 Grand River, Suite 600, in the Fonda Office Park, east of U.S. 23 in Brighton.

Precinct delegates elected at the August 5 primary who are party members are eligible to vote at the convention. Convention business will include consideration of resolutions for the state convention in September and selection of delegates to the state convention.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Michigan's 8th Congressional District -- Closer Than Some Think?

Michigan Liberal has a piece on Tuesday (July 29, 2008) which suggests that the battle Democrat Bob Alexander is waging in the 8th Congressional District might turn out to be a lot closer than people think right now.

From what I've seen of the Alexander campaign so far, that's definitely true. Bob is running a professional campaign without much financial support.

But the numbers are running in his favor, with Rogers losing support in each of the last three elections.

Take a Minute to Help Get Dems on Ballot in Green Oak, Hamburg, Putnam Townships

Voting is a precious right, but voting without having a choice can be a hollow privilege. That's why we are asking you to be certain to vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday, August 5, especially if you live in the townships of Green Oak, Hamburg, or Putnam.

A total of six Democrats have come forward to run as write-in candidates for positions in those townships.

If they receive enough write-in votes on Tuesday, their names will appear on the ballot in November. Otherwise, the Republicans nominated on August 5 will have no opposition on Nov. 4.

Here are the candidates and the offices they seek:

Hamburg Township

Dave Buckland, county board of commissioners, 8th District (all of Hamburg Township except precinct 3).
Shannon Piper, township trustee.
Linda Taylor, township treasurer.
Debby Buckland, township clerk.
Green Oak Township
Matt Evans, township supervisor.
Putnam Township
Michael Porath, township supervisor.

Remember to write in their names and to fill in the oval on the computer scan sheet for the appropriate office. The office must be filled in for the vote to count.

Help us ensure voters have a choice in November!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Your Troubles Are Not Rogers' Priority

Mike Rogers seems to just say no to anything that will help average working people. And to say yes to things that will help those who don't need it.

Take his recent no vote on the bill to help up to 400,000 families keep their homes in the midst of the current foreclosure crisis. The measure passed the U.S. House last week, with significant GOP support -- but not Mike Rogers'.

Bob Alexander, Rogers' Democratic opponent in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, pointed out in a news release Monday (July 28, 2008) that Rogers was voting against homeowners in dire straits even as he said yes to taking funds from Michigan's largest foreclosure law firm. According to Alexander's campaign press release, Trott and Trott, P.C., has been a staunch Rogers supporter, organizing golf outings and other fundraisers for Rogers' lucrative political action committee, the MIKE R PAC.

According to the Alexander press release, since 2002, thousands of dollars have passed between Rogers and the foreclosure lawyers Trott & Trott in each election

Here is the list supplied by Alexander's campaign:

2008 Cycle -- $7,163 for "fundraising expenses" (12/10/07)
2006 Cycle -- $5,735 for "fundraising expenses" (7/21/06)
2004 Cycle -- $7254 for a "MIKE R Fund golf outing (8/10/04) and $2194 for "fundraising expenses" (7/17/03)
2002 Cycle -- $1944 for "reimbursement for golf event" (8/13/02)

"Mike Rogers' vote against helping 8th District homeowners facing foreclosure shows once again, just how out of touch he is with the people he claims to serve. I think this shows beyond a doubt that he is for sale to special interests, and that the
residents he represents mean nothing to him," said Alexander. "It's time for the voters of the 8th District to send Mike Rogers to the unemployment line."

What Others Are Saying

Here's a mini-roundup of what others have said about Democrats in our part of Michigan in the last week, in case you missed it:

The Conservative Media has a nice piece on the Thursday (July 24, 2008) Livingston Press and Argus debate.

WHMI had great coverage of Bob Alexander's campaign kick-off event, Road Trip for Change, Thursday also.

"The Democratic challenger to Brighton Congressman Mike Rogers kicked off his campaign for office Thursday. 64-year old Bob Alexander, who ran unsuccessfully against Rogers in 2004, made stops in Ingham, Clinton, Shiawassee, Oakland, and Livingston Counties. He told a crowd of about 25 people at Bagels and Bites in Brighton he wants to bring new jobs, renewable energy and better health care coverage to Michigan. He also spoke of his commitment to being fiscally responsible and getting through the foreclosure crisis. Alexander tells WHMI he realizes he’s headed into an uphill battle in squaring off with the republican incumbent, but says when going door to door people have expressed their frustration to him about current leaders; giving him confidence local residents are ready for a change. Alexander has an active teaching background at the K-12 and college level and has served in the Peace Corps. He currently owns and operates Alexander Consultants L.L.C., a governmental and business management consulting firm in East Lansing."

Great picture of Bob. A well-done event by Bob's campaign.

And the Livingston Press and Argus mentioned our write-in candidates in a sidebar in Sunday's editions.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Press & Argus Endorses Anderson!

Today's Press & Argus has endorsed Donna Anderson for the 66th District Democratic candidate!

66th Dist. Democrats

The clear choice here is DONNA ANDERSON.

Anderson has been around Livingston County politics for a number of years and has become a knowledgeable and articulate candidate. She's well-versed on the issues at the state level, and she understands the needs and concerns of the district.

A retired teacher, Anderson is now the director of quality for an Internet firm. She has been the vice chairwoman of the Livingston County Democratic Party, a member of the Michigan Association for Social Security Medicare and Health-Care-Now!

In an area in which certain political views are often seen as a given for candidates, Anderson's take on the issues is frequently a breath of fresh air.

Go, Donna!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Donna Got It Done! Anderson Turns In Stand-Out Performance at Candidate Forum

It was one Democrat against six Republicans -- formidable odds for anyone but Donna Anderson.

But Anderson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 66th Michigan House seat, stood out from the rest who participated in the Livingston Press and Argus candidates' forum Thursday (July 24, 2008) at the Brighton Performing Arts Center.

The Republican candidates sounded like carbon copies of each other, complaining about government red tape and regulation (also known as consumer protection laws) and proclaiming themselves as opposed to abortion.

But Anderson stood out with her support for alternative energy, for targeted tax credits, for microloans to entrepreneurs, for federal help to take health care off the backs of employers, and for reducing spending on prisons in order to provide more funds for schools.

She also stood out from the rest in her support for banning smoking in restaurants, bars, and casinos, and for her support of stem cell research for life-saving cures. And she was the only candidate to even mention the importance of protecting the environment.

Anderson's most direct competition -- her opponent in the August 5 primary -- did not participate in the forum. Tommy Crawford has unclear ties to the party and has been invited to party events but not attended.

The two candidates vying for the GOP nomination did participate, but they were somewhat underwhelming.

Bill Rogers, brother of incumbent 8th District Rep. Mike Rogers and now a Livingston County Commissioner, came across as unprepared. He talked a lot about himself and the subcommittees he has served on for the county commission. He tried to joke about being in a lip-synch event he appeared in. It just didn't work. In the end, he did not really have much to say about how he would make things better in Michigan.

Rogers' campaign seems to be all signs, no substance.

Jason Corosanite wanted to sell the audience (and viewers on the Press and Argus' live webcast) on his religious fervor, calling himself "first and foremost a Christian." He also called on the other candidates not to accept any PAC money "if elected." Well, what about while they are running now?

The other four participants were vying for the Republican nomination for the 47th House seat. The Democrat, Scott Lucas, is unopposed in the August 5 primary.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Alexander Motoring Toward a Better Future for Michigan

Bob Alexander motored into Brighton on Thursday (July 24, 2008), riding on what could be part of Michigan's future, if only we are smart enough to seize it.

Alexander, the Democratic candidate working to unseat 8th District Republican incumbent Mike Rogers, came to town in a brand new Chevy Malibu hybrid.

"It's an amazing car," said Alexander as he sat down to lunch at Bagels and Bites in Brighton.

Of course, any new car must be amazing compared to the 1995 Ford Escort with 240,000 miles Alexander has been driving.

Even allowing for the generation gap between cars, the hybrid car -- and the technological advances it represents -- is pretty amazing in terms of what it could do for our nation and our state.

And Alexander was quick to point that out in a speech to about three dozen supporters that focused on the promise of alternative energy.

Alexander promised to support Barack Obama's Clean Energy Future plan to invest $150 billion over the next 10 years to bring about a new generation of biofuels and infrastructure for handling them, speed up the production of plug-in hybrids and all electric cars, and develop commercial scale renewable energy production from solar, wind, and geothermal sources. He supported a coupon program to boost the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars.

These sorts of technologies and ideas could help create new, good paying jobs in Michigan, he said.

"Our country faces an energy crisis, and our planet faces an environmental crisis. I can think of no better place than Michigan, with its history of technological leadership and a world-class workforce, to be at the forefront of the American energy revolution," he said.

Alexander billed the event, which covereed several cities in the 8th District, as a "Road Trip for Change," change that he said is needed after seven and a half yeas of George Bush's policies, supported by Mike Rogers.

"We need a government that will help in stressful times such as these, not a government that is going to stand in our way. Mike Rogers and George Bush are standing in our way. They are not helping, but impeding the people of Michigan; impeding our talents and impeding our success," he said.

He singled out Rogers' votes against a new GI bill to help returning combat veterans, against raising the federal minimum wage, against extending unemployment compensation for another 16 years, against full funding for Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals, against expanding medical care for uninsured children, and against expanding health care for millions of uninsured Americans.

Alexander is making a persuasive case for getting rid of Rogers. He is running an impressive campaign on a shoe-string.

Imagine what he could do with a little help from you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HR 676 Adds Another Cosponsor

Thank you Congressman Andre Carson (IN -7) and to the other 90 cosponsors. HR 676 is the bill in Congress that will ultimately change America for the better. This will eliminate health insurance companies (the middle men) and allow every American access to free affordable health care. So in a free market society, why do we need this?

It is shameful that in the richest most dominant country in the world more than 47 million Americans are uninsured. For those fortunate enough to have insurance, the rising costs and deteriorating coverage cause more than 28% to go without needed care because they can't afford it. More than one million Americans are bankrupted by medical bills annually; which makes medical debt the number reason Americans file for bankruptcy. Of those one million Americans, over 75% had insurance when they got sick.

Single-payer national health insurance would save enough on administrative paperwork (more than $300 billion per year) to provide comprehensive coverage to all Americans. It would provide full choice of doctor and hospital for patients, and set free physicians from arbitrary corporate dictates over patient care. It would control the health expenses currently crippling our economy and provide for a wholesome revitalization of our democratic values.

This movement is going to be a grassroots effort. We have 91 cosponsors in Congress, which is amazing. What we need to do this November, elect to Congress those who will sponsor the bill. We also need to be talking about this issue. If you have a health care story that needs to be told, share it. Visit and speak out on the current state of our health care system.

It is time to stand up, and tell the folks in Washington “we will not be denied!”

Vote in On-Line Poll on Government Reform Proposal

The real vote will not take place until November, but you can voice your opinion now by voting in a Detroit Free Press on-line poll regarding the Reform Michigan Government Now proposal.

The poll, available here, is part of a story about the proposal to revamp numerous sections of the Michigan Constitution in order to shrink the size of government by reducing the number of state agencies, the number of lawmakers, and the number of justices on the top courts; cut the cost of government by reducing elected officials' pay and benefits; require elected officials to disclose income and assets; make absentee voting easier, and other changes.

If you would like more information on the proposal, visit the website of the backers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Come See Bob Alexander in Brighton Thursday!

Bob Alexander, the Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District, will blow into Brighton Thursday (July 24, 2008) in a brand new ride.

Alexander will be riding in a new Malibu hybrid car leased for his campaign, demonstrating his support for green energy alternatives.

Alexander will be having lunch at 1:30 p.m. at Bagles and Bites, 5757 Whitmore Lake Road.

Come and have a bite with Bob and hear his exciting ideas for the 8th District!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Give Reform Proposal A Chance!

We've heard a lot from Republicans for years about the need to shrink the size of government. So you'd think that when the Reform Michigan Government Now proposal came out, they would be at least a little happy.

But no. They're all for shrinking the size of government as long as it doesn't touch any of the jobs held by Republicans.

That's the only way to interpret the editorial in the Livingston Press and Argus for Sunday (July 20, 2008) about the proposal.

Sure you want to change state government, the editorial concedes, but let's not do it so it hurts Republicans!

It changes too much all at once, the editorial complains, not stopping to think how difficult it would be to enact even one of these changes on its own. Sometimes, the only want to bring about change is to make multiple changes that can create a broad-based coalition of support.

It's ripe for misrepresentation, the editorial complains. Well, when you run a newspaper, can't you write articles that explain each of the sections and their ramifications? There are several months between now and the election. Shouldn't journalists be busy interviewing people about the impacts instead of throwing up their hands in dismay that it's too hard for them to understand?

While the editorial focuses on Republican impacts, if fails to acknowledge that a lot of Democrats are unhappy about the proposal, too. Democratic lawmakers will lose their seats, as well as some Republican judges. Yet the only thing the editorial focuses on is the way it will impact Republicans.

This proposal would save millions of dollars a year for taxpayers who are hard-pressed right now. Yet the editorial wants voters to overlook that in order to save the jobs of a few highly-paid Republican judges.

There is plenty of time to explain this proposal to voters, if journalists would get to work instead of whining about having to do it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hope: Come Catch It!

(Guest-Blogged by MB, a Brighton resident who attends Northwestern University and is a volunteer for Barack Obama in Livingston County)

There was excitement in the air Tuesday (July 15, 2008) at the Livingston County
Democratic Party Headquarters, as Obama for America hosted an organizational meeting in an effort to bring together people interested in helping with the senator's campaign. And what a showing it was: With over 60 people attending, there wasn't an empty chair to be found!

The meeting's goal was to talk about different ways that people in Livingston County could help bring local support to Senator Obama's presidential campaign. There were many ideas talked about as to how best to campaign locally for the Senator. Two of the main ideas were voter registration drives and household meetings. These voter
registration drives will be taking place on Saturdays in the upcoming months, with the hopes of getting people to the polls who may have never voted before.

Household meetings focus on bringing together friends and family to talk about Senator Obama and his run for the Oval Office. Once one meeting is held, then those attending can host their own and so on, spreading Senator Obama's message of hope to a truly incredible number of people.

While the elections may be months away, those present seemed excited that they were going to have a chance to campaign for their candidate in a historically Republican county. Phrases like, "Change from Red to Blue" and "We are taking back Livingston County" were tossed around with a note of pride and a lack of doubt in voices, and a sense that these goals were ones that can actually be realized.

This event brought people of all ages and sizes. People laughed and applauded, tears were shed, and personal accounts were given as to why Senator Obama was the candidate in which they put all of their hope and faith.

This meeting is proof that the Democratic Party can be a factor in Livingston County in the upcoming presidential election. This organizational meeting was just the first step towards realizing our goal and fight for change in government.

The attitude of hope and determination at this organizational meeting was contagious: I could not help but feel that our push for hope and change was one that would end in success. Now it's time to make sure that the rest of Livingston County can catch this hope bug, too.

If you want to a part of the movement for change in Livingston County, please contact Chelsea at 1-(734)-323-2487 or Fahad at 1-(517)-214-9228.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reflections on a Roadside Cleanup

This past Sunday was a glorious morning for a walk in the Livingston County countryside -- with a trash bag and a pointed stick -- as I found out by joining fellow Democrats in the quarterly roadside cleanup along M-59.

As I walked along enjoying the sunshine, blue skies, and green all around me, I did a little reflecting on the trash I was picking up, or not seeing at all.

First, muskrats are not very attractive creatures, especially when they have been squashed crossing the road.

Second, the Michigan deposit on beverage bottles and cans works. I did not see a beer can or pop can. Especially in tight economic times, people are taking those back to the stores for the cash.

Third, Michigan needs a deposit on non-carbonated beverages not covered by that law. Water bottles and juice bottles show up regularly on our roadsides. There's no need for that. With a deposit on those containers, people will either use fewer of them or return them for a deposit -- putting that valuable plastic back into the system to be recycled, saving oil.

Fourth, breakfast together after doing the roadside cleanup is a great idea and a great time to socialize with fellow Democrats!

Join us next time. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alexander Campaign Looking Professional

You've got to hand it to Bob Alexander. He may not have a ton of money, but he is certainly running a professional-looking campaign.

Alexander, who is challenging incumbent Republican Mike Rogers in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, has put together a team that is able to put canvassers in the field and fund-raisers on the phone.

He also has a first-class website up and

Give the site a visit -- sign up for his newsletter, volunteer, make a donation. It's an impressive site and will make you want to help.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama Campaign Formally Comes to Livingston County

Looks like Livingston County will be in the thick of things as Barack Obama courts voters in the presidential campaign.

Obama's campaign already has assigned two staffers to the county.

Yes, it's only July, and that's two staffers, not one. And yes, it's that "We don't get any respect" Livingston County.

Is that aggressive or what?

The two staffers have already been to the county to meet county officers and will hold their first event, a "Yes We Can" organizational meeting next Tuesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. at Livingston County Democratic Party Headquarters, 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600, Brighton.

The staffers are Chelsea Neblett, from Pinckney, and Fahad Faruqi, of Ann Arbor.

Yes, that's two staffers, and their first event will be in July, not September.

Livingston County Democrats already had held a Barack Obama Unite for Change meeting to bring volunteers together. But this meeting is a chance for volunteers to meet the people who will be running the Obama operation on the ground here through the summer.

The addition of the Obama campaign staff to the county means they will take over responsibility for organizing for the presidential race. Local party officers can concentrate on local races, while providing assistance as necessary to the Obama staff.

It also means Obama intends to fight for every Democratic vote everywhere and that they believe there are plenty of Obama votes to be gotten right here in Livingston County.

That is great news for our county!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Small Part of Complex Ballot Proposal Is Key to Ending Senate Obstructionism

Our friends over at Conservative Media are urging voters to turn down a complex ballot proposal that would reduce the size and cost of state government by cutting the number of lawmakers and judges, reducing salaries and benefits, and cutting the number of state departments allowed under the Michigan Constitution.

It's way too early, however, to be making judgments on this proposal submitted by Reform Michigan Government Now. I want to hear more of the facts and arguments of the backers before making up my mind.

But already there is one provision that I really like. It changes the timing of the election of members of the state Senate so that half are up for election in presidential election years (2012, 2016, etc.) and half are up for election in gubernatorial election years (2010, 2014, etc.)

Right now, all of Michigan's 38 state senators are elected at the same time -- in the same election cycle as the governor. This has some side effects that may not be apparent.

In the first place, this means that for four years, every member of the state Senate is immune from voter backlash over their actions -- a far different situation from the House, where voters run every two years. If half the state senators were up for re-election every two years, those members would be more attuned -- and more responsive to -- what their constituents were saying.

That was not the case last summer, when members of the Senate Republican caucus could
obstruct settling the state budget crisis knowing full well voters could not touch them until 2010, by which time voters would have forgotten all about the matter.

The other side effect is that state senators are never elected in a presidential election cycle. This has the effect of favoring Republican senatorial candidates. Democratic voters turn out in higher numbers in presidential years, and lower numbers for other elections. So senators always ran in a cycle with a built-in Republican advantage.

This is not a provision that will get much discussion because of all that is in the proposal. But I believe its impact will be far greater than many people realize.

For that reason alone, I am inclined to vote for this proposal.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dems Make Splash on 4th in Brighton

Livingston Democrats had a colorful and impressive presence in Brighton's 4th of July parade.

Members carried American flags and dozens of red, white, and blue balloons, as well as giving away candy to the many children lining the route.

Response to our float, Chicago, and our marchers was overwhelmingly positive. Did I hear one person say it was nice to see something in the parade that didn't involve a Rogers? One Rogers was the grand marshall, one was campaigning for the U.S. House, and one was campaigning for the nomination for state House District 66.

We were a Rogers-free zone!

Enjoy the photos!

Pitch In Sunday to Keep Things Clean!

Livingston Democrats will take part in the Michigan Department of Transportation's quarterly roadside cleanup Sunday, July 13.

Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the clubhouse at the Ironwood Golf Course, 6902 E. Highland Road (M-59), Howell, Michigan.

We will furnish highway safety vests and rubbish bags. Coordinators Paul and Pat Perosak will need plenty of help after Paul's recent surgery. Let's show up and give them a hand!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Lifeblood of Politics: Why Young People Should (and Do) Have an Influence in Politics

(Guest blogged by MB, a Brighton High graduate and student at Northwestern University -- Welcome MB!)

How important are the youth of America in Today's political scene? How much influence do they really have? Some would even question if it is worth the time of people running for election to even court the young vote, or to listen to the opinions of young voters. The youngsters out there lack the experience to know what to do, to say what to say, and therefore, something as important as politics should be left to the grown-ups, right? Wrong.

Nothing could be further from truth. The fact of the matter is, young people are the lifeblood of the political system, and without the creativity, energy, and pure hope in their country that interested young people bring to the table, this nation would lose out on a valuable portion of it's demographic.

There is no denying that young voters in the past have not represented themselves well: According to a 2003 USA Today article, since the voting age was changed to 18 and up in 1973, the number of 18-20 year-olds showing up to the polls has consistently gone down. In the 2004 presidential elections, the US Census Bureau recorded that the 18-24 voting block had the lowest percentage of people registered (58%) and actual voters (47%) of any eligible age bloc in America.

What do those numbers really mean, though? More than 11.6 million people under the age of 25 voted in the 2004 presidential election, according to the Census Bureau, over three million more than did in the 2000 presidential election. And while the 18-24 year-old electorate may have had the lowest registration and voting rates of any group, they showed the highest jump from the 2000 presidential of any age group in both of those categories, with registration increasing by seven percent and voting up a huge 11%. It is my firm belief that this trend of increasing young voters will continue, so to ignore this resurgent voting bloc can only hurt politicians vying for a position.

But besides all of the numbers proving young people have an influence through voting, Americans need to realize the necessity of the youth in the entire political arena. While people have exhausted the idea that "young people are the future", this point should not be belittled: The teens and twenty-somethings are the generation, my generation, that are going to inherit the political system. Young people are the ones that are going to be around to see today's changes affect the lives of people down the road, and young people have the advantage of not having become jaded by years on the daily grind that worn-out politicians often fall victim to.

Do not mistake the lack of years, however, as a lack of experience. The youth of today have grown up in their own time of wars, of economic booms and (more often) busts, and have been around long enough to recognize failure in government when they see it. Young people are definitely the force behind the political sphere, and to all those people that may believe otherwise, remember one thing:

You were young once, too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Legislative Candidates in the News

Democratic candidates for the 66th House seat, now held by term-limited Chris Ward, made their case to voters in the Livingston Press and Argus in a recent article.

Donna Anderson and Tommy Crawford are competing for the nomination, but Anderson, who has been vice-chair of the party until stepping down to focus on her race, has been a much more visible and active Democrat than Crawford. Crawford does not appear to be registered in the party and did not attend a local party meeting last week to which he was invited.

The Press and Argus article will be available for only a limited time, but here are some portions of it:

"Brighton resident Donna Anderson, who made an unsuccessful bid for the state Senate two years ago, is focusing on investing more in education, increasing the number of jobs and improving the environment in her campaign, while Milford Township resident Tommy Crawford is looking for the state to spend less on oil and to lower taxes for residents."

Anderson also said the state should continue to diversify the economy and expand use and production of alternative energy. She also urged expansion of early childhood education and an examination of whether non-violent offenders could be let out of prison to cut costs without endangering public safety.

According to the Press and Argus:

"Crawford, 21, said the state is relying too much on oil.

"'We could cut spending as far as using less oil and stuff like that,' Crawford said."

The Press and Argus is planning a forum for legislative candidates who have competition in the August primary. We'll post the details.

Celebrate the 4th with Dems in Brighton!

The day the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain was all about breaking with the past. So this 4th of July is a good day to celebrate our independence from the politics of the past by marching with Livingston County Democrats in the Brighton 4th of July parade.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. Friday in downtown Brighton. The staging area is near the Brighton Education and Community Center at Main and Church streets. Ask a Boy Scout official for directions to the Democratic Party float. Come around 9 a.m. to help blow up balloons and get organized. Wear a blue shirt and bring a small American flag, if possible.

Afterwards, we will mingle in the crowd and offer to register voters.

See you there!