Archive for May, 2008

Clinton Calls Rumors of Her Being Obama’s Vice President “Flatly Untrue”

May 29, 2008

Late last week, while apologizing for her comments about Bobby Kennedy, Clinton also addressed rumors that she has been in secret talks with the Obama campaign about her being Obama’s running mate: “It is flatly untrue and it is not anything I’m entertaining.  It is nothing I have planned and it is nothing I am prepared to engage in. I am still vigorously campaigning. … I would look to the camp of my opponent for the source of these stories.  People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.”  Some rebutted Clinton’s statement saying that it was actually CNN and the New York Times that put these stories out, but it’s very possible that Obama leaked a story, has connections that got stories published.  I’m not saying he did, and I’m not saying he didn’t.  I’m just saying that what Clinton said  could be true.

The Obama campaign also denied that any secret talks had taken place.

Meanwhile, Representative Dianne Feinstein (D-CA-Clinton) told reporters the that if Obama becomes the nominee, she would like to see Clinton as his running mate: “I think as this race has emerged each one of them has garnered a different constituency and different states, and therefore when you put the two of them together it forms, I believe, the strongest ticket.  Women feel very strongly about Hillary and African-Americans feel very strongly about Barack, and the election results show that, and the young versus old, the higher educated versus the working person. … All these things are sort of separated out into one or the other so there is a logic in combining the two constituencies.”

I honestly can’t see Clinton taking the position as VP, and I can’t see Obama being that stupid.  There would be feuds in the White House.  It would probably go down as one of the worst President-VP combos since the passing of the 12th Amendment and the choosing of running mates.

Of course their mere bickering now, and the inevitable fist fight some 3 months down the road, should they run on the same ticket, will secure the Presidency for John McCain.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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A Thank You and Tribute to Our Troops on Memorial Day

May 26, 2008

First, I would like to take this opportunity on Memorial Day to thank our troops who are currently serving overseas, whether that be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Australia, Germany, South Korea, or wherever, and those who are serving here at home.

Second, I would like to thank those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, to protect the freedom of this and other countries.  You’re sacrifices will never be forgotten by me, and I hope that they will never be forgotten by ANY American.

Third, I would like to reach out to the families of those serving in the armed forces, and those who have lost loved ones.  I have friends overseas.  I know what it is like to see friends leave, and although I have never lost a friend (thank God), it is still hard to see friends go overseas.  God bless you all as you go through one of the hardest times of your lives.

I feel that many people don’t appreciate, or at least take for granted, the sacrifices that so many have given to protect this country.  For instance, while at work today, we had a 1 minute moment of silence throughout the entire complex at 3:00 P.M.  For the most part, it was completely silent.  30 seconds into it, the manager of my department starts talking on the radio.  The same manager who had come around telling everybody to make sure that we observed the moment of silence was now blabbering on about something irrelevant in the middle of the moment of silence.  After the minute was over, I overheard some of the manager’s assistants who were at my location talking about how shocked they were that that happened.

And this is the attitude that has spread to a large part of America.  Sure, we celebrate Memorial Day with hot dogs and hamburgers and a day off work (well, not for me).  But how many of these people have a flag flying in their yard or a yard sign supporting the troops?  Not enough.

Be thankful that we’ve gone this long without a major war.  Be thankful that we’ve gone this long without a war that has threatened us here on our very soil.  Be thankful that we have men and women willing to fight for our safety.

I’d like to leave you with a video of Tim McGraw’s song “Already Home”:

God Bless America, and more importantly, God bless our troops, living and fallen, and their families, who are serving America today, and who have served America the past 232 years.

Done Thanking,

Republican Ranting
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Clinton’s Justification for Staying in the Race: “Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June”

May 24, 2008

Alright, I haven’t had time to post in a while, so I’d like to start off by wishing Senator Kennedy the best of luck as he deals with his health problems.  Although I can’t stand him personally, nobody should go through what he is going through.

Now, on to the news … earlier this week, Clinton responded to a question from the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus Leader editorial board about her dropping out by saying, “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?  We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.  You know I just, I don’t understand it.”

Yikes.  I mean, it wasn’t an extremely terrible statement, but it was inappropriate to use that as a memory for how long campaigns go.  I mean, that’s like Ben Stiller talking about Zoolander coming out in the same month as the September 11th attacks – it’s not really relevant (true, Clinton was talking about 2 campaigns, but there are lots of campaigns that have extended until June).  There were plenty of other events in 1968 that Clinton could’ve talked about.

Apparently this isn’t the first time Clinton has brought up the assassination.  She told Time magazine back in March, “Primary contests used to last a lot longer.  We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June, also in California.  Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.”  At least she said it a little more tastefully there.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton quickly capitalized on the poor wording, saying, “Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign.”

Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee responded by saying that Clinton was simply using Bill and Kennedy “as historical examples of the nominating process going well into the summer and any reading into it beyond that would be inaccurate and outrageous.”

Clinton came out and told reporters, “I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive.  I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever. … I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns of both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June in 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June.  That’s a historic fact.  The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy.  I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive.  I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever.  My view is that we have to look to the past to our leaders who have inspired us, give us a lot to live up to, and I’m honored to hold Senator Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the Kennedy family.”

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL-Obama) told reporters, “I know Hillary Clinton, and the last thing in the world she’d ever want is to wish misfortune on anybody. She and Barack are friends.  It was … a careless remark and we’ll leave it at that.”

I’ll agree with Durbin (YIKES!).  I mean, it’s not like Obama hasn’t had his poor-wording-moments; I just think Clinton has had more.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton to Obama: Screw You! I’m Taking This to Convention

May 21, 2008

In an interview with the Associated Press today in Florida, Clinton told reporters, “Yes I will [support Michigan and Florida if they appeal an unfavorable rules committee decision to the convention floor].  I will, because I feel very strongly about this.  I will consult with Floridians and the voters in Michigan because it’s really their voices that are being ignored and their votes that are being discounted, and I’ll support whatever the elected officials and the voters in those two states want to do. … It [the race] could [go beyond June 3rd], I hope it doesn’t.  I hope it’s resolved to everyone’s satisfaction by that date, because that’s what people are expecting, but we’ll have to see what happens. … [Floridians] learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner.  The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: If any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people isn’t realized and our democracy is diminished.  The people who voted did nothing wrong and it would be wrong to punish you.”

There’s also a video of a speech available here, but I only have dial-up right now, and my sound card uninstalled itself, and Dell abandoned me, so I have no clue if it matches the quotes I just gave:

AP Video

If somebody wants to find the video for me, I’ll love you forever.

Um, I should note – the primary process is anything but democratic.  With all the delegates and proportionality by Congressional District (instead of statewide) and thresholds, it’s not democratic, it’s complex algebra.

So, yes, I’m now very hopeful and excited.  If Clinton takes this to convention, McCain wins immediately.  I won’t even have to do phone calls for him.  GO CLINTON!

Done Ranting,

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Oregon and Kentucky Primary Predictions: McCain, Obama, and Clinton to Win

May 19, 2008

Tomorrow, Kentucky and Oregon will hold their primaries.  Here are my predictions:

Kentucky:

Democrats:

  1. Clinton 67% 32 delegates
  2. Obama 32% 19 delegates
  3. Edwards 1% 0 delegates

Republicans:

  1. McCain 77% 42 delegates
  2. Huckabee 14% 0 delegates
  3. Paul 6% 0 delegates
  4. Romney 2% 0 delegates
  5. Giuliani <1% 0 delegates
  6. Keyes <1% 0 delegates

I have Paul as so low because it’s a closed primary and a lot of his supporters are independents.

Oregon:

Democrats:

  1. Obama 56% 29 delegates
  2. Clinton 43% 23 delegates
  3. Gravel 1% 0 delegates

Republicans:

  1. McCain 94% 28 delegates
  2. Paul 6% 2 delegates

Again, I have Paul so low because it’s a closed primary.

I may or may not have time to live blog tomorrows primaries, but I will post results some time.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Central Michigan University Impliments a Ban on Professors Running for Public Office, Including Congressional Candidate Gary Peters

May 19, 2008

This is part 2 in a weekly series on the race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.  This was supposed to be a post about fundraising, but we’ve had some interesting developments come up in the past week.  Central Michigan University proposed a policy that would go in effect on July 1st, that would require “full-time employees of the university … to either resign or take an unpaid leave of absence when they comply with candidacy filing requirements, 60 days prior to the date set forth for the election relating to the sought-after public office, whichever date is closer to the elections” (source: CM-Life).

The CM-Life reported that this policy was implemented as a result of the Gary Peters issue: “It’s a political year and questions were raised about political candidates (on campus). … That’s when the questions began, in relation to the Gary Peters reaction, but it goes deeper than that.  The university realized the need for a policy.” ~~Steve Smith, Director of Media Relations

There are some exceptions to the new policy:

  • Candidates for unpaid or temporary offices
    • Municipal charter revision commissions
    • Delegate to constitutional conventions
    • Positions on a city or county board where the position is unpaid
  • Candidates for any part-time local offices where the position would not demand work during university-working hours

Smith said that the policy is not final, saying, “We are still waiting on input from the on-campus community.”

Contrary to what I had heard earlier (as I will explain later), the faculty union will be subject to this policy.

Now, I had heard about this policy being in the making back in late April.  I had been told by somebody inside of CMUthat this policy would not apply to faculty who are union members because their contract would have to be reworked through the union, and the union would never let this happen, so instead of fighting with those faculty members, they were just going to leave them exempt.

Dennis Lennox, former Student’s Against Gary Peters spokesman told the  CM-Life, “I think it’s a great proposal that should have been implemented months ago.  This is a victory for students and tax payers who wanted to hold Gary Peters accountable.  It’s a huge vindication.  It’s just unfortunate it took 10 months and a whole host of horrible events for this resolution to occur.”

Now, how does this affect the race for the 9th District?  Well, as I’m sure you all know, Gary Peters obviously falls under this policy.  He will either have to resign or take a leave of absence.

What do I think?  I think the policy is completely stupid, but I think it will stand in court.  From what I’ve seen, since CMU gets federal money, the policy can legally fall as an extension under the Hatch Act of 1939, which has been held up in 2 Supreme Court cases.

Personally, I think this is a violation of free speech.

Ideally, CMU would have a policy that would allow professors to run for office but make sure that no time or resources that belong to CMU are used.

I don’t know if Peters will resign or take a leave of absence, or if he’ll challenge it.  The source that talked to me in late April told me that he/she thought that the ACLU might get involved.  Now that it applies to union faculty members, I think the union will fight back as well, which is a great help for their cause.  They could turn this into quite a battle.  Of course, if they went on strike, I would consider that way over the line and probably add them to my long list of hated unions.

I’ll keep you updated if any more news comes out about the policy.  Next week (maybe), I’ll be talking about fundraising.

Done Ranting,

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Michigan Senate Passes Ban on Smoking in Restaurants, Bars, and Casinos

May 18, 2008

On Thursday, May 8th, the Michigan Senate voted on House Bill 4163, sponsored by Brenda Clack (D-Flint).  I first brought you a story on the smoking ban back in December.  The bill, entitled, “Public health code” would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, and casinos.  The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by my Senator, Ray Basham (D-Taylor), is a stronger bill than the original House bill, which did not include a ban in Detroit’s 3 casinos, bingo halls, or cigar bars (that I just find ironic and completely stupid).

Here’s a copy of the bill that the Senate voted on: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/billengrossed/House/pdf/2007-HEBS-4163.pdf, and here is where you can get all of the information on the bill: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ctxoevbltnhsnf55zebx5duh))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2007-HB-4163.

Here’s an excerpt from the Senate Journal:

Third Reading of Bills

Senator Cropsey moved that the rules be suspended and that the following bill, now on the order of Third Reading of Bills, be placed on its immediate passage at the head of the Third Reading of Bills calendar:

House Bill No. 4163

The motion prevailed, a majority of the members serving voting therefor.

The following bill was read a third time:

House Bill No. 4163, entitled

A bill to amend 1978 PA 368, entitled “Public health code,” by amending the heading of part 129 and sections 12601, 12603, 12611, 12613, 12614, 12905, and 12915 (MCL 333.12601, 333.12603, 333.12611, 333.12613, 333.12614, 333.12905, and 333.12915), sections 12601 and 12613 as amended by 1988 PA 315, sections 12603 and 12611 as amended by 1993 PA 217, section 12614 as added by 1988 PA 296, section 12905 as amended by 1993 PA 242, and section 12915 as amended by 1982 PA 526, and by adding section 12606; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.

The President, Lieutenant Governor Cherry, assumed the Chair.

The question being on the passage of the bill,

The bill was passed, a majority of the members serving voting therefor, as follows:

Roll Call No. 298                                 Yeas—25

Anderson Clark-Coleman Jelinek Prusi
Basham Clarke Kahn Schauer
Birkholz George McManus Scott
Brater Gleason Olshove Switalski
Brown Hunter Pappageorge Thomas
Cassis Jacobs Patterson Whitmer
Cherry

Nays—12

Allen Cropsey Jansen Sanborn
Barcia Garcia Kuipers Stamas
Bishop Gilbert Richardville Van Woerkom

Excused—1

Hardiman

Not Voting—0

In The Chair: President

Pursuant to Joint Rule 20, the full title of the act shall be inserted to read as follows:

“An act to protect and promote the public health; to codify, revise, consolidate, classify, and add to the laws relating to public health; to provide for the prevention and control of diseases and disabilities; to provide for the classification, administration, regulation, financing, and maintenance of personal, environmental, and other health services and activities; to create or continue, and prescribe the powers and duties of, departments, boards, commissions, councils, committees, task forces, and other agencies; to prescribe the powers and duties of governmental entities and officials; to regulate occupations, facilities, and agencies affecting the public health; to regulate health maintenance organizations and certain third party administrators and insurers; to provide for the imposition of a regulatory fee; to provide for the levy of taxes against certain health facilities or agencies; to promote the efficient and economical delivery of health care services, to provide for the appropriate utilization of health care facilities and services, and to provide for the closure of hospitals or consolidation of hospitals or services; to provide for the collection and use of data and information; to provide for the transfer of property; to provide certain immunity from liability; to regulate and prohibit the sale and offering for sale of drug paraphernalia under certain circumstances; to provide for the implementation of federal law; to provide for penalties and remedies; to provide for sanctions for violations of this act and local ordinances; to provide for an appropriation and supplements; to repeal certain acts and parts of acts; to repeal certain parts of this act; and to repeal certain parts of this act on specific dates,”.

The Senate agreed to the full title.

Protests

Senators Cropsey and Garcia, under their constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of House Bill No. 4163.

Senator Cropsey moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the bill be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”

The motion prevailed.

Senator Cropsey’s statement is as follows:

I’m not going to vote for this legislation, this substitute at this point. I want to give my explanation why. First of all, I think it’s very interesting that this is the United States of America, supposedly a free nation. By the way, I don’t smoke. My wife doesn’t smoke. None of my kids smoke. My parents don’t smoke. I don’t know of any of my brothers or sisters who smoke. We grew up non-smoking, and I hope we always stay non-smoking. We grew non-drinking, and I hope we always stay non-drinking—of alcoholic beverages.

But this is America. What we are talking about is a legal substance that people take for enjoyment knowing full well that it has health consequences. And we have restaurants and bars in this state where they have put up “No Smoking” signs because the owners of that restaurant or that bar say they are not going to allow smoking in this restaurant or bar. Why is that? Because there are people like myself who say we don’t want to go to a restaurant where there’s smoking. So we don’t frequent restaurants where there is smoking. And there are more and more restaurants that are going non-smoking because people are realizing the hazards of smoking. But that is a decision that we have made.

Once again, tobacco is a legal substance and smoking of tobacco is a legal way to take that substance. So I think from a philosophical standpoint, I have a problem with that.

The other part of this is we did have some amendments up that talked about what about the Indian casinos. I have the largest Indian casino or Native American casino in the state of Michigan in my district, and what’s going to happen? Just recently, I had a restaurant that had been a local landmark in Mount Pleasant. It’s been a landmark there for 50 years and has closed down, for whatever reason. Competition is tough in the restaurant business. What we are going to be doing by telling folks that, you know, all the restaurants and bars in Isabella County are going to be going smoke-free. However, the one at the Native American casino is not going to be regulated at all by the state. So guess where all the smokers are going to go when they want a nice meal or when they want a drink? They are going to go to the Native America casino. Now what is that going to do?

We are sending a currently tax-paying citizen of the state of Michigan and telling them, “You go to the casino where no taxes are being paid—no sales tax.” No property tax, no taxes are being paid-and we are going to be telling all the other restaurants in Mount Pleasant, “Sorry, you’re at a competitive disadvantage,” and more of them will go out of business. And what will happen then? Property values become depressed. Fewer sales taxes. And then you are going be coming back and asking me, as one of the members of Appropriations, we’re spending too much on the Department of Corrections because we don’t have enough money.

This is just amazing to me that we would be doing this without giving these restaurants and bars some mechanism whereby they can cater to people who wish to smoke, especially in areas where there is going to be very severe competition for their food dollars and for their cigarette dollar.

So I would hope that at this point, we would turn down this substitute. I do know the Majority Leader has a substitute that he is willing to offer that would allow a restaurant or bar to post that they are a smoking restaurant or bar. And why is that important? Because then, as a non-smoker, you know you don’t want to go into that place. But, as a smoker, you know that you’re welcome.

And what do we do? We’ll keep those taxes going that will be coming into the state of Michigan. And you let the free market work in that situation. Say, if you want to go to a smoking restaurant or bar, fine. If you don’t want to, fine, you don’t need to. But it’s not big-nanny government telling you what you are going to do and what you aren’t going to do. And, furthermore, purely from a state point of view, you aren’t shipping or forcing or encouraging our taxpayers to go somewhere else where you can’t tax them.

So for those reasons, I’m going to vote “no.” If this is sent back to General Orders and the Majority Leader’s substitute is adopted on General Orders, then I do plan on voting for this legislation. But at this point, I plan on voting against it.

Senator Garcia’s statement is as follows:

I opposed this bill not because I smoke because I don’t, but I believe this is a business decision best made by the business owners. People have a choice as to whether or not to frequent an establishment that allows smoking. They can choose to spend their money there. They can choose to work there. I’ve heard it said that we have a duty to protect the public health, but if it is our constitutional duty to protect the public health, then where do we stop? Let’s ban fast food. Let’s ban smoking. Let’s ban the use of alcohol. We have proof that all of these items harm the health of people. So why don’t we ban them? We don’t. We all know the answer to that. Just follow the money.

I respect those who have opposing views, but, again, I go back to the point that I think it’s a business decision; it’s a personal decision. People can choose whether or not to frequent those establishments.

Senators Basham, George, Schauer, Jacobs, Patterson, Gleason, Scott, Allen, Anderson, Bishop, Sanborn, Cassis and Pappageorge asked and were granted unanimous consent to make statements and moved that the statements be printed in the Journal.

The motion prevailed.

Senator Basham’s statement is as follows:

I know a lot has been said about this issue, so I won’t go down that road. I would just like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for protecting patrons and workers from secondhand smoke again.

Senator George’s statement is as follows:

I want to add my remarks to those of the previous speaker. I just want to put in a little context as to how we got to this point. My own position has evolved on this issue, say, in the last few years. I think the reason we are here is because of the change in the body of evidence related to the hazards of secondhand smoke. It was in 1986 that the Surgeon General issued a first report on the potential hazards of involuntary spoke exposure—1986. But since that time, there has been, literally, hundreds of peer-reviewed medical studies and several additional major reports that make the solid, scientific case that secondhand smoke is dangerous and is a leading cause of death in our country and in Michigan. It was two years ago that Surgeon General Richard Carmona issued a very definitive study showing that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults and sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory problems in children.

So I am pleased that we are at this point today. Thousands of Michigan residents have their health placed at risk by exposure to secondhand smoke, and we now have an opportunity to reduce this risk. Some will say that the government has no interest in this, but we do. We have made laws ensuring that food is properly cooked, that equipment is properly cleaned, and that employees must wash their hands. We take these laws as being second nature today, and it is the same way regarding secondhand smoke. It is something that we will take as second nature in the future.

Secondhand smoke is a real hazard, and eliminating exposure in workplaces, restaurants, and bars is consentient with our constitutional duty to protect the health of the citizens of Michigan.

Senator Schauer’s statement is as follows:

I rise to thank Senator Basham for his leadership on this issue. This is a House bill introduced by Representative Clack, but we know that the Senator from the 8th District is the one who has led on this issue for many, many, many years. I would also like to thank the Senate Majority Leader, Mike Bishop, for allowing this vote to happen today. This is an issue that has certainly had some division in this state, and we know that there are some groups that don’t support a smoking ban in workplaces.

I want to thank the advocacy community, that has really helped educate us here in this chamber, which I think really reflects the interest, by and large, of the people in this state. This may be the single, most important thing we can do to improve health status in this state, so I am proud of this chamber today and the debate that we have had on a very important health issue, and I rise in support.

Senator Jacobs’ statement is as follows:

Although I have about six pages of talking points and statistics on my desk, I just really rise today to say that I am going to be taking this vote in memory of my father who died from lung cancer a number of years ago. Today we are going to take action that will hopefully prevent many other deaths from cancer for our loved ones and the people who live in our districts.

You know, I hope that what we do today will allow people to see their grandchildren married and their great-grandchildren born, which is something that up until today’s action, we didn’t actually have any control over it in this state. So I really want to really thank my colleague I know we are not supposed to use Ray Basham’s name, but from the 8th District for being so tenacious and so dogged on this issue. We are really going to be giving an incredible gift to the people of Michigan today, and I really want to thank everybody for voting for this as we go forward to pressing our buttons.

Senator Patterson’s statement is as follows:

I would like to join today in the remarks of my colleague from the 20th District. I would also like to reiterate the position that I took was one of change not evolution. It came about because of the evidence becoming incontrovertible.

I owe my colleague from the 8th District enormous amount of gratitude for his dogged determination and commitment to this issue to do the right thing. He has, in fact, been courageous, and there are times when it pains me to think that he has been, but I must admit it on this occasion.

Senator Gleason’s statement is as follows:

I would add my voice to those who congratulate Senator Basham. I would offer this unique perspective. When you have issues which are not visible, when you go to work and visit businesses across this state, sometimes people do not understand that you are in a compromised situation. I know as an individual, as I’ve mentioned on several occasions, someone who has had a major surgery, a transplant, we have autoimmune issues. When we are put in these situations, whether it’s out at a restaurant or at work, it’s not readily visible that we have these particular concerns. So I would like to thank Senator Basham on a personal level.

But also I would like to further state that we all watched this process come out of the House. I think we lost many of the advantages that we can offer citizens and workers of Michigan by not carrying out particular interest groups for this legislation. When I was watching the process in the House, when favor, when exceptions, when advantages were given to special groups, it seemed like the impetus for the bill itself fell apart.

I would be tremendously remiss if I didn’t thank Representative Clack from Flint, Michigan, for joining her efforts with Senator Basham. This is not an issue that finds lines of demarcation easily. I would like to thank the Senator and

the Representative who led this effort. These were trying times, and yet, it wasn’t necessarily for themselves that they advanced this cause, but for all of the citizens of Michigan.

We were late to the party. Other states have done this. It’s nice to add Michigan to that list. We know the concerns that we have when we were involved with the package last week about health insurance reform. One of our main causes for the rise in the cost of health insurance is secondhand smoke. There will be collateral gains to this legislation. We are only touching on the surface of what benefits this will be offering to our state.

So I would congratulate all of those who saw that this was important for the state of Michigan.

Senator Scott’s statement is as follows:

I rise in support of this bill. You know, we talk about healthy Michigan, and this lets us know that we care about the health of our constituents in this state. I belong to a number of women’s groups nationally and one of the issues that we deal with is health. This is a great step in the right direction.

I certainly want to thank the Senator from District 8 for being real steadfast in this because that’s what it’s about. You have a passion for something and believe in it. You have to keep standing, and I’m glad that my colleague kept standing. I’m glad that we had a Representative over in the House who authored this bill; that they could work together on it. I certainly do hope this bill remains as we have passed it in the Senate today.

There are a number of our young people who are smoking, even in middle schools now. So this sends a message to them that smoking is not good for you. It is not healthy. I want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, that we came together, bipartisan to support what will make Michigan healthier. We’ve done it in big states, bigger than Michigan, and they are surviving, and we will survive too. We’ll survive better because we’ll be healthier.

So, again, I thank everyone who supported this bill. It’s a step in the right direction. It certainly gives me hope that one day my bills will pass too. Ray kept his back straight, and I’m going to keep mine straight. So thank you everyone. This is wonderful.

Senator Allen’s statement is as follows:

I also rise in opposition to this substitute on a straight philosophical level. How much more mandate do we need to put on the citizens of our state? How many more regulatory environments do we need to put forward? And what is the actual role of government? I respect the lively and broad-based debate that has occurred, but I feel that restaurateurs and local businesses can make the best decisions in regards to what is the appropriate way to control smoking. I hail from Northern Michigan and we have one of the largest voluntary compliance of smoke-free restaurants in the state of Michigan.

Where do we draw the line? Do we draw the line with restaurant smoking? How about food and the amount of calories that need to be consumed? What do we do in ergonomics standards? What do we do on more licensing and regulations on the citizens of this state?

I respect the process and will be voting against this substitute. More licensure. More regulation. Where do we draw the line on the citizens of this state?

This is a controlled substance. It’s perfectly well to be regulated by individuals. We have good laws already in place.

Senator Anderson’s statement is as follows:

Members, we have reached a point here—and I know a number of members have already thanked the Senator from the 8th District for his efforts on this issue—and I did want to add a couple of comments now for his dogged determination in getting this legislation through. We would not be at this point today in history—and I do say in history—because I think this is probably one of the most important issues that we will debate in the entire year in this Legislature and in this Senate.

I believe that it is such an issue that sometimes we overlook some of the other peripheral things and the other people who are affected. I know we are talking about, in many cases, the consumers and the citizens of Michigan who go into these establishments who are exposed to the secondhand smoke. We also, I think, tend to forget those folks who are working as waiters and servers and our children, in some cases, our grandchildren, our brothers and sisters, and our direct family members, wives and husbands. Those folks don’t have a choice whether or not they are working in that restaurant. It’s a choice between income or their health. They should not be forced to make that decision.

I believe that it is the right thing to do, and this is the time to do it. Folks, if we do anything this year that makes a difference to the state of Michigan, this is the issue. I would urge everyone to support it, and I thank my good friend Senator Basham.

Senator Bishop’s statement is as follows:

First, I want to express my appreciation for the way in which the body handled this issue and the way that we were able to conduct a civil debate on the subject, an issue that seems to be growing in popularity as the day goes on. But as an individual member of this legislative body, I rise today to express my opposition to the present proposal. I have two specific objections, and these have been made earlier by other members, but I want to reiterate.

First, this legislation is simply incompatible with the free-market principles that I and many of my colleagues hold dear.

Second, this is a blatant overage by government into the private business environment and into the individual freedoms of our citizens. It is an absolute breach of what I have always believed to be the role of government. That is my personal opinion. The free-market principles which are at the root of our country and our nation’s economy have always been unique in the world. Historically, throughout our nation’s history, we trust our citizens and our businesses with the freedom to establish an environment that is mutually beneficial to both the business and the consumer. In the case before us today, we see a growing trend and it is nationwide. I will admit, to snuff out the use of tobacco, that, to me, is a noble cause as we can stipulate the harmful effects to secondhand smoke and the tragic toll smoking has had on so many of our citizens for so long. In fact, I think all of us can relate to a certain extent to the impact of secondhand smoke and cigarette smoke.

We understand the facts, all of us do, but so does the free market. Here in Michigan is a great example of businesses across the state reacting to market pressures. They have to because that is what a business does. In this case, as you know, business is not going quite well these days. In a difficult economy and a competitive environment—the business environment—the number of non-smoking business establishments has grown dramatically over recent years. It has done so as business owners recognize the opportunity to capitalize on those citizens who prefer smoke-free environments.

The market naturally reacts to business trends, and if it doesn’t, our strong-willed Michiganders will find a new place to spend their money. And in the case of the campaign for a smoke-free environment, the market has worked, as citizens continue to vote with their feet and businesses adapt to the demands of the citizens.

And I would note that all of this is happening without a single bit of effort, without a single bit of intervention by the government. There is no question that government does have a right to intervene in certain circumstances. That is not in dispute, but I think we all agree at some point in time we have to draw the line somewhere, which leads me to my concern about the role of government and its slow creep in to our everyday private lives.

Government, in this case, began with regulation of smoking. Then in its infinite wisdom began to mercilessly tax the product, and now government moves to ban its use entirely. This is a consistent pattern of government. It slowly intrudes into the private lives of individuals and businesses and ultimately attempts to govern every aspect of our lives. In effect, government is trying to protect us from ourselves.

As a non-smoker, I understand and appreciate the concern about the smoke and its hazardous impact. I sincerely do, and my heart goes out to all of you who have had relatives who have been impacted directly. But I want you to know that even though I respect the sponsor’s intent, he is a dear friend and I have been on the receiving end of a lot of his internal lobbying—as we would like to call it—over the years, having had the opportunity to sit next to him for so many years. I want you to know, I, as a father, as a husband, over the years make choices every day—personal choices. It is my responsibility to take control of my own life. In this case, I oftentimes choose smoke-free environments if my family chooses to go out. There are plenty out there—plenty. In fact, if you go to smokefreemichigan.org, you will see that there are over 5,000 smoke-free establishments—bars and restaurants—out there for you to choose from, and that list continues to grow at a rapid rate.

I think we have to ask the questions, the obvious questions: When will it stop? How much control do you want? And when will people have to stop thinking for themselves entirely? I personally believe enough is enough. Let’s get back to the fundamentals of government.

Clearly, we have a lot of issues facing this state. Let the free market work. Trust people to make the right decision for themselves, and all the while, control the growth of government. That is our responsibility.

If you agree with me and you do not agree with this proposal in front of you today, I want you to know that I have a proposal that I am prepared to offer after the conclusion of the vote on this to keep this issue alive, to address a proposal that would be a ban across the board but would restore free-market principles. If that is something that you are looking to support, I urge you to join with me today and defeat this bill before you now.

Senator Sanborn’s statement is as follows:

I do want to echo the comments made by the Majority Leader. I think he has done a great job of articulating the position as to how the free market works, and it does, in fact, work. More and more restaurants, by their own choice, are going smoke-free on an even daily basis here in Michigan.

Please forgive me for playing the role of the great Senator Harry Gast, who would have said exactly what was on his mind, but I feel compelled to do so. This is another case of government stepping in and sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. It’s one more case why I love my country, but, God, some days I fear my government.

Senator Cassis’ statement is as follows:

Truly, I think today our Senate has passed legislation with enormous impact on our residents here today and our children and our grandchildren in the future. I want to thank the work of Senator Basham and the fine comments of Senator Jacobs. While I truly respect that some would advocate for protection of a minority of smokers over our well-being and the health of the majority, it is important to recognize some statistics and anecdotal feedback from restaurants around the state show that initially there may be a short downturn, due to smokers who temporarily don’t patronize their

facility—their favorite establishment—but they do come back. Importantly—and I guess I have to say ironically—tobacco has become a tax aphrodisiac in our state to continue spending and not strictly for smoking cessation efforts.

Questions have been raised: What’s the role of government? Well, I remember when I first raised my hand to become a member of the Novi City Council, I did so with great respect for the health, safety, and general welfare of all our citizens. In that regard, since I’ve been a legislator, we’ve looked at helmets—you’ve got to wear a helmet in Michigan if you are on a motorcycle, seatbelts, requiring children to be in safety car seats and booster seats.

So again, on the respect to health, safety, and general welfare, I do believe and I doubt sincerely that today will be the last attempt to uphold health, safety, and general welfare in our state.

Senator Pappageorge’s statement is as follows:

You know, no law is perfect. Certainly, this one isn’t and we spent a lot of time on the Indian casinos which proves that point. The concern always before we do our final vote is to understand and identify as soon as we can the unintended consequences that go with that law. I give you an example. Do we want to put cigar bars out of business? Do we want to end that industry, small as it is? So I would like to see what this substitute is that our Majority Leader spoke about.

Now, procedurally, that’s tough to do because we have to vote “no” on this one to find out what else we might try and do without violating what we’re trying to do here, which is ban smoking in as many places as possible. So I think all of us will be torn on this vote. Do you vote “no” so you can see what the substitute looks like, or do you vote “yes” and never find out if the substitute might have taken care of some unintended consequences? So I would ask you to consider that when you vote.

So, the bill will be passed on to the House.  As of the 14th, it had been tabled for the next session.

Here are some quotes on the bill:

  • “This is a historic opportunity to concur with the Senate and become the 34thstate to protect the public’s health and stimulate the economy.  The Senate took a momentous step today, and I congratulate their leadership.” ~~ Representative Andy Meisner (D-Ferndale)
  • “We’re going to need every Democratic vote, and I’m not sure we have it.” ~~Representative Paul Condino (D-Southfield).  I disagree.  I’m pretty confident that it will pass the House.
  • “I used to be on the wrong side of the issue.  Now I’m on the right side.” ~~Bruce Patterson (R-Canton)
  • “This is overreaching by government into businesses and the lives of individuals.” ~~Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), who said that he allowed the bill to come up for a vote even though he opposed it because it was an issue that the public cared about.
  • The fact that the Senate passed the bill “sends a strong message across Michigan and the nation that we place a high priority on the health of our citizens.” ~~Governor Jennifer Granholm (Democrat)
  • “What’s appropriate in an office building wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate in a bowling alley or a bar.  Those in the hospitality industry need to be responsive to the desires of their customers.” ~~Rich Studley, Executive Vice President of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.  He thinks the legislation is “unnecessary.”
  •  “This country was founded on freedom of choice. To ban everything you don’t like is wrong.” ~~Gerry Schaultz (Ferndale)
  • “I’m all for the ban. Secondhand smoke is a serious health risk.” ~~Corey Davis (Detroit)

Personally, I am with Mike Bishop – this is no place for the government to step in.  If they want to band smoking in parks and sidewalks, go right ahead.  That’s public air, and people shouldn’t have to breathe other people’s smoke, but we’re talking about the government reaching in to PRIVATE businesses and telling them what to allow their customers to do or not do.

And the cigar bar thing is just ridiculous.

I am disappointed in the 9 Republicans who crossed over.  I don’t like smoke either, but I still CHOOSE to go to restaurants where people smoke.  If you don’t want to breathe smoke, don’t go to restaurants where there’s smoking.  Complain to the management and see if they’ll change it, but don’t have the government stick its nose in private businesses.

I’ll keep you updated as the bill continues.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

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In a Surprise Move, John Edwards Endorses Barack Obama

May 15, 2008

Well, I figured that Edwards was going to stay out of this so that he didn’t influence the delegates (so that his delegates wouldn’t go over to Clinton or Obama just because he endorsed one or the other), but apparently Obama is far ahead enough that Edwards figures that Obama is  100% guaranteed to get it.  And Obama essentially is.  At this point, he could kill kittens on live TV and still pull off a win.

Anyway, while in Grand Rapids, Michigan, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama.

The following is the video of the speech, followed by a transcript courtesy of The Centrist Voice (I’d have transcribed it myself like I normally do, but I still haven’t recovered my audio device functionality):

Thank you, thank you. So, the question is — thank you. Thank you. So the question is what am I doing here? You know, I was promised a jet ski. And I hadn’t gotten it yet. I am proud to be here with all of you, proud to be in Michigan, proud to be in Grand Rapids. During the course of this presidential campaign, I’ve gotten to know the candidates and the top candidates very, very well. We have all been out speaking about the causes that are so near and dear to our heart as Democrats. And now we’re here down to two amazing candidates. And before I get too far, I want to take just a minute and say a word about my friend and your friend, Senator Hillary Clinton.

She won’t be your friend much longer.

In the past few weeks, I’ve got — past few months and past few weeks — I’ve gotten to know Senator Clinton very well. We’ve talked. We’ve met in North Carolina. We’ve talked about the things that she cares about, that every single one of you care about: about the men and women in this country who don’t have health care; about the children who don’t have health care; about the men and women in America who just want to have a decent job and go to work. We’ve talked about our own children, our own families.

And what I’ve learned during that time, and I’ve gotten to know her very well, is that she believes with every fiber of our being that America can be a better place, and that we need change to make America what it’s capable of being. And I want to tell you — and I know this is hard to understand sometimes — but it is very, very hard to get up everyday and do what she’s done. It is hard to go out there and fight and speak up when the odds turn against you.

Um, the odds weren’t just against her.  It was as if she had  placed a bet on rolling a pair of dice a total of 1.

And what she has shown, what she has shown, is strength and character. And what drives her is something that every single one of us can and should appreciate. She cares deeply about the working people in this country. She cares about the families who are losing everything because somebody got sick. She cares about our men and women who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan. This tenacity has shown her strength and her determination. She is a woman who, in my judgment, is made of steel. And she’s a leader in this country, not because of her husband, but because of what she has done — because of speaking out, because of standing up.

And we, when this nomination battle is over — and it will be over soon — brothers and sisters, we must come together as Democrats and, in the fall, stand up for what matters for the future of America and make America what it needs to be. And we are a stronger party, because Hillary Clinton is a Democrat. We are a stronger country because of her years of public service. And we’re going to have a stronger presidential nominee in the fall because of her work.

No, you’re really not – you’re going to lose utterly.

Now, what brought all of us here is the profound –

(CHEERS)

What brought all of us together is the profound belief that we can change this country, that there are servicemen and women in Iraq who can come home starting today; that our kids deserve to go to better schools than we went to; that we can run our cars on something other than oil; that we have good jobs that can fill these empty factories; and that the anxiety that all of our people face every day can change when we finally make two Americas one America for every single one of us.

This is why you’re here. You’re here because of the hope that you carry in your heart to make this country better. And we have so much work to do in America, because all across America, there are walls. There are walls dividing the way things are and the one America that all of us want to see. And, in fact, there’s a wall around Washington, D.C. The American people are, today, on the outside of that wall. And on the inside are the big corporations and the lobbyists who are working to protect a system that takes care of them.

And guess who struggles every single day? Working men and women in this country see that wall when they have to split their bills into two piles — one pay now, one pay later; when they get bullied at work, because they want to join a union; when they see disappointment on the face of their son or daughter, because they can no longer pay for that child to go to college; when their CEO gets a golden parachute, and their job gets shipped overseas. And you know something about that here in Michigan — when their wages drop and their kids go hungry. And guess who’s doing just fine? The insiders, the lobbyists, the special interests.

Um, unions have lobbyists too, so you can’t argue for unions but against lobbyists.  That’s contradictory.

Our job, come January of next year, is to tear that wall down and give this government back to the American people. There is another wall that divides us. It’s the moral shame of 37 million of our own people who wake up in poverty every single day. In a nation of our wealth, to have millions of Americans who work every single day and still can’t pay their electric bill and pay for their food at the same time. There are mothers out there working two jobs every day to try to keep their kids from going to bed hungry. There are men and women who have worked hard all their lives, so that they can try to buy a home. And they’re living in a tent city, because they got nowhere to go.

This is not OK. And for eight long, long years, this wall has gotten taller. Yesterday, I was in Philadelphia. And I was announcing an initiative to cut poverty in American in half in the next ten years. And I am proud to say, today, that Barack Obama stands with me in this cause. We also have a wall that divides our two public school systems in America. It is not OK that a child born into a wealthy family gets the best education in the world. And a child born in a small town or the inner city barely gets by. Their education is our education. We’re going to fix that system for them and make these schools work for everybody.

I’ll agree with him here – not his methods, but the principle.

How about health care, right? The big drugs companies, insurance companies, HMOs, the politicians who take their money, they’re getting their way. And they love that wall just the way it is today. Well, it’s going to be gone as soon as we create real and meaningful universal health care for every man, woman and child in America.

Yeah, that wall will be gone, and so will the possibility of a decent health care system.  McCain’s plan of encouraging competition is MUCH better.

And there’s also a wall that’s divided our image in the world. The America as the beacon of hope is behind that wall. And all the world sees now is a bully. They see Iraq, Guantanamo, secret prison and government that argues that water boarding is not torture.

I’ll give him Iraq.  And McCain is against water boarding and other means of torture.

This is not OK. That wall has to come down for the sake of our ideals and our security. We can change this. We can change it. Yes we can. If we stand together, we can change it.

“Yes we can” – that gets so freaking annoying.

(CHEERS)

And the reason I am here tonight is because the Democratic voters in America have made their choice, and so have I. There is one man who knows and understands that this is a time for bold leadership. There is one man that knows how to create the change, the lasting change, that you have to build from the ground up. There is one man who knows in his heart that it is time to create one America, not two. And that man is Barack Obama.

SO LONG CLINTON!

(CHEERS)

This is not going to be easy. It’s going to be the fight of our lives. But we’re ready, because we know that this election is about something bigger than the tired old hateful politics of the past. This election is about taking down these walls that divide us, so that we can see what’s possible — what’s possible, that one America that we can build together. Barack Obama understands that to his core.

Oh, it’s going to be REALLY easy … for us!

You know, as I’ve traveled this country, as I’ve learned from traveling this country, from talking to students like those that we took to New Orleans, who volunteered their spring break to go to New Orleans to work to help rebuild the city; a former Army captain that I met who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, even after he was badly injured at a grenade attack. And I’ll never forget a man I met named James Lowe who was born with a cleft palate that kept him from being able to speak. And he had no health care coverage and lived for 50 years in America not able to speak, because he had no health care.

It’s sad, but that’s not the government’s job.  Did you pay for Mr. Lowe’s health care?  No.  So then why do you expect me to pay for it?  You’re MUCH richer than me, and you argue against rich people keeping lots of money for themselves.

What I’ve learned, and what Barack Obama has learned, this campaign is about them. It is about you. It is about the people. It is not about us. And that is what we are fighting for.

If it’s all about them, you’d set a campaign spending limit and give some of the money back to them.

(APPLAUSE)

And it’s about the one America we’re going to build for them. One America, where Main Street is strong; one America, where struggling towns come back to life, because we finally transformed our economy by ending our dependence on oil; one America, where the men and women who work the late shift, who get up at dawn to drive a two- hour commute, and the young person who closes the store to save for college. They will actually be honored for that work. One America, where no child, no child, goes to bed hungry; when we finally end the moral shame of 37 million Americans who wake up every day in poverty.

(APPLAUSE)

One America, where we finally start tackling the real health care crisis in America; one America, with one public school system, where a boy in the city and a girl in the suburbs will wake up every day with an equal chance to a quality education. One America, that rebuilds our moral authority in the world, not just with our strength, but with our soul. One America, where the walls will fall, when the war in Iraq ends in 2009, and our servicemen and women –

(APPLAUSE)

And our servicemen and women will come home to the heroes’ welcome that they deserve. And we will take care of our veterans. We’re going to get this part of the war right. We will never again stand by while men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States of America stand in line and have to wait for health care. We will never stand by while 150,000 men and women who wore our uniform, veterans, go to sleep every night on grates and under bridges — not in our America, not in our America, and not in our America when Barack Obama is president of the United States of America.

There won’t be an America when he’s President, because he won’t BE President.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, we’ve been in this kind of place before. In times of war, great depression, deep divisions that tore at the soul of this nation, we came together. And we went to work to make sure that we passed on a stronger and better country to our children. We will meet this challenge again. This is who we are. This is our moment. This is our time to take down these walls, to close our divide, and build one America that we all believe in. If you want that, if you believe in that, then join me in helping send Barack Obama to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; because we believe that in our America –

(APPLAUSE)

Because what all of us believe, what all of us believe, is in this America that we love so much, no matter who you are, no matter who your family is, and no matter what the color of your skin, none of those things will control your destiny; and that that one America that I’ve talked about is not only possible, but it will be achieved under President Barack Obama starting in January of 2009. Thank you. God bless you. I’m honored to be here with you. Thank you, all.

So, there you go.  All chances for Clinton are officially over.  She’s done.  But, she won’t drop out – she’ll keep fighting.  I don’t think she’ll take it to the convention anymore, but she’ll at least take it to June 3rd.

And that is why McCain will win.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Councilwoman JoAnn Watson Pleads With Kwame Kilpatrick to Resign: “Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit”

May 15, 2008

Alright, so here’s what happened:

JoAnn Watson had been in talks with the Mayor since the weekend, trying to get him to resign.  She had even called him as late as 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, right before the city council met, where they voted on 2 ways of ousting him.

After the meeting, and the votes to oust Kilpatrick, Watson’s aides gave her a piece of paper, a message from Kilpatrick urging her to reconsider her vote.  The council adjourned, and she went down to talk to Kilpatrick face to face.  She went in to his office, and after 15 minutes, reporters saw Sharon McPhail, former councilwoman, turned wanna-be mayor, turned aide to the man he ran against.

Watson had asked the mayor, again, to resign.

She told reporters what she had been telling him all along, “I urged him to resign if the council voted.  I even said, ‘If there are issues around vesting your pension, I’m happy to play a role in assisting with that.’  He called back while I was in session.”

She went back to her office, ate lunch, and hoped Kilpatrick would call.  She told reporters, “If he calls, I’ll answer, but if he doesn’t put it in writing, I’m not going to reconsider [my vote].”  She would wait until 2:30, when the council would reconvene, and hear what she thought.

She told reporters as she waited, “He’ll call,” and he did call.  As she talked in her office with the door wide open for the reporters to hear, here’s what was heard:

“You’re a young man.  You can come back.”

“It’s not for us!  It’s not for us, Mr. Mayor.  It’s for the city!”

“The City Council had nothing to do with it.”

“‘When yall gonna take care of that?’  That’s what people ask me.”

“Mr. Mayor, we don’t want to!  We want you to help the city move on.  Help the city move on!”

“Didn’t Marion Barry [the former Washington, D.C. mayor who was busted for using crack] come back?  He resigned and came back!  You can resign and come back.”  Well, Barry didn’t lose the city millions of dollars.

“Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit.  That’s why I’m begging you to resign.”  HOLY CRAP!  Well, that’s racist.  If I said, “Nobody wants a black man in Lansing to decide the fate of a white man in Ohio,” everybody would swarm me and I’d never be able to run for public office.

Then, Cockrel knocked on her door and told her that the council couldn’t wait any longer, and she hung up the phone.

She left her office and told reporters that she would not be changing her vote.  After the meeting, she sat in her office, when her aide told her, “You showed everybody how much of a chance you gave him,” but Watson replied, “It’s not about us.  It’s for the city.  The city deserves better, and who wants to be saddled with this drama for the next weeks and months?  We have work to do.  I’ve got to fight to get the incinerator closed.  I’ve got to fight for summer job right now.  All you have to do is look at the faces around the table.  Nobody’s happy with it.  There’s no dancing in the streets over this one.  I said to him, ‘Resign.’  [He said] ‘I can’t.  How will I fight?’ … If you’re thinking about using the mayor’s office to raise money for the defense fund, that’s not going to work anyway because the council will be watching every vendor you bring forth to see if they contributed.’ … This business is painful for me.  It’s painful.  My overwhelming concern is for the city, not one person.  And  as a city official, I must look at the big picture, and citizens don’t deserve to be submerged in this business any longer.”

She told reporters, “I perceived movement.”

She said that she doesn’t believe Kilpatrick’s lawyers when they say that there never was any movement, “He said it would  look like he was giving up.  I said no, it would look like he was stepping up.  It acknowledges that the city is bigger than you.”

As of late Tuesday, the pair had not had any more conversations.

I honestly don’t even know why she tried.  It’s obvious that Kilpatrick doesn’t have the city at heart.

I am somewhat (not completely – it’s the Detroit City Council, I’ll never be taken completely by surprise by anything they do) shocked that she admitted that one of the reasons he should resign is so that a white governor doesn’t step in and decide what happens to a black “man.”  I can’t honestly call him a man – he acts like some gang animal.  With all of his parties in Washington, D.C., and his attitude of being a mayor, he doesn’t deserve to share the tile of “man” with me and others.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit City Council Votes to Boot Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Out

May 15, 2008

On Tuesday, the Detroit City Council narrowly voted to oust Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, after investigations showed that he perjured in a whisteblower trial.

The council voted as follows on having the governor oust the mayor under her power, having the council itself remove the mayor and censure the mayor:

  • Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. – Yes, Yes, Yes
  • Sheila Cockrel – Yes, Yes, Yes
  • Brenda Jones – Yes, Yes, Yes
  • Kwame Kenyatta – Yes, Yes, Yes
  • JoAnn Watson – Yes, Yes, Yes
  • Council President Pro-Tempore Monica Conyers – No, No, No (no surprise here - her husband is an idiot, why wouldn’t she be one too)
  • Barbara-Rose Collins – No, No, Yes
  • Martha Reeves – No, No, No
  • Alberta Tinsley-Talabi – No, No, Yes

And here’s some quotes from various council members:

  • “I think it places additional pressure on the mayor to consider making a move.” ~~Ken Cockrel, Jr.
  • “Part of what makes city government work is an element of trust.” ~~Sheila Cockrel
  • “My vote reflects my love for our city, not hatred for our mayor.” ~~Brenda Jones
  • “His removal is a necessary step towards excising the malignant tumor … within the city of Detroit.” ~~Kwame Kenyatta (Honestly the best analysis of the situation.  All the others have been WAY too kind to Kilpatrick.)
  • “I have an absolute belief that the best scenario out of all of this is for the mayor to resign.” ~~JoAnn Watson (And you thought that you had convinced him to resign, but you didn’t.)
  • “This is going to cost the city a lot of money and it’s going to cost the city a lot of time.” ~~Monica Conyers (When did we decide to sacrifice justice for money?  If we never tried any criminals, all of the governments would save money.  This is the most ridiculous excuse out there, and it shows just how dumb Conyers is.)
  • Removing the mayor “sets a bad precedent.” ~~Barbara-Rose Collins
  • “The council’s no further ahead with that vote than  we were before we took it.” ~~Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (Is that a reason to vote against it?)

So, what happens now?

  • The governor could remove the mayor.
    • Within the next week, the council will send a sworn statement to Granholm’s office asking her to remove the mayor.
    • The governor’s office will have a meeting with the state’s attorneys to look into the complaint.
    • Assuming that the complaint has followed the proper protocol, Kilpatrickwill be served with a copy of the complaint and and notification of a hearing.
    • If it is found that the mayor engaged in official misconduct, Granholm would have to open removal proceedings, but there is no set timetable that would accompany the process.
  • The council could remove the mayor.
    • The council will hold a public hearing on June 13th.
    • A trial would take place sometime after the hearing.  This would last about 2 weeks.
    • The council would vote on removal.
    • Kilpatrick’s attorneys could block the effort in court.  He could also appeal his removal in court.
  • Kilpatrick could resign.
    • I’ll wake up from a really weird dream, hit the snooze button, and hopefully dream about some fun vacation in San Antonio (it’s a GREAT city – you should go sometime).

So, what’s likely to happen?

  • I DOUBT the governor will step in.  She has said that she doesn’t want to, and Detroiters (especially African Americans) would NOT look kindly upon the “intrusion.”  If you ask me, Detroit needs a good intrusion.  L. Brooks Patterson should annex Detroit and whip it back into shape.
  • I REALLY DOUBT that the mayor will resign.  JoAnn Watson pleaded with him to resign, and that got nowhere (I plan on doing a blog post specifically on her plea, sometime later today).
  • The council will probably vote to remove him after the hearing, but Kilpatrick will appeal it, showing that he really doesn’t give a rip about the city, making them pay more money, to oust him for a crime that he and his mistress committed during a trial where he cost the city $8 million.
  • Wayne County Prosecutor Kym worthy will probably build a good case and he’ll be found guilty in a criminal court.

I’ll keep you updated as things happen.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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