Posts Tagged ‘1st District’

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.

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.


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