Monday, March 30, 2009
Jocelyn Benson, election law professor at Wayne State University and founder of the Richard Austin Center on Election Law and Administration, will speak at the event scheduled for Sunday, May 3, at Lakelands Golf and Country Club in Hamburg Township.
Benson has recently opened an exploratory committee to seek the Democratic party nomination for Michigan Secretary of State in 2010. And she has a website up.
Benson has made protecting and advocating for fair elections an important part of her life. In 2005, she helped the Democratic National Committee establish its first nationwide Election Protection effort.
Announcements on other special guests for the evening are coming soon so be sure to make your reservations. Early-bird tickets are $50, a $10 savings off the regular price. Call (810) 229-4212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Dr. Paul DeWeese will host the event at his home in Williamston on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $100 but those unable to afford that are welcome, too.
The DeWeese home is at 3896 N. Williamston Road. From I-96, take exit #117 north 3.5 miles and the home will be on the right. It is roughly a half mile North of the town stop light.
RSVP's are appreciated. The number is (517) 881-6492.
Good chance to hear Cherry's ideas on Michigan's future.
No doubt we'll have news of other Democratic candidates' fund-raisers soon.
I never expected the Ann Arbor News to close. It has always been an excellent newspaper. The Booth chain for years covered the Michigan Capitol better than any other news organization in Michigan.
But on the other hand, Ann Arbor really is the ideal community to have a post-paper newspaper -- a totally on-line newspaper.
After all, it is probably the most literate, wired community in the state. Readers there are likely to be highly receptive to a strictly on-line newspaper that combines a nose for news, savvy reporters, good writing, and a community spirit with new technology that allows them to add video, more photos, links to entire reports and documents, interactivity, and all that the web has to offer.
But I am puzzled as to why the owners are framing this change as the demise of the Ann Arbor News rather than a conversion to a new format.
(It sort of is in keeping with their past use of mlive.com instead of a more user friendly name for their web-based product. Why newspapers insist on a different name for their own-line version, making it hard to people to find, has always been a puzzle to me. What was wrong with annarbornews.com? Or livingstonpress-argus.com, for that matter?)
Apparently, they want a total break with the past. But as we move into this brave new world, it would be nice to hang onto a little bit of the familiar.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
But it wasn't.
It was way back in 2003 that the Michigan House and Senate passed resolutions supporting Sutton's proposed project.
I don't doubt the science behind the concept, and who doesn't like the idea of the state not putting up cash (although giving up rights to the land along hundreds of miles of freeway has considerable value).
But I would like to know what has changed since 2003. How many employees does Sutton have? Is there a working prototype? He has 120 partners, according to the Livingston Press and Argus story for Sunday (March 22, 2009), but are they guaranteeing funding?
We've all heard the old saying about investments, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So let's look before we leap.
Hamburg Township, which one reigned unchallenged as the most entertaining public body, is being joined in the center ring by the Brighton Area Fire Authority.
Genoa Township Supervisor Gary McCririe is shaping up to be leading one faction on the board and Brighton Mayor Kate Lawrence another over the firing of Fire Chief Martin DeLoach.
So far, no one has played "Guitar Hero" that we know of, but it's early.
I'll be real disappointed if these meetings aren't video-taped and televised.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Conservative Media has the story.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Business-related groups are running ads claiming that the measure is un-American and takes away the secret ballot. Hogwash.
Livingston County residents next week will have a chance to learn about the proposed federal measure that will protect the rights of workers to form unions at an event sponsored by the Livingston County Democratic Party.
Brent Gillette, a representative from the AFL-CIO, will speak about the Employee Free Choice Act next Tuesday (March 24, 2009) at 7 p.m. at Livingston County Democratic Party headquarters.
Supporters of the measure argue that too often under the current system, employers take coercive actions that interfere with attempts to form unions. They often force workers to attend closed-door meetings against unions, threaten to close down the company entirely, and even fire workers involved in the organizing attempts.
Despite all the negative propaganda floating around, the measure has broad support among the public. An independent poll by the Gallup organization released on Tuesday shows 53 percent of Americans asked supported a new law that would "make it easier for labor unions to organize workers." Only 39 percent of respondents opposed such a law.
The event is open to the public. Party headquarters are at 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116.
Neither of Livingston County's two Republican representatives -- Bill Rogers or Cindy Denby -- has volunteered to give a portion of his or her legislative salary back to the taxpayers.
That's according to a check done by The Associated Press. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been returning part of her pay for years, and lawmakers are supposed to take a 10 percent pay cut in 2010.
But you'd think our fiscal conservative Republican lawmakers would want to help out the taxpayers a little bit. Isn't that what happens in private industry when times get tough -- management takes a pay cut right along with the rank and file? And aren't we supposed to be running government like a business?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
His organization apparently wants to live up to its name -- "A Whole Lot of People Supporting John Cherry."
The organization on Thursday (March 19, 2009) rolled out a list of local officials supporting the lieutenant governor. Many are from Southeast Michigan:
Leigh Greden - Ann Arbor City Council
Sandi Smith - Ann Arbor City Council
Christopher Taylor - Ann Arbor City Council
Margie Teall - Ann Arbor City Council
Charlie Brunner - Bay City Mayor
Marilyn Stephan - Berkley Mayor
Phil O'Dwyer - Berkley City Council
Charles Smiley - Burton Mayor
Ellen Ellenburg - Burton City Council
Michael Bridges - Farmington Hills City Council
Sue Osborn - Fenton Mayor
L.D. Hollenbeck - Ithaca City Council
Jim Ellison - Royal Oak Mayor
Gary Lelito - Royal Oak City Commissioner
Michael Estes - Traverse City Mayor
William Lattimore - Southfield City Council
Carl Solden - Waterford Twp. Supervisor
Other Democrats are looking seriously at the race, too, such as Rep. Alma Wheeler-Smith of Ann Arbor and John Freeman. Even former Michigan State University football Coach George Perles says he wants to run. So far, we haven't see much of their organizations.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
After six tries, the group of six full-timne firefighters voted to form a union, according to the Livingston Press and Argus story in editions for Wednesday (March 18, 2009).
Morale is low in the department and I wouldn't be surprised if that was a key factor. Few people realize how difficult it is to form a union under the current law, which gives employers the upper hand in the months preceding an election. So things must really be bad.
(earmark $/per student)
3rdlargest in MI
Largest CC in MI; 14th largest in U.S.
So while I'm almost used to Mr. Rogers' general double standards, this little ploy to throw major public money to a minor private institution -- at a time when community colleges are educating roughly 45% of undergraduates nation-wide -- is a new low in hypocrisy.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Check it out here.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
On the university's webpage, Cleary writes, "I am especially proud to be affiliated with Cleary University, an institution committed to teaching the American free market economic system, ethical business practices, and leadership skills. Our alumni include small business owners, Fortune 500 executives, mid- and senior-level managers - all solid performers who contribute each day to the promise of America."
If Sullivan really believes in the "American free market economic system" and "ethical business practices," why is he accepting tax dollars? Shouldn't the school be able to make it on its own? Is it an "ethical business practice" for Cleary to say one thing (free market principles!) and do another (feed at the public trough every chance you get)? What sort of example does that set for the "Fortune 500executives" that are supposedly being trained at Cleary?
It seems to me that if the Cleary "Fortune 500 executives" are so successful as a result of their education at Cleary, they ought to be able to chip in enough to pay for the new furnace for the racquetball and basketball courts at the school. After all, if they can afford to pay $150 a head to attend the May 2 fund-raiser at the school, certainly they can pony up a few bucks more for the "geothermal heat pump." That, BTW, sounds really grand until you realize geothermal heat pumps have been around since the 1940s.
And as for the $100,000 for the business incubator, again, free market principles should apply. Turn down the money and show the world how free market principles work so well in the real world. And let the alumni make donations to pay tuition for people who want their kids to go to Cleary while they are still in high school, which is the "dual enrollment" program Cleary is getting $238,000 for.
Cleary should put his mouth where our money is -- turn down the earmarks and go it alone.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Rogers was on the show because he is co-chair of the "Freshman Caucus" formed by the 44 new members of the Michigan House. But under questioning from host Tim Skubick and the rest of the crew, Rogers could give no coherent reason for the existence of the caucus. He couldn't say if the first-year lawmakers will band together and vote as a block on legislation. And he claimed they haven't even discussed it, prompting Skubick to say, "Oh, come on, Mr. Rogers," adding he had talked to other first-year lawmakers who said it was discussed.
Rogers would only go so far as to say the caucus was "going to stop partisan bickering."
He waffled on a question about the pace of the Legislature, saying he thought it was too slow, but lawmakers were busy, but he didn't really disagree with Senate Majority Leader and fellow Republican Mike Bishop's desire to wait until a state revenue conference in May to work on major budget bills, except to say that's not the way they did it in Livingston County. So his answer was, "Yes, No, Maybe."
Friday, March 13, 2009
Rogers more or less proved Alexander's point with the recent Omnibus Budget Bill which passed Congress recently week after being held over from last fall.
First, Rogers stuffed the measure full of earmarks for his district, and then he voted against it as wasteful. The Livingston Press and Argus has the story.
The head of the Livingston County Road Commission suggested we give Rogers a "big hug" for including money for an I-96 interchange. He didn't mention that we'd have to drive on some of the worst roads in Michigan to get to that interchange, but that's another matter.
Rogers needs to explain some of the earmarks -- like the ones for the private Cleary College. All he told the newspaper was that he had "no problem" with it. That's not explanatory.
And he needs to explain why his earmarks are for worthy products and why everyone else's are "wasteful."
Cramer took it bravely and graciously. I suspect he figured out the whole thing would go away if he would just accept the criticism and agree to try to do better.
But with the clips Stewart dug out, what else could he do?
Too bad Stewart had to do the job of Columbia Journalism Review and other media critics.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Context is important in the news, and part of context is whether people are consistent in what they say and do. Not foolishly consistent, of course. Situations change and adjustments have to be made.
So I enjoyed Stewart's recent compilation of clips that basically showed CNBC to be so clueless about covering the economy. CNBC's Jim Cramer reacted critically over one clip that showed him vouching for Bear Stearns shortly before its stock tanked. Things escalated, with Stewart airing another series of video clips showing Cramer first urging people to buy Bear Stearns stock, then not to take their money out of Bear Stearns, and so on.
Now Cramer is slated to appear on The Daily Show with Stewart. Talk about must-see television.
Stewart has hit on one of my big beefs with business news coverage -- it's entirely too much of a cheerleader for big business, never asking the tough questions for fear the CEOs will stop talking to the news stars, never providing big picture and broad view analysis, instead focusing on which stocks are up and which stocks are down.
So now it's left to a comedian, for crying out loud, to confront CNBC about how it covers business.
Stewart does fake news, but sometimes he does real journalism.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A post from Tuesday (March 9, 2009) takes a look at congressional districts that split in 2008 -- either supported President Obama and a Republican for Congress, or John McCain and a Democrat for Congress. The suggestion is that the Obama-Republican districts are potential Democratic pick-ups next year.
Michigan has four such districts, including our own 8th Congressional District, which backed Obama for president but sent Republican Mike Rogers back to Washington.
Find out next Tuesday (March 17, 2009) by stopping by the new Hamburg Fire Station (that's the official name of what is usually referred to as the Hamburg Taj Mahal) between CVS and Michigan Rehab between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to have the inside of your mouth swabbed with a Q-tip and fill out a form.
That's all you need to do to participate in the Hamburg Kiwanis and Patrick Financial Bone Marrow Registration Drive.
You'll receive a token for a free beer at Zukey Lake Tavern and have your name entered into a drawing for four Detroit Pistons tickets just for participating.
Your information will be entered into the National Marrow Donation Program Registry.
If your tissue type is a match with someone who is in need of marrow, you will be asked to simply make a blood donation. The marrow needed will be harvested from your blood.
To participate, you must be between the age of 18 and 60 and meet the health guidelines. Find out more at marrow.org
Come by Tuesday. Make someone's day. Save their life!
Monday, March 9, 2009
But in the rest of the state? Not so much.
Check out the Michigan Liberal's comments on the paper's opposition to later hours for bars.
Actually, I suspect the paper hates the idea because Gov. Jennifer Granholm came up with it, more than anything else. I love the hypocrisy factor of their editorial, too. They're all for getting government off people's backs, not telling people what to do, blah, blah, blah, when it comes to what Republicans support.
The parade will be held at noon on Saturday, March 14. We will begin assembling to decorate our parade car at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Pinckney Elementary School, 935 E. Mi State Road 36, west of Downtown Pinckney.
Please let us know you are coming by contacting Donna Anderson at email@example.com.
We also hope to participate in the day's bed race. If you have a hospital bed or gurney that Livingston Democrats could use in the race or would like to be part of our team, please let Donna know.
Remember to wear green! The party has green hats for marchers to wear and banners for our county party and President Obama for marchers to carry.
This is a great event to break the boredom of late winter in Michigan. Come out, get some exercise, and have some fun!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Democrats believe that post-secondary education is the key to our future – both as individuals and as a nation. We also know that a strong middle class, created by America’s labor movement, has been largely responsible for the explosion in access to higher education that occurred in our country since World War II. That’s why we have chosen to start a scholarship program and why the first essay contest will revolve around the impact of organized labor on our families and our communities.
The essay contest offers a $500 first prize and a $100 second prize to be used toward the costs of post-secondary education. To compete for the scholarships, students must submit an essay of between 500 and 750 words on the topic, "Unions have been important to my family and my community because … "
Entries must be postmarked by April 15. A judge from outside Livingston County not associated with the Livingston County Democratic Party will evaluate the essays and determine the winners. Results will be announced in May.
Contributions to the fund for the essay contest prizes have come from organized labor, a few private individuals, and the Livingston County Democratic Party. Major union sponsors so far are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 252 of Ann Arbor and United Auto Workers Local 1284 Region 1A, but more donations are possible. If donations exceed the value of the announced prizes, the party will either raise the value of the prizes, add prizes, or both.
The fact that in these tough economic times, working men and women are willing to dig deep and help out young people who want to pursue their educations tells us a lot about how important organized labor is to the fabric of our lives and to the values that organized labor instills.
Packets containing letters announcing the essay contest, a copy of the rules, and a flyer publicizing the contest are being mailed this week to social studies coordinators and guidance counseling offices at Livingston County high schools. Any teacher who would like a packet for his or her classroom may contact the Livingston County Democratic Party. Students who live in Livingston County but attend school outside the county may also request a packet, but will need to ask a teacher at his or her high school to validate the entry.
The Livingston Democrats’ Youth Outreach Coordinator, Jordan Genso, will be available to speak to area church youth groups and school clubs about the contest as well. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on the essay contest also will can be obtained by contacting the party at email@example.com or (810) 229-4212.
To be eligible, students must be residents of Livingston County and must be admitted to a post-secondary education program for the coming academic year. Such institutions include a college, university, community college, nursing school, or union apprentice program. In the event the program to which the student is applying has not yet begun accepting applicants, the student should submit a copy of information from the program showing when admission decisions will be made.
The party suggests that students contact their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors or friends to learn what labor union membership and participation may have meant to them. Or they might also contact local business owners to ask how having union members as customers has affected their business.
Essays will be judged on understanding of the material, writing style, and significance of the topic. Each should be a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 750 words in length, typed, double-spaced, on white paper. Students must submit two copies. The cover sheet must list the title of the essay, the student's name, address, and home telephone number, and the name, address, and telephone number of the student's school. If applicable, the cover sheet also should list family member’s union affiliation. The name of a teacher who advised the student on the essay should also appear on the cover sheet. A copy of the student’s acceptance to an institution of higher learning should also accompany the entry, unless the program has yet to begin making admission decisions.
Students should send their completed essays to the Livingston County Democratic Party, 10321 E. Grand River, Suite 600, Brighton, MI 48116. Entries must be postmarked by April 15. Winners will be announced in May.
The local party’s goal is to create a foundation broader than the party to solicit funds and select topics for future essay contests that could focus on environmental issues, civil rights, economic opportunity and so on.