Posts Tagged ‘Oakland County’

2011 Michigan Redistricting: Gerrymanderliscious

June 22, 2011

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, but I figured this topic is important enough to warrant a return to the blogging world (even if it’s a brief return).  The Michigan Legislature recently released their maps for the 2011 redistricting.  For reference, here are links to the current boundaries:

Now, those were created by the 2001 Legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, and signed into law under Republican Governor John Engler.

They’re not bad, and look pretty good.  This year, it seems as if the Republican members of the Legislature have gotten a little more ambitious, and a little more creative.  So let’s take a look at what they’ve proposed.  Here are links to PDFs of all 3 maps, and I’ve copied the images below, where I’ll analyze them:

This first map is the proposed Congressional districts:

And here’s a zoomed in image of the Metro-Detroit area:

I’ll admit – I cringed when I saw the 14th district, and the 11th district isn’t exactly pretty either.  They’ve got some awkward separations, like putting Farmington Hills in the 14th, but keeping Farmington in the 11th; putting Bloomfield Hills in the 11th, while placing Bloomfield Township in the 9th; Southfield Township is placed in the 9th, while Southfield City ends up in the 14th; Clawson is split up; and Rochester Hills is split up.

In an attempt to squeeze Democratic Congressmen Sander Levin and Gary Peters into the same district and force a primary between the two, saving the Republicans from losing a seat, the map has turned into something I like to call gerrymanderliscious.

But it gets even more creative as we move on to the Michigan Senate map:

And again, a zoomed in view of the Metro-Detroit area:

For the most part, this one isn’t too bad until you get to the Metro-Detroit area. District 1 is incredibly awkward, as is District 6. But the really weird ones are 14 and 25.  You can’t see it on my uploaded images, but if you view the original map at 100% zoom, you can see that Springfield Township and Waterford Township just barely overlap for the 14th to be contiguous.  As for the 25th district, I’m guessing they’ve just connected them along a strip of County Line Road, but I’m not positive.

So that brings us to the state House of Representatives:

And again, a zoomed in view of Metro-Detroit:

And a zoomed in view of Grand Rapids and the southwest corner of the state:

The House map isn’t too bad, other than more awkward county splits than I’m really comfortable with. The Grand Rapids area looks pretty decent, although 86 is a bit wacky. And Metro-Detroit looks pretty good with the exception of the 13th.

So, by far, my biggest complaints are with the Congressional map, but what was really sad was the Republicans claims that they had to draw the lines like that to abide by the Voting Rights Act, which mandates 2 majority minority districts for Michigan.  That’s just nonsense.  There are plenty of ways to draw the lines so that you have decent looking districts that obey the VRA.

Obviously Democrats Sander Levin and Gary Peters weren’t happy with the maps, but even Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is unhappy with the map, because as of the current proposal, Oakland County, the second most populous county in Michigan, would be represented by people who all live outside of the county.

Now, gerrymandering can be a lot of fun; I enjoyed playing around and making this little beauty for Maryland:

Photobucket

But when it comes to ACTUALLY redistricting, our legislature shouldn’t be drawing crap like this for partisan gain. Doing so takes the focus off of the good things the Republicans have done in Michigan and tells voters, “We know you voted for us in 2010, but we don’t trust you for the next 10 years, so we’re gonna cheat to win.”

Am I advocating that the legislature adopts a plan where we have 14 districts and each one is competitive at a 50-50 level?  Absolutely not; that’d be ridiculous.  The GOP won in a landslide in 2010, so it’s expected that the maps will favor us, but there’s no need to mangle the maps the way they’ve done.  That’s just petty politics, and when the people of Michigan see that, it gives them a bad image of the party.

Mike Bouchard Announces Terri Lynn Land as His Running Mate

September 16, 2009

Earlier today, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard made a major campaign announcement: Secretary of State, and former Gubernatorial candidate, Terri Lynn Land would be joining his campaign as his official pick for Lt. Governor.  I first heard the news  a little after 9 this morning, but I’ve been in class until now.

Bouchard posted the following on his website earlier today:

Oakland County- Mike Bouchard, Republican candidate for governor, today announced his selection of Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land as his lieutenant governor running mate, citing her successful record of improving services for Michigan residents while cutting costs.

“Terri Lynn Land’s innovative leadership proves that state government can control spending while offering Michigan residents more,” Bouchard said. “From day one as Secretary of State, she looked to cut costs and make her department more efficient. I look forward to working with Terri as my lieutenant governor to fix Lansing so Michigan can get back to work.”

Bouchard, a former state lawmaker who now serves as Oakland County sheriff, made the announcement at press conferences in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing. After the visits, Bouchard and Land launched a bus tour that will take them across Michigan to talk with state residents.

“I’m honored to join Mike’s campaign to turn Michigan around and again make it a national leader in job creation,” Secretary Land said. “His willingness to make the right decisions for Michigan now instead of focusing on the next election is exactly what Michigan needs. He has the knowledge, experience and backbone to get our state back on the right track.

“As both a sheriff and state senator, he has shown he believes that government should live within its means by reducing spending and cutting taxes.”

As Oakland County sheriff, Bouchard leads one of the nation’s largest sheriff’s departments with 1,200 personnel and has used creative ideas to save taxpayers’ dollars. Oakland County now saves $1.6 million a year because of his efforts to privatize the jail’s food services. As a state senator, his record of accomplishment includes protecting families by leading the push to create the Michigan Sex Offender Registry and passing laws that reduced the state’s real estate transfer tax, saving taxpayers to date over a billion dollars. He grew up in Oakland County and has three children with his wife, Pam.

Before becoming secretary of state, Land served as Kent County’s clerk and register of deeds. Highlights of her time as secretary of state include revolutionizing the branch office environment and employing the latest technology so Michigan residents, whether as voters or branch office customers, can expect fast, efficient service. She has two children with husband, Dan, and lives in Byron Center.

Land sent out the following e-mail:

Dear Friend,

As you remember, I offered my endorsement of Mike Bouchard back in June.

I told you then that Mike Bouchard had the diverse background both legislatively and administratively to fix Lansing so Michigan can get back to work.

Back then, I told you that Mike was a proven vote-getter; that I believed his experience winning a statewide primary in 2006 would be key to his success in November 2010.

Well, I’ve learned a lot in the past few months.

After spending the summer on the road with Mike, I’ve realized that he is even more impressive than I had originally thought.

First of all, Mike is an incredible campaigner.

Mike is tireless. After seven years on the road, I’m used to traveling the highways and byways of this state. Believe me, I know a “road warrior” when I see one! Mike loves connecting with people, learning what they care about, and sharing his vision with them. I am confident that he has the instinct and the heart to win both the primary and the general next fall.

Mike gets it. As a former leader in the state senate, Mike has experience working with the legislature, and as Oakland County Sheriff, he knows how to get things done administratively as well. But Mike is also a businessman. He has signed the front of a paycheck; not just the back. He understands firsthand that Michigan is hurting right now, and what it will take to start the healing process.

Finally, Mike is ready. I’ve been in this business a long time, and I know that sometimes a candidate may have all the “right stuff” on paper, but will have a hard time making that transition once they take office.

Not Mike Bouchard. Mike is ready to lead on Day One.

And Michigan can’t wait for its next governor to waste any time. Our families don’t have the luxury of waiting for our next governor to adjust to a learning curve. We need help now.

For those reasons, I am so pleased to join his team officially as his pick for Lt. Governor.

We believe that my experience traveling the state, streamlining services, keeping a balanced budget and delivering world class service even in these tight economic times will give Mike an advantage when we take office in January 2011.

I am so honored to be part of this team.

I am confident that we have the work ethic, the ideas and the passion to fix Lansing and get Michigan back to work!

Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing you soon on the campaign trail!

Sincerely,

Terri Lynn Land

Bouchard also held a press conference earlier today in Detroit, saying:

I am really excited to have her on board. Terri Lynn Land’s innovative leadership proves that state government can control spending while offering Michigan residents more.

The people of the State of Michigan see what happens to their tax dollars.

I am willing to be a one-term governor if that is what it takes to fix Michigan. It is long overdue. They have been forestalling tough decisions for the past 6 1/2 years.

Personally, I think this is a great move for Bouchard.  I think everybody knew this was coming.  I predicted it back in June when Land dropped her bid for Governor and endorsed Bouchard.

This will have the biggest impact on Pete Hoekstra, the Republican Congressman from the 2nd District.  Land is also from the West side of Michigan, and her place on a Bouchard ticket will probably impact Hoekstra the most, but we’ll see.

With the addition of a big name like Land’s to the Bouchard ticket, I would put Bouchard as the frontrunner in this race; however, we still have just under a year until the primary, and a LOT of things could happen before then.  This race is far from over.

I’ll continue to follow the candidates and the race, so make sure to check back here for my analysis on the race as we continue to get closer to the primary.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

Terri Land Ends Bid for Michigan Governor & Endorses Mike Bouchard

June 25, 2009

Earlier today Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) held a press conference where she was expected to announce her intentions to run for Governor in 2010.  Instead, she announced that she was putting and end to her exploratory committee and was endorsing Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.

The following is an excerpt from her comments during the press conference:

I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration as a Republican candidate for Governor in 2010.  To my colleagues seeking the nomination, I wish you the best of luck.  The challenges ahead are great.  I believe Michigan needs a leader like Mike Bouchard.  I’ve worked with Mike for many years.  I have always been impressed with his ability to make tough decisions.  And I also appreciate his resourcefulness and grit: Mike is a real bulldog who won’t let challenges go unmet.

We’re both worried that our kids will be forced to leave Michigan to find jobs.

Mike realizes that it took a long time – and a lot of bad decisions – for our state to get here.  He knows that there aren’t any easy fixes or simple solutions to turn things around. Mike will do what’s right rather than what is popular.  And that’s the kind of leader we need to get Michigan working again.

And here’s some of what Bouchard said:

I’m really happy to have Terri’s support – it means a lot to me and my campaign.  Terri’s well respected across the state.  She’s a consensus builder who isn’t afraid to make the touch choices.  From day one as Secretary of State, she looked to cut costs and make her department more efficient.  We need more leaders like Terri who are working to turn our state around.

Terri’s endorsement is another big step forward for my campaign.  She is respected across the state as a true leader.  As Governor, I know that by working with leaders like Terri, we will fix Lansing so Michigan can get back to work. 

When asked “Where will you look for a Lieutenant Governor?”

Bouchard responded, “One [candidate] who would be and should be on anyone’s short list is standing here,” as he nodded toward Land.

The two also released the following video:

If you would’ve asked me who I honestly thought would win the race, I would’ve said Terri Land, so this comes as a shock to me.

But I think I may see where she’s coming from – a lot of people have said that as a woman, she’d be disadvantaged in the race, since she’d be running right after Granholm, who’s seriously screwed up the state.  Personally, I don’t think people will blame the state’s problems on electing a woman governor, but I may be putting too much faith in Michigan voters.

I think this move does tell us one thing though: Mike Bouchard has most likely picked a running mate, and I’m willing to bet that that running mate is Terri Land.

I was still undecided as to who I was supporting, but Land was up toward the top for me, and now that both her and L. Brooks Patterson have dropped out, I’m pretty much back to square one for figuring out who I’ll be backing.

I’ll continue to cover the race up until Election Day in 2010.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

Detroit City Council Session Turns Crazy: Complete with Racism and Hymn Singing

March 9, 2009

Well, if people already didn’t think that Detroit City officials were wacky, this is sure to change their mind.  I heard about this driving home for spring break this weekend, and decided that I HAD to write something about this.

On Febraury 24th, the Detroit City Council voted against transferring Cobo Hall to the Detroit Regional Convention Authority.  Cobo hall is in need of expansion and repair (the roof leaked on some VERY expensive cars this past weekend at Autorama).  On March 4th, Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr. vetoed the council’s vote.  On Thursday, the council called an emergency session (president Monica Conyers called the session) to override the veto.  Well, that wasn’t legal, so nothing really got done there.  An injunction against that veto will most likely be submitted, probably today, and the Council is meeting again tonight.

Now, on to the fun part.  The first video I have for you is from WDIV (Channel 4-NBC).  This is Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins going off on how Detroit cannot give up Cobo Hall to the Regional Convention Authority (a group of 5 people – 1 from each of the counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, 1 person appointed by the mayor of Detroit, and 1 appointed by the Governor):

http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/18865456/index.html

Next we have the video of Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (and she’s joined by Councilwoman Martha Reeves), courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Here Collins defends what she said in the meeting and accuses Oakland County L. Brooks Patterson of being a racist, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Finally, here’s L. Brooks Patterson defending himself and sharing his views on the situation, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Now, this just goes to show how sad of a state the Detroit leadership is in.  Barbara Rose-Collins is pretty much the very definition of a racist idiot.  She claims that Brooks Patterson called her a monkey.  He never did that.  He said that “instead of making decisions about the zoo, they ought to be in the zoo.”  Collins and other racists on the Council took that to mean that he was calling them monkeys, and Collins refuses to work with Patterson today because he won’t apologize.  Well, he has nothing to apologize for in my opinion, because he did NOT call anybody a monkey.

If he had compared the councilmembers to monkeys, even I would demand an apology from him.  Do you know how heartless and mean of a thing to say that is?  If I were a monkey, I would have been devastated!  All joking aside, Brooks Patterson did nothing wrong – he simply stood up to the council and showed how ignorant they were.  But he’s white, and most of them are black, so that makes him a racist in their eyes.

I have one other factual error to correct.  Collins talks about his involvement as a lawyer defending bus bombers in Pontiac.  She claims that he defended NAG, who bombed school buses.  Well, that’s also untrue.  For more about that, see the Detroit News piece on that: http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=161.  I’ll go into quick detail – NAG was the National Action Group, and they opposed busing in Pontiac.  Well, the Ku Klux Klan bombed some school buses.  Patterson represented the head of NAG, Irene McCabe, but neither NAG nor McCabe were ever involved with the KKK bus bombings.  Collins here again twisted the facts to make Patterson look like a racist, but it is COLLINS who is the racist.

It’s not secret that I have great respect for L. Brooks.  Oakland County is one of the most successful counties in the nation, and it’s a county in one of the economically worst states.  Sure, his humor gets him into trouble, but it makes me laugh – I liked his jokes about Collins.

Anyway, I hope that Cockrel’s wish comes true, and Cobo is handed over to the Regional Convention Authority.  We’ve seen before that Detroit leadership ruins more things than it fixes, and I think Cockrel sees that here.  Hopefully his veto stands, and we can move on to fix and expand Cobo Hall.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit’s Bond Rating Now Matches the City: Junk Status!

January 8, 2009

Well, here’s more bad news for the city of Detroit: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services downgraded the city’s bond ratings to junk status.  The ratings on approximately $2.4 billion of unlimited and limited tax debt were cut to BB.  They had formerly been BBB and BBB-, respectively.  S&P analyst Jane Hudson Ridley told reporters that the new rating “reflects a downward trend in some revenue sources that has made balancing operations difficult and the continued difficulty in assessing the city’s financial position, given its chronically late audits and its historical tendency to end the fiscal year with results that compare unfavorably with initial projections.”

The downgrade could mean higher interest rates for the city, but it also allows investors with which the city engaged in credit swap agreements to request a payout from the city.  That payout could total up to $400 million.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. told reporters, “We are resolved to ensure that Detroit is financially stable.”  Right.  I’m sure that means a lot to the citizens of the city who’s bond rating was just downgraded.  He later continued, saying, “Ultimately the only way to deal with the problem is to fix it.”  Yes, Mr. Mayor – the only way to fix a problem is to fix it.  Who elects these people?

Joseph Harris, the city’s chief financial officer told reporters that city officials are putting together a plan so that creditors won’t demand their money.  He said, “We won’t be able to come up with $400 million.  We don’t expect anyone to ask us for $400 million.  What we expect them to ask us for is some guarantees or some assurances.”

You mean guarantees like, “I didn’t cheat on my wife and cost the city millions of dollars in a whistle-blower lawsuit”?  Oh wait, those guarantees were false.

Irvin Corley Jr., the City Council’s fiscal analyst, told reporters, “I would think they would understand that the city is not in a position to come up with $400 million.”  So, wouldn’t that make them want their money ASAP even more?

The reason S&P downgraded the status, was that the city was turning in yearly audits late.  This comes after former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had about S&P raising the city’s rating from negative to stable.  Cockrel shares a different sentiment, saying that S&P officials feel that they were deceived by the city.

Harris continued his chat with reporters, saying, “We’ve got to put together a budget whereby our revenues either equal or exceed our expenditures.”  HOLY CRAP!  A budget where you bring in more money than you spend?  IS THIS LEGAL???  The fact that the city’s CFO has to actually say that statement troubles me.  Isn’t it common knowledge that you’re expenditures should be lower than your revenues, otherwise you LOSE MONEY?  Seriously, where do these people come from?

Perhaps Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel will be able to enlighten us.  After telling reporters that this is “as serious as you can get,” she said that “We as a City Council, as a community and as a group of city leaders are going to have to address the fundamental restructuring of city government.”  That might have been the smartest thing any city official said on the issue.

But in all seriousness, this is just sad.  Sure, other cities (New Orleans, for example) are in the same situation, but that doesn’t excuse it.  The city of Detroit needs COMPLETE overhaul.  I still say Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson the Great should just annex Detroit and become Supreme Ruler of it so that he can clean it up a bit.  I don’t know, maybe I’m asking for too much.  Maybe a balanced budget just isn’t in the cards for Detroit.  Maybe Detroit’s fate dooms it to utter disaster.  But maybe, just maybe, this isn’t a problem of fate or stars or cards, but a problem with GOVERNMENT, a corrupt government to be exact.  If Detroit cleaned up it’s act, I guarantee that it could get a better bond rating.

But Detroit can’t do this when it’s citizens continue to vote scum like Kilpatrick into office.  Detroit, the blame, for now, rests on your own shoulders – it’s your dumb mistakes at the ballot box that cost you this time, and now, it’s up to you to fix it.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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It’s All Tied Up in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District!

October 23, 2008

Here’s my latest post on The Race for Michigan’s 9th District:

A poll that came out from Mitchell Research & Communications (done earlier in October) shows that the race for Michigan’s 9th Congressional district is all tied up at 43% each, which leaves 14% for undecideds and other candidates (who’ll probably get around 4-5%).  So that leaves around 10% still up for grabs.

To be honest, I never would have guessed that this race would be this close.  Which is why my plea to conservatives in Oakland County is more important now than ever: GET OUT AND VOTE!  I’ve hears some people say, “McCain pulled out, so my vote doesn’t matter anymore.”  Well, there’s 2 things wrong with that statement:

  1. You’re vote always matters.  I’ll give you 2 examples from my life: 1) Theresa Lannen, a friend of mine, ran for City Council a few years ago and won by ONE vote and 2) My grandfather, Clyde Inks, ran for school board back in the 60’s.  The original results said that he had lost by 8, but after a recount, he was found to be the winner by 2 votes.  So don’t go out and tell me that your vote doesn’t matter.  It does.
  2. There are VERY important races other than the race for President.  In this case, the Congressional race is HUGE.  Joe Knollenberg has been one of the best Representatives that Oakland County and Michigan has ever had, and to lose him because of a lack of voter turnout would just be an INSULT to him for all the service that he has given to Oakland County and the entire state.

If Oakland County falls, whether that be Representative Knollenberg or the County Commission, the state will no longer be a purple state.  Heck, we’re barely considered purple now.  I was just at a forum last night, and the subject was brought up, “Are we a blue state now.”  The majority of the panel said we probably were, but the point was brought up that we still have a Republican delegation in the House, and we still have a couple of large Republican areas (sure you still have Ottawa and Kent Counties, but combined, they’re only a little more than half as big as Oakland).

If Oakland slips fully into the hands of the Democrats, we will see this state go from falling in a recession to plumetting into pure disaster.  The only good thing that may come from that is the election of a Republican governor in 2010, but do we really want our state to have to flat line before we achieve that?  Absolutely not.

So, what can you do?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. Donate to the campaign, right at Joe’s website.
  2. Sign up to volunteer, right at his website.  But don’t just stop there.  Get out and do stuff.
  3. Go pick up a bumper sticker and yard sign.  Show people who you’re supporting.  Show them how important this election is to you.  Stand up for Oakland County.  Stand up for this state.  Stand up for your ideals.  Stand up for principles.  Stand up for what you believe.  Stand up and fight.  Don’t sit idly by and just let this election happen.  Take a stand, and don’t back down.
  4. Get out and vote.  If you don’t do this, it’s a smack in the face to everybody who has worked so hard to keep the 9th District in the hands of a good conservative representative.  But more importantly, it’s a smack in the face to those who have sacrificed to guarantee that right for you.  It’s a smack in the face to our troops who have died defending that right.

With your help, Representative Knollenberg can win this election.  It may not be easy, but I have confidence that he will pull win.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Millage for Detroit Zoo Will Pass

August 5, 2008

As of about 11:10 P.M. EDT, here are the results for the millage for the Detroit Zoo:

Wayne County (needs 60% to pass) with 933/1236 (75%) precincts:

  1. Yes 122,742 76%
  2. No 39,401 24%

Oakland County with 408/541 (75%) precincts:

  1. Yes 99,355 77%
  2. No 29,181 23%

Macomb County with 322/394 (81%) precinct reporting:

  1. Yes 64,413 67%
  2. No 31,088 33%

So, it’s officially passed.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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I’m a Republican, And I’m Voting For a Tax for the Detroit Zoo

August 4, 2008

Well, this is a decision that wasn’t exactly easy for me to make, but now that I’ve made it, I’m confident that I  made the right decision.  I have decided that I will vote for the 0.1 mill to help fund the Detroit Zoo (a copy of the proposals can be found below).  The zoo is located in Oakland County.  The mill would be imposed for 10 years, from 2008 through 2017.  If it passes, it is expected to raise a total of $14,968,031.11 if it passes in all 3 counties, as it is expected to.  It would cost a taxpayer with a $200,000 home (market value) about $10.  And that’s the main reason I voted for it: it’s a low tax, but it’ll help the zoo, which is loved by many in the area, and it’s in financial trouble.  If, down the road, it recovers, they may not need the money.

Zogby International did a poll for the zoo officials, and the results were that it would pass in all 3 counties,  with 71% supporting int in Wayne County, 70% in Oakland County, and 65% in Macomb County.  The sample was 300 likely voters in Wayne, 303 in Oakland, and 302 in Macomb, with a margin of error of +/- 5.8%.

WAYNE COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY

The Wayne County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008, and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of the County of Wayne. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real property and personal property to provide revenue for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all taxable property located within the County of Wayne be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017. It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage will generate approximately $5,299,640.48 in 2008.

or

OAKLAND COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY

The Oakland County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008, and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of Oakland County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017. It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage will generate approximately $6,474,597.63 in 2008.

or

MACOMB COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY MILLAGE

The Macomb County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008 and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of Macomb County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue to an accredited zoological institution for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017? It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage would generate approximately $3,193,793 in 2008.

I’m usually not one for taxes, but I think that it’s worth it here.  I’d encourage everybody in the Tri-Counties area to vote for this proposal in the August 5th Primary.

Done Endorsing,

Ranting Republican
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Teachers Sue Detroit Public Schools for Firing Them Illegally and Disobeying a Court Order

July 17, 2008

Here’s a story that I wanted to break last night, but because I only heard 2/3 of the story when the 2 teachers went on the radio, I decided to hold off until a newspaper article was printed, so I could catch the whole story.

The husband and wife teachers, Steve Conn and Heather Miller are suing the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) “to finally put an end to the Detroit Board of Education’s witch hunt against them.”  They claim that they “have had to endure” a “yearlong attack … at the hands of the board and DPS administration and [violations of] their First Amendment rights of free speech.”

The pair was accused of allowing students to be put in danger during a protest against school closings that the pair participated in at Northern High School in May of 2007, according to (at the time) school board president Carla Scott.  DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said, “These are two individuals who knowingly and against parental permission took children out of school and put their safety at risk.”

Doyle O’Connor, an administrative law judge for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, ordered DPS “to cease interfering with employees’ rights to pursue grievances, hold union office or participate in lawful public protests.” (Source: Detroit News)

DPS ignored that ruling and fired the teachers, who had previously been placed on administrative leave.

One quote that I did get while listening to the radio (WJR 760) was from Steve Conn: “DPS is not above the law.  They must follow the judge’s order and put us back into the classroom.  This is going to end up costing the district millions of dollars it simply cannot afford, all because a few board members want to silence us and stop us from exposing the conditions in the schools.”

And I ABSOLUTELY agree.  This is the reason that DPS is broke.  It’s people like Connie Calloway who refuse to admit when they’ve made a mistake (or when they’re wrong), and they’re driving the system into the ground.  They waste money on stupid court cases like this.  So they go more into debt, meaning that they cut more schools and teachers, meaning that more kids leave, so they get less money, so they go more into debt…

It’s a cycle that’s never going to end until Detroit as a whole gets its act together and shapes up.  Either that or annex it to Oakland County, give L. Brooks Patterson sole control over it (so no Detroit government whatsoever), but Detroiters would never go for that “because people like Kwame are our friends.”  Bull crap.  Half the Detroiters (the half that reelected Kwame after all the scandals he had in his first term), DESERVE what’s happening now.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Gas Prices Are Too High, and Joe Knollenberg Has a Plan to Fix That

June 19, 2008

Alright, this is the next segment in my series on  the race for Michigan’s 9th District.  Although it doesn’t directly tie into what’s going on in the race, gas prices are rising and that’s making it an important issue (especially considering the current economy).

Knollenberg himself, outlined a plan to reduce gas prices, saying, “These high gas prices are totally unacceptable.”

Knollenberg held the press conference with House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO).  Blunt shared Knollenberg’s thoughts about adding to the refinery capacity for refineries in the U.S., to stop placing oil into natural reserves, urging foreign countries to increase their oil output, and accessing oil resources under public land and water through environmentally safe methods, saying, “It’s foolish not to use the oil and natural gas both [under] the ground and in deep water.”

But, Knollenberg (like anybody who knows something about energy), doesn’t want to simply rely on oil.  He has supported wind and nuclear (my personal favorite – I’ve been a HUGE advocate for nuclear power) power plants as well as conserving energy at home and on the road (through simply turning off lights to carpooling).

Knollenberg introduced The New Bridging Industry and Government Through Hi-Tech Research on Energy Efficiency Act, the “New Big Three Act,” which will promote more energy efficient technology, both in the public and private sectors.  Among other things, the act would:

  • Provide $750 million in grants over 5 years for research and develop advanced vehicle batteries.
  • Provide $250 million over 5 years to add hydrogen fuel stations to existing gas stations.
  • Spend $150 million over 3 years for the government to purchase hydrogen vehicles.
  • Help auto makers meet federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Knollenberg showed confidence in his plan, saying, “My plan will turn the tide [and] bring gas prices back to reality.”

The law is currently being reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee, and Knollenberg is expected to push for a vote on the floor later this week.

Personally, I think it’s a great plan.  Although I’d like to see more of a push for nuclear power, many people don’t like nuclear power, and it suffers  from the “just not in my back yard” argument more than any other type of power.

Although I don’t know his policies, I’m fairly confident that Knollenberg’s opponent, Gary Peters, would side with most of the Democrats in their proposed tax on the oil companies, which will do nothing for consumers and only hurt workers of the oil companies.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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