Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Internal Alexander Poll: Rogers Is Weak

The truth will make you free, the saying goes.

And in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, the truth about Republican Mike Rogers makes voters want to be free of him.

That's according to a survey of likely voters in the district.

When voters were told about Rogers' support for George Bush's policies, only 31 percent supported the incumbent for re-election.

His opponent, Democrat Bob Alexander, was favored by 51 percent. Another 18 percent were undecided.

The "informed head-to-head" poll gave voters balanced statements about each candidate. Christensen & Associates Inc. directed the survey, which was conducted by phone by the campaign.

The same poll found the district strongly behind Sen. Barack Obama for president by a margin of 46 percent to just 36 percent for Republican John McCain, with 18 percent undecided.

It may not have been an outside poll, but it does show that Alexander can beat Rogers -- if he can tell voters what Rogers really stands for, and not just what Rogers wants voters to hear.

Take a minute to visit Alexander's website and help him get the word out.

Back to Memories for Veep Debate!

Livingston County supporters of the Obama-Biden ticket will have a busy day Thursday (Oct. 2, 2008)!

First, they will rush to Lansing to hear Senator Obama himself.

Then they'll come home to join other supporters of the ticket at Memories Lounge and Restaurant (1840 S. Old U.S. 23, Brighton) at 7 p.m. to watch Senator Obama's outstanding running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden, debate Republican Sarah Palin.

Watching the debate alone will not help Senator Obama win. Attendees will be encouraged to make phone calls to undecided voters prior to the 9 p.m. debate.

Plan to stop by and share the exciting evening with other Obama-Biden supporters!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Obama in East Lansing on Thursday!

Twice in one week. How's that for showing that Michigan is important to Sen. Barack Obama?

The Democratic presidential nominee will hold a rally at Michigan State University on Thursday, just four days before the state's Oct. 6 voter registration deadline.
Obama, his running mate Joe Biden, and their spouses appeared in Detroit on Sunday.

Thursday's rally will be at Adams Field on West Circle Drive at the Michigan State campus in East Lansing. Obama is expected to encourage everyone in Michigan to register to vote if they are not already registered and to talk about how his administration will turn around the nation's economy.

Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, but attendees are strongly encouraged to RSVP by visiting www.barackobama.com.

Public parking is limited. Please use the following locations on/off campus: IM West Lot, Ramp # 6, Spartan Stadium Lot, Breslin Center Lot, and the public lots off Albert Avenue.

Obama also will hold a rally in Grand Rapids earlier in the day on Thursday.

Carl Levin Joining 'Countdown to Victory' Party!


The Livingston County Dems' "Countdown to Victory!" party this Saturday (Oct. 4, 2008) started off with one great speaker -- former Michigan Rep. Dave Bonior.

Then Lt. Gov. John Cherry signed on.

And now, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin is coming, too!

Three great speakers, all in one night in one place, just 30 days before the biggest election in years. Plus, you'll have a chance to meet our candidates for local offices, from the state House down to township offices.

You don't want to miss this event!

Call Livingston Dems at (810) 229-4212 or email livcodems@sbcuc.net by Tuesday to make your reservation for this event at Whispering Pines Golf Course, 2500 Whispering Pines Dr., Pinckney. Suggested donation is $25 per person.

Day 6 Since Bill Rogers Has Refused to Debate Donna Anderson

It is Day 6 since Bill Rogers backed out of the scheduled debate with Democrat Donna Anderson on Detroit Public Television.

He still has not found time to reschedule the session so that voters in House District 66 can learn what the two candidates stand for.

All candidates in the 14 other races featured in the Center for Michigan debate series managed to find time for the voters.

Will Bill?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank You, Press and Argus!

The Livingston Press and Argus, while generally balanced in its news coverage, usually has an editorial policy that tilts toward Republicans.

So it was a shock on Sunday (Sept. 28, 2008) to see it editorialize so eloquently about the billboard on Genoa Township property touting the candidacy of Republican incumbent Mike Rogers against Democratic challenger Bob Alexander in the 8th Congressional District.

The newspaper says Genoa Township should have cleared up the matter of political signs when it accepted the donation of the land for the fire station, but since it did not, it should be pushing for a legal opinion on the presence of the sign to clear up the matter.

Because links to newspaper articles go dead so quickly, I will quote at length from the editorial:

"A township shouldn't be breaking the law, particularly election law. It owes it to its citizens and its self-image to know where it stands legally.

"But what if it's not illegal? What if it's a gray area that no one will settle? At that point, Nielsen can do what he pleases. But the class act would be to remove the sign, replacing it with a nonpartisan message and moving the Rogers sign to another location on land he fully controls.

"This may seem trivial to some, but it's not. Republicans rule the roost in Livingston County. But that doesn't mean that city or township governments — or fire department authorities — are taking sides based on partisanship. Those who denigrate the Democrats' protest would likely be singing a different tune if, say, a large banner supporting Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., were hanging from the Green Oak Township Hall, facing U.S. 23.

"The point is: You pay your taxes and you expect your government to perform its duties independent of politician affiliation. That's something you should expect even if all elected members of a township board are Republicans."

That's exactly right. Republicans may control the board, but that doesn't mean they can ignore the law or the rights of their Democratic and independent constituents.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In First Debate, McCain's Foreign Policy Seemed Like Yesterday's News

The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain is over and we are left with the question -- Was that the best he can do?

McCain, the supposed master of foreign policy, tried to come across as more learned and accomplished than the younger Obama, saying repeatedly that Obama was naive or didn't understand.

But most of the time, the 72-year-old senator seemed not to understand. McCain gave rambling answers to questions, getting lost in long lists of countries he visited and foreign leaders he met that seemed to have no relevance to the question he was trying to answer.

Obama, meanwhile, gave crisp, sharp answers as to how he would deal with the war in Afghanistan and with countries such as Pakistan and Iran. He demonstrated superior judgment on the war in Iraq, insisting that the U.S. should stop spending $10 billion a month there while the Iraqi government sits on a $79 billion surplus from oil profits.

While McCain was talking about Alexander the Great, Obama was connecting to average Americans with his positions on cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans, dealing with the financial crisis, and weaning the country away from dependence on foreign oil.

Obama went a long way toward reassuring undecided voters that he is ready to lead.

In the post-debate interviews, Sen. Joe Biden summed up McCain's performance, saying he was shown to be "dead wrong" on issue after issue.

McCain's running mate Sarah Palin said .... Well, she didn't say anything. She didn't do any post-debate interviews.

And that about sums that up.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lt. Gov. John Cherry Joining 'Countdown to Victory'!

And now there are two.

That is, two big names at the Livingston County Dems' "Countdown to Victory" party on Saturday, October 4, 2008, at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Pinckney.

Former Michigan Congressman Dave Bonior will be on hand to get us fired up for the last big push.

And now Lt. Gov. John Cherry has committed to attend as well!

Our local candidates will be on hand, too. This is your chance to meet the people who want to help run our township and county governments, as well as represent Livingston County in the Legislature.

The event is at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a pasta dinner for a suggested donation of $25 per person.

Please call Livingston County Dems at (810) 229-4212 or email livcodems@sbcuc.net to confirm your reservation ahead of time. We need to tell the restaurant in advance how many to expect.

Don't miss out! This will be our last evening of fun until after the election.

Obama, Biden, Spouses in Detroit Sunday!

Yes, You Can see the entire Democratic ticket in Detroit this coming Sunday (Sept. 28, 2008)!

And no, you don't need tickets.

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden in Detroit will be at a "Change We Need Rally" in front of the Detroit PUblic Library, in the 5200 block of Woodward Avenue. Gates open at 11 a.m. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Limited public parking will be available at Wayne State University parking facilities.

Bill Rogers Is Running, But Trying to Hide from Voters

Apparently Bill Rogers thinks he can run for office while hiding from the voters.

The Republican candidate for the 66th House District was supposed to debate Democrat Donna Anderson on Tuesday (Sept. 23, 2008) as part of the Center for Michigan's series of debates in 15 House districts.

But he cancelled at the last minute. See the Press and Argus coverage here.

Rogers did poorly in the pre-primary debate sponsored by the Press and Argus, coming off as less prepared than Anderson, less knowledgeable, and less interested in anyone but himself. He probably doesn't want to risk a repeat on statewide television.

Apparently, he's hoping to coast into office on the coattails of his little brother.

Or he is hoping that everybody sees that sign by the firestation and thinks it refers to him.

But don't the voters deserve candidates who are willing to put in a little effort to show what they stand for?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton Rallying Voters for Obama

Sen. Hillary Clinton will be rallying voters for Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday (Sept. 27, 2008).

Hillary will be at the Jaycee Park at the intersection of East River Street and Jackson Street in Grand Ledge. No tickets are necessary.

Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and the senator will speak at 12:45 p.m.

The Real Hazard to America

I was in Washington D.C. on Monday to speak out on our privitized healthcare system. Myself along with my SiCKO sister Donna Smith, and 150 other concerned Americans stood outside the Capital Hilton Hotel; where the American Health Insurance Providers were conducting a conference, on how to manage profit. We had bull horns, signs, and best of all Donna and I dressed in Hazmat suits. We held caution tape around the front of the building, because the real hazard to America was inside.

We protested for an hour. That was long enough for them to get mad at us for disrubting their conference just as Newt Gingrich was speaking. I even got on the mega phone and told them how upset I was that our president gets excellent health care at our expense, yet my daughter can’t get on MI-Child, because he vetoed the SCHIP expansion last year.

The cops were there, but no one was arrested. In fact one cop gave us the thumbs up. There were reporters from the papers, but no big networks. It was truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Later on in the evening, a handful of people gathered at the reflecting pool to light candles and mourn those who have lost their lives because of our broken healthcare system. It was not as big as last year, and we changed the location. I will come back every year to do so, until we pass H.R. 676 and everybody has access to medicare. However, I hope that I won’t have to attend next year and hat we can change the way we do healthcare in America.

Here are the links to view some of the protest:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Public Confidence in Elections at Stake with Political Sign

Perception is everything these days because in the modern world we have to take most things on faith. We can't verify them for ourselves.

We can't verify as individuals that the food we buy in grocery stores is safe, that our doctor is qualified, or that our elections are fairly conducted. We have to take it on faith.

And in a democracy like ours, when faith in the fairness of our elections is lost, it's hard to get back.

That's why a complaint has been filed with the Secretary of State against a political sign on public property in Genoa Township, a violation of Section 57 of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. The sign supports incumbent Republican Mike Rogers against Democrat Bob Alexander in the race for the 8th Congressional District seat. But the issue is much broader than this year's congressional race. It goes to the heart of our democracy.

The Livingston Press and Argus has coverage here.

Livingston Community News has coverage here.

Detroit News has coverage here.

And WHMI has coverage here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Come Meet Supreme Court Nominee at 'Flip the Ballot' Barbecue on Sunday

This coming Sunday is your chance to meet Supreme Court nominee Diane Hathaway at a "Flip the Ballot" barbecue Sunday (Sept. 28, 2008) at 4 p.m. at Livingston County Democratic Party headquarters, 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600 of the Fonda Office Park, Brighton.

Circuit Court Judge Diane Hathaway will be on hand to discuss how she will return integrity and impartiality to the bench -- two key attributes of a judicial system that have been destroyed under Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Cliff Taylor's reign with the Gang of Four.

The event will include a hamburger cook-out for a suggested donation of $10 per person.

This is your chance to meet Hathaway and learn the crucial importance of flipping the ballot over and voting in the non-partisan judicial races.

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain Trying to Fool Michigan Voters with Lies About His Cars

John McCain, who doesn't know how many houses he owns, now has been caught lying about what kind of cars he drives in order to fool Michigan voters.

The Detroit Free Press, in editions for Monday (Sept. 22, 2008), notes that McCain told Michigan workers that he has always bought American cars. But Newsweek revealed recently that he owns 13 cars, including some foreign-made models.

The newspaper quotes UAW President Ron Gettelfinger as saying autoworkers will be reminded of the facts of the matter:

"People are free to buy any kind of car they want, but 'Buy American' can't be a slogan that he just rolls out when he's in Michigan."

OK, maybe McCain just "forgot" about the 12 cars besides the Cadillac he owns.

Is that more comforting than thinking that he just lied?

BTW, Barack Obama owns one car -- an American hybrid.

Best Summary of Last Eight Years, Ever

Juan Cole, from the University of Michigan, has produced the best summary of the last eight years that you will ever read.

It's short and to the point. Read it here on his Informed Comment blog for Monday (Sept. 22, 2008).

His conclusion: Americans must be masochists to want to return Republicans to the presidency after the way they have plundered the nation during their years in power.

Read it and weep for our children's future. Or read it and call (810) 229-4212 to volunteer for the Barack Obama Campaign for Change here in Livingston County.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Live from Washington D.C.

Hello from our nation’s capital. I am here in Washington D.C. with my SiCKO sister Donna Smith. We are here to kick off the Healthcare Justice Week. This week people all around this nation are taking the issue of healthcare to the streets. They are marching , the are holding vigils, but most importantly they are speaking out!

Tomorrow, the 22nd of September, there will be some protesting going on here in D.C. There will be a candlelight vigil in memory for those who lost their lives due to our broken healthcare system.

For more information on the events that are taking place around the country, please visit www.healthcare-now.org and maybe you too can hold an event this week. Let’s fight for our right to see a doctor. Let’s fight for our right to be treated like a patient, not a profit!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This Slacker Is Uprising in Livingston County

I am very pleased to tell everyone that I was able to attend the premiere of Michael Moore’s new documentary, ‘Slacker Uprising’ in Ann Arbor this past Thursday. I must say, that this documentary is awe-inspiring! I am partial to his last documentary Sicko; however after seeing ‘Slacker Uprising’, I feel more energized than before.

Maybe it was the audience and hearing their reactions, or maybe it was Mr. Moore and his talk he gave prior to screening the movie. There was something this past Thursday, that gave me an extra boost that I needed.

The documentary follows Michael Moore on his 2004 Slacker Uprising Tour, in which he vistied college campuses right up until election eve of 2004. Most of us know, that election, John Kerry won the youth vote by a land slide. The Slacker Tour; in which Moore empowered the youth to get off the couch and go vote, played a major role in that landslide victory. The Slacker Uprising documentary shows many of the stops, the controversary, and what the main stream media did not want us to see.

Durring Moore’s talk prior to the film, he did mention Bob Alexander running for Congress against current represenative Mike Rogers. He asked for the audience to donate to Mr. Alexander and two other Michigan congressional candidates. After the movie there were a couple of people standing outside the theater with buckets to collect cash. He asked for cash donations under $20. Those buckets were filling up quite fast.

On my drive home I reflected over the past fifteen months, since SiCKO was released in theaters. I have been fortunate to do many things that have shaped my life. One of which is run for public office. If you asked me two years ago, if I would run for public office, I would have laughed. However being able to share my story, being able to be a voice, a role model, an inspiration, I no longer laugh at the thought of running for public office; because I AM running for office. It is time for my generation to get off the couch and particpate in government.

Moore’s new documentary will be released on the internet to download for free on Tuesday September 23rd, at www.slakeruprising.com. I recommend watching this. Download it, and have your friends over for a Slacker house party. I guarentee they’ll think twice before casting a vote for more of the same.

See Ya at the Rodeo!

If you're planning to visit the Helluva Rodeo in Pinckney on Sunday (Sept. 21, 2008), be sure to stop by the Livingston County Democratic Party's booth.

Many of our candidates from the southern townships of Livingston County will be on hand. These include our candidates for township posts in Hamburg, Putnam, and Unadilla townships.

It's a great time to talk to these candidates in person about how they would make their communities better!

Hear Bestselling Author's Eloquent Endorsement of Bob Alexander in Michigan's 8th Congressional District

Democrat Bob Alexander has won an eloquent endorsement in his race for Michigan's 8th Congressional seat from bestselling author, lecturer, radio and television personality Marianne Williamson.

Williamson, founder of The Peace Alliance, met with Alexander during the Democratic
Convention in Denver after learning of his long history of advocating for peace. But Williamson did not stop with supporting Alexander's position on peace issues. She endorsed his entire platform.

Check out this youtube video of her assessment of why Alexander would be better for Michigan families than Mike Rogers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Political Sign on Public Property In the Spotlight Again

The Livingston Press and Argus has followed the lead of the Livingston Community News and picked up on the presence of a political sign on public property.

The newspaper, in editions for Wednesday (Sept. 17, 2008), noted the presence of the "Rogers for Congress" sign on the firestation in Genoa Township.

Rogers' staff says they were unaware of the sign. Guess Rogers needs to spend a little more time in the district, then.

Michigan Auto Workers Make Voices Heard

Michigan workers are not being fooled, that much is clear from the coverage of John McCain's visit to a GM Assembly Plant at Lake Orion, Michigan on Wednesday (Sept. 17, 2008).

MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" featured McCain's visit to the plant, in which the GOP presidential nominee made a lame attempt to connect with the "fundamentals" of the U.S. economy that he says are so strong.

But workers in the crowd wore their Obama '08 tee-shirts, buttons, and stickers. And when McCain finished, some of them chanted, "Obama '08, Obama '08."

That takes guts, don't think it doesn't.

Here's the video from Countdown. (Somebody needs to tell Keith how to pronounce Lake Orion.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rogers Pumps Up False Hopes with Pumping Claims

Rep. Mike Rogers finally showed up in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, only to spread false hope about high gas prices.

The Livingston Press and Argus, in its editions for Tuesday (Sept. 16, 2008), says Rogers told the Brighton Chamber of Commerce:

"If the U.S. could tap into all of its potential oil reserves, Rogers said, the country could by 2015 generate all of its own oil and not buy a barrel from foreign countries."

Except that the U.S. has only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves. And it uses 25 percent of the oil in the market.

Sorry, Mike, but the math doesn't work on that.

The solution is not to get off foreign oil, but to begin moving away from oil entirely.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Don't be Dumb, Baby, Dumb, About Drill, Baby, Drill

For all the havoc that $4-plus gasoline has wreaked on Michigan's economy, one would think that a sustained analysis of the energy policies of Sen. Barack Obama and John McCain would have been part of the campaign coverage of our major media.

But with the state of journalism today, that would be like wishing pigs could fly.

The New York Times has come to the rescue with an outstanding analysis of why McCain's drill-drill=drill policy is a dead-end. Tom Friedman's column, titled "Making America Stupid," sums it up excellently.

Here are a few key grafs:

"Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of 'drill, baby, drill!'

"I’ll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — 'Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!' — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.

"Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. 'Typewriters, baby, typewriters.'"


The Detroit Free Press, in its edition for Sunday (Sept. 14, 2008), offered a useful, if much less eloquent, analysis of Obama and McCain's energy policies, at least as they pertain to the auto industry.

What is striking is how specific Obama's plans are compared to the other guy's.

Beyond a piddling $300 million prize for a battery and a "clean car challenge," McCain says he will "promote" alternative fuels and encourage a faster switch to flex-fuel vehicles.

Obama laid out his energy plan in a speech in Lansing last month, in which he called for spending $15 billion a year for the next 10 years to eliminate the need for oil from the Middle East and Venezuela.

The Free Press summarized the rest of Obama's plans thusly:

"Increase CAFE standards 4% per year while providing $4billion for domestic automakers to retool their manufacturing facilities in America to produce these vehicles.
"Get a million plug-in hybrid cars, built in America, on the road by 2015.
"Create a new $7,000 tax credit for purchasing advanced vehicles.
"Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce the carbon in fuels 10% by 2020.
"Require 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels to be phased into the fuel supply by 2030."

It's pretty clear which energy policy would be better for Michigan workers and families.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rogers' Sign on Fire Station Property Finally Getting Scrutiny

You may have missed this because the Livingston Press and Argus has yet to cover the issue, but the Livingston Community News has gotten curious about the billboard.

Specifically, the Community News wants to know why a sign touting the candidacy of 8th District Rep. Mike Rogers can stand on Genoa Township property even though state law says public property may not be used to promote candidates.

The property in question is a fire station on Chilson Road near I-96. The land was donated by Brighton attorney Neal Neilson for the fire station with the stipulation that the sign could remain.

As Ken Silfven of the Michigan Secretary of State's office is quoted in the article:

"Silfven was reluctant to address the specific situation, but said a campaign sign on public property 'could potentially be illegal.' He cited Section 57 of the Campaign Finance Act, which prohibits use of public resources for a campaign.

"That section says: 'A public body ... shall not use or authorize the use of funds, personnel, office space, computer hardware or software, property, stationery, postage, vehicles, equipment, supplies, or other public resources to make a contribution ...'"

This situation raises a few questions.

Since the Genoa Township Board of Trustees approved the donation of land with the restriction included, and knowing that the sign has been there in previous elections, weren't they authorizing the use of property to make a contribution to a campaign?

If Genoa Township can do this, couldn't townships, cities, counties, even state government accept donations of land with such stipuations? Imagine going to the city hall with a "Relect Mayor Smith" banner out front because somebody donated the land for it. Exactly what are the limits for these sorts of "donations".

And isn't this a contribution by Neilson that should be reported on Rogers' campaign finance reports as an in-kind contribution? And doesn't the value of a billboard along a busy freeway far exceed the $2,300 per person contribution limit?

I'm just asking.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Don't Insult Granholm!

People have said a lot of hurtful things about our Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but veteran Lansing political reporter Tim Skubick wrote one of the worst ones yet. He compared her to Sarah Palin.

Michigan Liberal has the story, including this quotation from Timmy:

"In this puff piece of a book, author Kaylene Johnson describes Palin as able to connect with people. She has a fierce tenacity and a strong religious faith, which includes quoting Bible verses. Palin is highly competitive, a tireless campaigner and has been questioned about having kids and being a high-ranking official at the same time.

"Now be honest, is that not Jennifer Granholm to a 'T'?"

Skubick was stll calling all women "Dear" the last time I talked to him, so it's not surprising that his comparison of two women with such extremely different political views would be so shallow.

But this business that Sarah Palin is such a groundbreaker for having children and a career at the same time really gets to me. Liberal women have been doing that for years, and suffering the sneers of conservatives all the while that we should stay home and take care of our kids so the "more qualified" men could have the jobs we were excelling at.

Sarah Palin and her ilk preach that same gospel to other conservatives, and then feel free themselves to follow the footsteps of liberal women wherever they themselves want to go. And they are cheered on by other conservatives. Phyllis Schlafly did the same thing.

Sarah Palin gets no bonus points for having kids and a job as far as I'm concerned. The hard work of breaking ground for women was done by others long ago, over the objections of women like Palin. And many women with children are working out of the limelight, without the salary and perks of a governor (including being paid per diem by the taxpayers to sleep in her own bed at night).

I can't imagine Palin having any empathy for those other working women, but I can imagine Granholm empathizing with those of us who have raised families while holding down a job. I can imagine Granhold pursuing policies that would help working women. I can't imagine Palin doing that, in my wildest dreams.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin's Pork Bill $500 Per Person, Helping Put Alaska Far Above Michigan in Federal Aid

Ever wonder where all your federal taxes go?

In the case of Michigan residents, lots of the taxes we pay to Uncle Sam end up in the pockets of Sarah Palin's constituents.

According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Michigan ranks 44th among the 50 states in per capita federal dollars returned to the state.

Palin's Alaska ranks third in the nation.

It's not like Alaska really needs the money. With gas at $4 a gallon, the state is sucking plenty of money from Michigan residents directly, without even counting federal funds.

And the CRC accounting does not include the millions in federal earmarks that Palin asked for when she was mayor of Wasilla.

According to CNN, she sought $27 million as mayor of Wasilla. And as governor, she has asked for $500 in earmarks for every single residents of Alaska. And guess whose pockets that will come out of.

Not bad for somebody who claims to be against earmarks.

Republicans Setting Up Roadblocks to WALLY

A while back, Livingston County Commissioners released a report claiming that a proposed commuter train between Livingston County and Ann Arbor needed to average 60 mph to attract riders. The report recommends spending $32.5 million before getting the train, nicknamed WALLY, up and running.

Apparently, the authors of the report (summarized here) written well before gas spiked to $4 a gallon, were under the delusion that speeds on U.S. 23 average 60 mph.

On my way to Ann Arbor at 7:20 a.m. on Thursday (Sept. 11, 2008), I decided to test the assumption that speeds on U.S. 23 average 60 mph.

As I came up the entrance ramp, things looked good and I managed to get my car up to 70 mph ever so briefly. In less than a mile, I was at a complete stop. This was cutting seriously into any 60 mph average. For the next mile, I crept along at less than 5 mph. Progress, but still a long ways from 60 mph.

Within two miles, I was whizzing along at 45 mph, which felt really fast after what I had just been through. But after reaching my exit, I calculated I had gone 9 miles in 18 minutes. Is that 60 mph? Don't think so.

But of course, I wasn't even in Ann Arbor yet, just on the exit ramp, waiting my turn at the light -- for almost five minutes.

And that doesn't count the 15 minutes it took me to get to the freeway from my home, which is only about a mile or two from the proposed commuter line.

So if Wally can get me to downtown Ann Arbor at anything greater than 30 mph, that would be a big plus.

The all-Republican Livingston County Commission seems to think that Michigan residents are so wedded to their cars that they'll keep paying ever larger shares of their disposable income on gasoline so they can sit in traffic on U.S. 23.

Maybe it's time for new leadership on the commission.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sierra Club Warns Against Industry Trying to Clean Up Coal's Dirty Image

"Clean coal." Sound familiar? You hear from industry everyday how great coal is, how available coal is, and how clean it is. It sounds too good to be true...and it is.

Lee Sprague, Sierra Club Clean Energy Campaign Manager, will educate us on what is really happening in Michigan regarding plans for building many new coal-fired power plants and the serious challenges this poses to Michigan's economy, our health, our long term energy future, and our environment.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon dioxide in Michigan, a major contributor to global warming. Coal plant emissions add mercury to our fish and cause asthma and acid rain, while mining coal has devastating impacts on communities, habitat, and water quality.

Weak regulations and expected federal limits on the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide have led to a rush to get 8 new coal plants approved in Michigan now, even though the state won't need any additional electric generating capacity for many years to come.

You've heard their side. Come and hear ours...and yours.

Sue Kelly, political chair of the Michigan chapter of the Sierra Club, says Sprague's presentation will be Wednesday (Sept. 10, 2008) at the Brighton District Library, 100 Library Dr., Brighton

The program is free, and the public is welcome

Persons wishing more information may call Sue Kelly at (810) 227-9563.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So How Do They REALLY Feel About Palin?

The last two weeks we've seen plenty of political consultants show up on television and gush about whatever is going on at the convention. More than once, you've probably wondered if they really believed what they were saying.

Thanks to the marvel of open mics, we now know how two Republican consultants -- Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan -- really feel about John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

They think it was B.S.

Watch it below:

Murphy, of course, is the political consultant who engineered John Engler's gubernatorial victories in Michigan.

I wonder how Michigan residents felt watching Palin's speech, especially the part about Alaska having a budget surplus and rebating oil and gas profits back to Alaska taxpayers.

Where does she think that money came from? Right out of the hides of Michigan workers, of course. While Michigan motorists struggle to pay for $4 gas, Alaska residents are rolling in dough and bragging about how easy it is to balance the state budget. She wants to drill in the fragile Alaska National Wildife Refuge, which even John McCain opposes, even though it would bring down the price of gas at most a few pennies. Alaska, of course, would rake in even more money as the nation continued to be hooked on a dwindling resource that will only become increasingly expensive.

Later in the speech, Palin made an appeal to Michigan workers struggling to keep their jobs. How does keeping the economy tied to a 20th century energy source help Michigan autoworkers keep their jobs? It doesn't. It only makes oil companies -- and Alaska -- richer at the expense of the rest of us and delays the day when we switch to alternatives.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Plan to Hear State Party Chair on Sept. 9

It's fall during an election year. What better time to hear from our state party chair, Mark Brewer?

Mark Brewer will join Livingston County Democrats (and anyone else who is interested) at a special event on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Howell Opera House, 123 West Grand River, in downtown Howell.

Mark will discuss a proposed amendment to the Michigan Constitution that would save taxpayers $35 million a year that Republicans are trying desperately to stop. The Reform Michigan Government Now proposal would roll back salaries of lawmakers and top elected officials, cut the number of state lawmakers, reduce the number of state agencies allowed, and reduce the number of judges on the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Court of Appeals. It would also slow the revolving door between government and lobbying, and include a number of other ethics reforms.

The measure enjoys more than 70 percent approval in the polls -- with approval among Republican voters even higher at 73 percent. It is everything Republicans are supposed to be for -- less spending, smaller government -- but so far Republican judges are blocking it.

Wouldn't you like to know why? Let Mark Brewer tell you.

Mark will also have plenty to say about the importance of all the races this fall.

The evening will include an appetizer and dessert buffet for a suggested donation of $15 a person.

Be there, or be uninformed!

Monday, September 1, 2008

She's NOT Making History!

Sarah Palin is a little behind on current events, judging from the email she's sending out to her new supporters.

It is titled "Honored to Make History." Except she's not.

Palin is not the first woman nominated for the vice presidency by a major political party. Democrats did it with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.

So it's pretty amazing that Palin would claim she is in any way "making history" when Republicans finally find a woman they can stand to put on their ticket -- 24 years after the Democrats did it.

(Thanks to the person who forwarded that email to me.)

Rogers Taking Heat over Political Mailing

Glad to see that Mike Rogers is taking some heat for sending a fancy brochure to residents of Michigan's 8th Congressional District in an election year.

The Livingston Press and Argus has printed a second letter criticizing the taxpayer-funded mailing that includes an estimate of the cost.

It's the least the newspaper can do to make up for its recent puff piece about how swell it is that three members of the Rogers family are running for office in Livingston County.

Monthly Stats Looking Up

Politics must be on the minds of Michigan residents, judging from a look at the monthly stats for Living Blue.

Visits to the blog were up 86.2 percent in August from July. Readers spent an average of 21.9 percent more time on the site than the previous month, and the number of pages they viewed was up 80.2 percent.

The percentage of readers who were new visitors to the blog was up 9 percent.

Visitors came from 16 countries, 43 states, and 106 cities in Michigan. Direct traffic (that is people who came here from bookmarks) was up 20.6 percent, while traffic from referring sites, such as Michigan Liberal, was up 14.5 percent.

All in all, a good month.