Archive for the ‘2012 Election’ Category

MIGOP 1st District Vice-Chair Calls for “Purging” Gays from the GOP

April 1, 2013

Yesterday, a shockingly extreme blog post written by Michigan Republican’s 1st District Vice-Chair Mary Sears was posted on the Schoolcraft County Republican Party’s website by the site’s administrators.  The post is titled, “End Of The GOP?”, and its premise is, “For too long the GOP has misinterpreted the big tent idea of Ronald Regan [sic].”

UPDATE: Since yesterday, the site administrators have placed the following disclaimer: “The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. While every caution has been taken to provide our readers with most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog.”

Toward the end of the post, Sears writes, “How then can we as Christians stay in a party that adopts Homosexuality [sic] into the fabric of the tent. I say we cannot. Homosexuals make up less than one percent of the total population. They must prey on our children to increase their numbers. Why then, would we, as a party, entertain this perversion? We as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent. When we lose track of foundational principles we lose the very essence of our party. By throwing God under the bus we become nothing more than the poor Democrats who have lost their way and by doing so have lost their party.”

Let’s focus in on that middle sentence… “We as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent.”  We as a party should be purging homosexuals and sending them to the Democratic Party?  Does that strike anyone else as wrong?

Now let’s take a look at the Republican Party platform… you know, the one that was adopted by the Republican National Committee last year and represents what Republicans nationwide believe: “We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.”  And what was it that Ronald Reagan said?  Something like, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally, not a 20 percent traitor.”

Clearly Sears’ idea of purging gays from the party fits neither with Reagan’s ideology, nor the GOP’s platform.  And that’s fine if it’s her personal opinion, but this woman represents the 1st District Republican Committee.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the Schoolcraft County GOP administrators posted that post on their blog–with no disclaimer of any kind.  A county GOP committee endorsing district executive board member advocating the idea of purging people from the party based on one issue?  That seems extreme, to put it lightly.

It also seems counterproductive to one of the stated purposes of the County Committee in its bylaws, which is to “benefit the general welfare of the Republicans of Schoolcraft County”.  In 2010, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals accounted for 3% of the vote, and 29% identified as supporting Republican Congressmen.  In 2012, they accounted for 5% of the vote, and 22% identified as voting for Romney.  The County Committee’s goal is to benefit the party, yet they support “purging” a group of voters So we should purge a group that adds 1% of the vote to the GOP column?  And while 1% doesn’t sound like a lot, why would you willingly ostracize a group of people who are trying to help you?

It is one thing to defend traditional marriage–something that remains a part of the party’s platform.  It is an entirely different thing to call for “purging” gays from the party because they are a “perversion” in the minds of some.  Ms. Sears seems to have ignored the party platform clause that calls for “respect and dignity.”  Traditional values can be defended in a respectful and dignified way.

We as a party cannot afford to lose any voters, and I welcome any gay, lesbian, or bisexual voter who agrees with even 51% of the party platform (for that matter, I welcome anyone who is willing to vote for Republicans more often than Democrats).  And to any gays, lesbians, or bisexuals reading this, let me tell you that Ms. Sears and the Schoolcraft County GOP do does not speak for the Republican Party that I believe in and defend.  And that is why I believe it is so important to write what I am writing today.  The members of the GOP who are embarrassed and offended by the hatred coming from some in our party need to stand up for what is right and defend what is actually in the party platform–respect and dignity.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

UPDATE: When I wrote my original post, the SCRP’s blog had the header, “Published March 31, 2013 | By SCRP“. Since then, I have talked to the chairman of the SCRP who has informed me that while the post was posted by “SCRP” (they should probably create a “Guest” account to post unofficial blog posts), they post opinion pieces from many people, and blog posts do not represent the SCRP.  I have since edited this post by striking out anything that has been revealed to be inaccurate.  I still think the original post should have been taken down by the SCRP, as it blatantly violates the party platform, but the SCRP has put a disclaimer up and posted a copy of this blog post.

Michigan Proposal 1 of 2012: The Emergency Manager Law

October 25, 2012

Back in 2008, I went through and analyzed each of the proposals, so I figured I would do that again.  And there’s no better place to start than Proposal 1.

To start off, here is the actual ballot language:

PROPOSAL 12-1

A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 4 OF 2011 –

THE EMERGENCY MANAGER LAW

Public Act 4 of 2011 would:

  • Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts.
  • Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials.
  • Require EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved.
  • Alternatively, authorize state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.
  • Should this law be approved?

YES ____

NO ____

Now, in 2008, I analyzed the whole text of the amendment, but since this is a referendum on an already-passed bill, I’m going to skip that, and go straight to my analysis.  A copy of the full text can be found here.

Emergency managers are not new to the state.  This is actually a bill that amends Public Act 72 of 1990.

There were two major criticisms of the original law:

  1. Emergency financial managers were put in when it was too late.
  2. Once they were put in, they could do too little.

So, the Legislature tried to remedy this.  They added more triggers for when an emergency could be declared, and they gave the managers more powers.

Two of the powers the managers were given were especially controversial: the ability to remove elected officials from the municipality, and the ability to change or void collective bargaining agreements that the municipality had entered into.

Unions especially hated the latter provision, and they characterized it as a means of union busting.  But ultimately, it was a necessary provision, because time and time again, in struggling school districts and municipalities, unions have refused to give concessions, even when keeping their current contracts means the municipality will go bankrupt (and then, ironically, they would not get paid at all).  It was the stubbornness of the unions that made the provision necessary.

The second criticism was that it removed citizens democratic rights to elect their municipality leaders.  Ultimately, this is not a Constitutional right guaranteed to the people of Michigan.  The ability to hold municipal elections is not a Constitutional provision, and the state can take this privilege away if it so chooses.

My criticism was unlike these two and had to do with the expansion of when an “emergency” took place.  It included a clause that essentially said that an emergency could be defined as when the state executive branch says it’s occurring, and I viewed this as an overstep by the executive branch (although it did have weak limited checks and balances).

So that was my reason for initially thinking I would vote, “No”.  But as I thought about it more, I realized that my opposition was the minority opposition, and if it failed, it would fail because of provisions that I thought were good.  And if the law failed, it probably wouldn’t be introduced again.  Ultimately, there is more good in the law than bad, and I believe that the Legislature can (and should) fix the law if it passes the referendum.  The problems in the law should be fixed in the Legislature, not at the ballot box, and that is why I am supporting Proposal 1.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

Michigan Primary Prediction and Statistical Analysis

February 28, 2012

It’s been a while since I updated this, but I figured this would be fun.  I made my primary prediction for Michigan late last night and here’s the breakdown I went with:

Santorum – 40%
Romney – 39%
Paul – 11%
Gingrich – 9%
Others – 1%

Then today, I decided to look at the recent polls for Michigan.  The first poll I went with was starting on February 12, since anything before this wouldn’t factor in Santorum’s triple win in Missouri, Colorado, and Minnesota.  I made a scatter plot of Santorum – Romney:

I then added 2 trendlines. The first one (red) was a linear trendline which I knew wouldn’t be reflective of Santorum’s momentum recently. I plotted the second (green) second order polynomial trendline, which did a decent job at predicting his momentum, but I noticed that the relatively low lead he had right after his triple win was skewing the results a bit lower.  Those polls are so old that they don’t correctly account for what’s going on now with just a simple second order polynomial.  So I put in the third (purple) trendline, which was a third order polynomial.  This correctly factored in his slow start to gain momentum, but looks like it drastically overestimates it at the end.

So I thought, how can I better examine Santorum’s momentum.  I took out the polls right after Santorum’s triple-win, which I thought weren’t representative of the momentum he gained, then lost, and regained, and got this plot, with the red representing a linear trendline, and the green representing a second order polynomial:

This plot matched up almost perfectly with my predictions (which I wasn’t expecting it to turn out just like that), but I think accurately portrays the general momentum Santorum has had since his triple win.

Ultimately, gauging the momentum a candidate has is hard to do, but I think the second order polynomial in the second graph accurately portrays Santorum’s momentum.  Ultimately, both of these models could end up being wrong, and there’s no perfect algorithm to predict voters, but the results of my second model, I believe, accurately portray Santorum’s momentum, and cement my confidence that Santorum will have a close victory over Mitt Romney.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican


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