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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Speculation, Scuttlebutt, and Surprises

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 05:58:12 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan Banana Republican Party, 30th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, poisoning the party brand, creeping progressivism, executive-grade arm-twisting, constitutionally-restrained government, Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, integrity argument, causa provocare, liberty-minded network, acta non verba, empowered grassroots operation, sending a message, politician paper training, corinthian scales vs. absolute standard, "Mastermind" vs. "Oracle", Rick Snyder, GoverNerd, Nerd King, Slick Rick, mister thirty-six percent, Mr. 36%, MIGOP convention rule 22, MIGOP Policy Committee (all tags)

    I've been a more-or-less regular contributor to this site since June 28th, 2008, and more than once I've referenced John F. Kennedy's admonition that those who insist on making a peaceful takeover impossible ultimately make takeover by revolt necessary.  Without variation, that reference has been in the context of yet another ham-handed move, by the blueblood elites that populate the state party's halls of power, to shut down the voice of the grassroots volunteers and convention delegates.

    Just in case the bluebloods weren't paying attention, the August 2010 State Convention, the May 2012 State Convention, and the February 2013 State Convention sent a pretty consistent message that the rank and file are beyond fed up with party leadership (both internal and publicly elected) behaving like their priority is staying in power rather than in delivering results consistent with the party platform.  However, what came out of the State Committee (specifically, the Policy Committee) over the weekend didn't do anything to advance a détente.  Realistically, the net result may have been to provide the liberty-minded network with a primary target that heretofore wasn't even on the radar.

    Let me start with a little "save the date" note:  The Michigan Republican Party 2014 State Convention will be held on Saturday, August 23rd, at a location not yet determined.  Keep that handy for future reference.

    Before I get into the meat of what I want to discuss, I'd like to backtrack a bit to a National Journal article from February 7, 2013.  Apparently, while we were more focused on the run-up to the February 2013 MIGOP State Convention, the GoverNerd was already tacking left and massaging his donor network to prepare against a potential primary fight.  And even then, party insiders were invoking the "corinthian scales fallacy" to claim that the republican base would look at passing right-to-work, stopping the SEIU "dues skim," blocking the forced unionization of graduate students, approving teacher tenure reform, and three straight balanced budgets approved three months ahead of deadline; concluding that, on balance, reelecting Snyder isn't such a bad proposition.

    In doing so, the party elites confuse the liberty-minded network with the typical low-information voter.  The network isn't likely to forget that Slick Rick vetoed expanded concealed-carry permits, vetoed strengthened voter identification policies, vetoed greater legislative oversight of executive memorandums, and signed an executive agreement with Ontario to build the NITC/DRIC Bridge (bypassing the state legislature).  Nor will they forget that, back in August 2010, the Nerd King "won" the republican gubernatorial primary with a plurality of only 36.40%, and that it's an open question as to how he'd have fared in a runoff against Pete Hoekstra, given that 36.73% of the votes cast in the primary went to someone other than the top two (who were separated by 9.53%).

    If Snyder's "reforms" are to be balanced against anything, according to the network, they ought to be balanced against the reality that he initially resisted all of them, and didn't change his position until it was politically profitable to do so.

    The most recent approval / disapproval rating for Snyder that I'm familiar with is 40% / 52%.  This is the same poll, by the way, that has Mark Schauer currently leading by four points statewide, even though Schauer only has 38% statewide name recognition.  Coupling those two facts with the observation that Schauer leads by an average of 2.8% in all hypothetical head-to-head polling since mid-December, I can see why Stuart Rothenberg over at Roll Call recently made the decision to add Michigan to Florida and Virginia as a "pure tossup" campaign (squaring with Larry J. Sabato of UVA's Crystal Ball and Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report).

    I suspect that a guy who won election by a margin of 18.21% would prefer to start his re-election campaign somewhere other than in a three-point hole, but it is what it is.  Precisely how vulnerable Snyder is to a primary challenge isn't definitively known just yet, but the scuttlebutt that he's effectively self-primarying is really starting to gain some traction.

    This brings me to last Saturday's State Committee meeting, and specifically the Policy Committee meeting, at which a rather interesting rules change was proposed.  Keep in mind that rules change that you see at the link was neither the original proposal nor the one that was finally passed out of committee.  The original proposal was to give the gubernatorial nominee sole and exclusive executive discretion to choose his running mate; no challengers, no floor nominations, nothing.  Thankfully, wiser heads on the committee prevailed.  What actually passed was something like this:

    • The filing deadline for all 2014 convention candidates (executive, educational, and judicial) is Tuesday, May 13, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The Affidavit of Candidacy shall be a form prepared and provided by the Policy Committee and submitted to the State Party Chairman.  This includes any challengers to the Lieutenant Governor nomination.

    • A candidate who misses the filing deadline can override that deadline by obtaining the signatures of at least seven (7) district chairs.  Also, a non-incumbent republican gubernatorial nominee - do they actually think Snyder's that vulnerable? - can submit his own candidate, as long as it's done before Friday, August 15, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    • Anyone who hasn't filed by Friday, August 15, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, can still run (if their paperwork is otherwise in order), but must do so as a write-in candidate.

    Now, this still has to be ratified by the full State Committee at their September meeting, which will occur during the Mackinac Conference.  That it was even brought up at all is . . . fascinating.  I hadn't considered the possibility that Calley was vulnerable to ouster.  Now, I'm sorta compelled to consider it.  Who would we run for that, anyway?

    Now that the concept is out there, I want you to consider that, in this context, we need to be cautious of anyone who steps up and claims to be "the challenger to the establishment" and announces a challenge to Calley, should Snyder survive a primary challenge (or not face one at all).  If the Second Executive is truly as vulnerable as this rule change makes him appear, and if the "replace Calley" scuttlebutt picks up any credible traction, then I can guaran-damn-tee you that a "false flag" challenger will show up, it'll only be a matter of whom, when, and how long.

    In the meantime, thanks Mr. Wellday, for giving me a heads up on something that wasn't even on my radar.  Consider it in my project hopper.

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    An important clarification . . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kevin Rex Heine on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:06:43 PM EST
    . . . was pointed out to me by a friend who sits on the Policy Committee.

    • Each of the section of the proposed rules change was a separate vote in-committee.

    • On the first bullet point in my original article, the filing deadline and the source of the form were separate votes.  The committee voted (nearly unanimously) to be the source of the Affidavit of Candidacy.  Normally, this is done by the State Party Chair, but Schostak made such a stink out of it during discussion that the committee approved the change just to tweak his shorts.

    • On the second bullet point in my original article, the committee voted (nearly unanimously) to strike the "non-incumbent" clause.  That means that, should Snyder win re-nomination next year, he still has to submit Calley's name in writing by the August 15th deadline in order to have him properly considered by the convention delegation.  (That assumes that Calley isn't foresighted enough to file his own paperwork in May.)

    • Item "D" of the proposed change was struck in its entirety, by a unanimous vote if I remember correctly.  The opinion of the Policy Committee is that a vacancy of this nature ought to be filled by a floor nomination at convention; that's what the delegation is there for.

    For what my opinion is worth, this makes the implications of that countdown clock in the upper left corner (and its relation to this clock) all that more interesting.

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