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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    The Michigan Republican Convention Round-up

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:03:02 PM EST
    Tags: Conservatism, Michigan, Republicans, Convention, Colleen O'Brien, Jane Markey, Dr. Rob Steele, Dan Horning, Todd Courser, Melanie Kurdys, Jeff Sakwa, Melanie Foster, Michael J. Busuito, Satish B. Jasti (all tags)

    We have a good slate for Michigan going forward.

    The result of Saturday's Michigan Republican convention was very conservative, and very consistent with tea party and traditional values that have been notably lacking in recent years.  Add to this a solid backing (almost purposefully noticeable) of candidate Kerry Bentivolio in the 11th district, and it should be clear that some folks are starting to pay attention to the grassroots.  And those grassroots are now becoming more fully vested in the party, and changing from within.

    The slate?

    Michigan Supreme Court Justice:
    Stephen J Markman - Incumbent
    Brian Zahra - partial term incumbent
    Colleen O'Brien - new nomination

    State Board of Education
    Todd Courser - New
    Melanie Kurdys - New

    MSU Trustee
    Melanie Foster - Incumbent
    Jeff Sakwa - New

    U of M Regent
    Dr. Rob Steele - New
    Dan Horning - New

    Wayne State University Board of Governors
    Michael J. Busuito
    Satish B. Jasti

    The Michigan Supreme Court pick was an interesting one for a number of reasons.  We have seen much of the criticism of either O'Brien or Markey on RightMichigan.com, and frankly it was undeserved.  Both candidates represented a conservative rule of law perspective and the nomination of Colleen O'Brien should not disappoint anyone.  I tried to refrain from affecting the discussion and was particularly neutral and trying to look at qualifications and overall perspective.

    I carried that neutrality into the convention and had no reason to specifically support either candidate, and was not worried about the outcome other than a bit of a nasty back and forth with passed out literature left in the seats for attendees.  There were good people I knew supporting either candidate.  After listening to both candidates in caucus, re-looking at notes, talking to friends who supported either candidate, reviewing caseload, history, etc., my decision to support a single candidate started to develop.  I even spent 20-25 minutes speaking with justice Stephen Markman.

    Saturday Morning found me leaning Jane Markey.

    continued Below the fold

    And then something came up.  Multiple times.

    Originally, Dave Agema was going to nominate Jane Markey who was holding as a 20 point underdog to the SC Chief Justice endorsed candidate Colleen O'Brien.  Then something came up.  Agema still a supporter was replaced by Tea Party activist Trucker Randy Bishop.  Bishop, with less than a half hour to go before the nomination decided he would not be making the nomination speech.  Again, this was not a changing of support, but something significant enough to torpedo what was expected by Markey to be an effective speech and endorsement of the appellate judge to the high court nomination.

    I asked, and was honored to make the nomination.  But even prior to that, had another hurdle facing the nomination 5 minutes prior to going on stage.  the stage manager had yet another person's name on the list of nominees and said "no way." She was "NOT going to change the name of the nominating person again".  I had to explain that I was the person going on stage, and that they can use whatever name they wanted.  She relented, and though responding as if she had been threatened, the show went on.

    I made that nomination, using notes scribbled in 3 minutes on a piece of paper found backstage.  The MiGOP for its part was accommodating to the process, and as someone standing on stage it was hard to not feel a changed sense of inclusivity.  I found myself championing a candidate only hours earlier discovered as the better of the two available.

    As noted, Colleen O'Brien prevailed in that contest, and Jane Markey's efforts, though seeing a surge, did not see it come soon enough tightening up by only a few points.  Under funded, and facing highly organized opposition it was a nomination not meant to be. Speaking with the Wiz on the floor afterward, we both agreed that many if not most of the voters probably do not know why they are voting in a particular way on these judicial races.  That most of the results do arrive from political means. (Wiz, please correct me if I read you wrong)

    The State Board of Education was an interesting race where the arguments were well met, and politics met its match with desired policy.

    As it turned out, Nancy Danhof, an eight year Republican incumbent on the Michigan board of education, was targeted by conservatives because of her support of the common core state standards.  the CCSS is seen as a top down federal control of education by our schools.  Both Courser and Kurdys oppose common core and support school choice that gives parents the option to match their children's needs to schools that will meet them.  Courser in particular unique as a home schooling parent who brings a perspective not currently on the board.

    MSU Trustee candidates Jeff Sakwa and Melanie Foster easily won nominations with an implied alliance of sorts.  Anne Norlander, a qualified candidate as well, found herself facing a pretty well established base of support for the competition.

    Dr. Rob Steele and Dan Horning easily won the U of M Regent nominations.  This in spite of two other fine candidates, Carol Ann Fausone, and Charles William Kauffman, who had great background and perspective as well.  Fausone, a decorated veteran, and Kauffman arguing the case of technology drain from  U of M.

    It should be noted that the theme of Michigan students priority, as well as constitution education were arguments made by the winners in these two university nomination contests.

    There was no competition nor arguments for the nomination to Wayne State.

    The convention also had a vote on some of the referendums. The ones in bold were brought up for a vote by delegates. Proposal 1, affirming PA4, and 2 and 4 on whether we Republicans as a party oppose those initiatives.

    Proposal 1: Referendum on the state's Emergency Manager Act. - About 92% support.
    Proposal 2: Proposal to amend the MI Constitution to increase power of public unions and increase our taxes by a minimum $1.2 Billion  - 99% supporting a fight.
    Proposal 3: Proposal to amend the MI Constitution to increase the price of electricity throughout the state by mandating that 25% of our electricity be provided by clean renewable energy sources by 2025.  - Oh yeah.. never mind, it wasn't brought up.
    Proposal 4: Proposal to amend the MI Constitution and force home health care workers to pay union dues  - 99% supporting a fight
    Proposal 5: Proposal to amend the MI Constitution to require two-third of legislature to pass a tax increase.  - Not brought up as well
    Proposal 6: Proposal to require a vote by citizens before funds can be expended on any international crossing. - No stand on this either.

    But the slate should be seen as the foundation for better governance going forward.

    It should be noted, proposals 2 and 4 will be get out the vote vehicles for Democrats this year.  Pete and Mitt will have to work a bit harder, or even some of these great folks will not be spared a fight at the polls.  Its always been hard to counter the unreasoning stranglehold of liberalism, but conservatives in the flavor of Reaganism have done it before.

    In the end those conservatives, grassroots, and frankly anyone in Michigan will be well represented by those selected by the delegation on Saturday.  The make up of the convening crowd was markedly different than at some other times in the past, in that it was more accepting of the new (old) ideas more closely aligned with traditional Republicanism, and conservative ideals.

    Now we need to move that slate forward in November.

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    Interesting. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by KG One on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:35:17 PM EST
    "Proposal 5: Proposal to amend the MI Constitution to require two-third of legislature to pass a tax increase.  - Not brought up as well

    Proposal 6: Proposal to require a vote by citizens before funds can be expended on any international crossing. - No stand on this either."

    Two items that should have been no more than a housekeeping vote...and nary a peep?

    There's a reckoning coming, and it doesn't look pretty...

    Some of the themes mentioned during the clip sound vaguely familiar...

    Why the decision to support Markey? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by InksLWC on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:13:54 AM EST

    • Experience by JGillman, 09/11/2012 07:24:25 AM EST (5.00 / 2)
    Well said, Jason (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by The Wizard of Laws on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 07:59:05 AM EST
    I think you grasped events accurately, Jason.  

    The convention is inherently political, so when it comes to the judiciary, many of the delegates think that nominating certain judges means they will render politically favorable decisions.    That, emphatically, is not what it means.  Rule of law means rule of law, without regard to the outcome, e.g., the ballot proposal cases. We're nominating referees to follow the rules coldbloodedly, because the opposite of that are judges who decide cases based on their personal whims and feelings.  Unpredictable, unreliable laws = chaos.

    Bob Young came into our caucus at the convention and spoke about the ballot decisions.  His initial reception was, um, cool, but as he explained what "rule of law" meant in this context and connected personally with the delegates, I saw a few light bulbs going on, and he received more enthusiastic applause at the end.  I also had a chance to speak with Brian Zahra, who is (a) extremely smart and (b) the world's nicest guy.  These are good people and excellent judges.  We're lucky to have them, and if we bail on them because we don't like a decision or two, we're "courting" disaster in the form of the Democrat nominees.  Short-sighted and stupid.  

    I concur that we have a good and very interesting slate.  A home-schooler for the State Board of Education?  Only in America.  November will be very interesting, indeed.

    By the way, Jason, nice job filling in as Judge Markey's nominator.  Always good to see you and talk to you.

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