Archive for April, 2014

Filing Deadline; TODAY,…Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 3:30 pm – Become an Antrim County GOP Precinct Delegate!!!

LAST DAY to file your one (1) page form,….”Affidavit of Identity” with the Antrim County Clerk!!!

Affividavit of Identity

 

Affidavit of Identity for Precinct Delegate 2014

That’s all it takes to represent your local precinct in this very important upcoming election.  Get your name on the August 5th primary election ballot, join the ACRP (if you’re not already a paid member), attend a couple of Saturday morning training sessions, get yard signs and candidate handouts for your neighbors and agree to attend a County Convention.

Here are the remaining number of Antrim County’s available precinct delegate positions that are currently open in each Township;

Banks; 7 – 2 = 5

Central Lake; 8 – 8 = 0

Chestonia; 2

Custer; 5 – 4 = 1

Echo; 3 – 3 = 0

Elk Rapids; 11 – 14 = +3

Forest Home; 8 – 2 = 6

Helena; 4 – 3 = 1

Jordan; 3 1 = 2

Kearney; 7 – 2 = 5

Mancelona #1; 5 – 1 = 4

Mancelona #2; 4

Milton; 10 – 6 = 4

Star; 3 – 2 = 1

Torch Lake; 6 – 8 = +2

Warner; 2 – 1 = 1

Congratulations to Echo, Elk Rapids and Torch Lake Townships who have already filled their precinct delegate positions!  

Additionally, as of 4:00 pm on Monday, May 5th, 2014,…we have 56 Precinct Delegates filed,…the most in the history of Antrim County Republican Party!!!

Help us recruit other Republicans to fill all of these positions, before the deadline!!!

 

 

 

 

 


Bolger urges action on $500 million road funding plan: ‘It’s time we stop talking, start doing’

Potholes in Bay City January 2014
A car rolls over a pothole on Center Avenue near the intersection with Madison Avenue in Bay City Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (Yfat Yossifor | The Bay City Times) (Yfat Yossifor | The Bay City Times)

Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.comBy Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com 
Follow on Twitter
on April 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM, updated April 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM

ROAD FUNDING PROPOSAL

The new proposal calls for the following changes, with projected 2015 revenue amounts in parenthesis:• Repeal the 19 cent-per-gallon tax on unleaded gas and 15-cent diesel tax and replace them with 6 percent wholesale taxes. ($47 million from the diesel tax based on $4 per gallon fuel; the unleaded change wouldn’t bring in more money if gas costs $3.55 per gallon.)

• Apply the newly purchased vehicle value immediately upon transferring a license plate. Motorists would have to pay the difference in vehicle registration fees between their old vehicle and new one at the time of the plate transfer instead of waiting until their registration expires. ($20 million)

• Increase the permit fees for overweight and oversized vehicles. ($4.5 million)

• Permanently dedicate a portion of the existing 6 percent sales tax collected on fuel to roads. This would take money that otherwise would have gone to the general fund, but it would not impact money reserved for schools and local governments. ($130 million)

• Permanently dedicate 1 percent of the 6 percent use tax to roads. The use tax is paid mostly by businesses when sales taxes are not charged on out-of-state purchases. ($239 million)

• Send late payment fees from vehicle registration to road funding instead of the general fund budget. ($10 million)

• End special discounts that allow for different vehicle registration fees. For example, farmers get discounts on their farm trucks, but they also receive a discount for passenger vehicles. ($5 million)

Source: Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger

LANSING, MI — Michigan lawmakers who spent the past three weeks working in their home districts returned to Lansing on Thursday with what they described as clear marching orders: Start fixing the roads already.

If the message from constituents wasn’t loud enough, House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) suggested the morning commute should have served as a bumpy reinforcement.

“It’s time we stop talking and start doing” Bolger said in testimony before the House Transportation Committee, where he urged action on a recent proposal that would dedicate an estimated $450 million to Michigan roads and bridges next year and up to $500 million annually by 2018.

“If you drove in this morning, you experienced what our constituents experience. And that is potholes. That is roads that are crumbling.

“While we had a particularly harsh winter, that is not the cause of what we’re facing. It simply highlighted what we’re facing. And that is long-term underinvestment in our infrastructure. Long-term underinvestment in our roads.”

Bolger’s plan, developed through a series of meetings that included House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), would change the way vehicle fuel is taxed and devote a portion of sales and use tax revenue to Michigan roads. He hopes to win legislative approval by the summer, when lawmakers wrap up work on the fiscal-year 2015 budget.

Even supporters acknowledge the plan would not solve Michigan’s road funding crisis — some estimates peg the need at upwards of $2 billion a year, and Gov. Rick Snyder has called for at least $1.2 billion annually — but they believe it is a politically-feasible step that could lay the groundwork for a comprehensive solution in the future.

“We’re hopeful that by pushing this plan, this will break the logjam on this difficult issue and start the legislative process to a full, comprehensive plan,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. “However, we feel it’s not enough. This plan puts forward less than a quarter o what we need on an annual basis.”

The nine-bill package would repeal existing fuel excise taxes and institute a 6-percent wholesale tax. Replacing the current 19-cent gas tax would not immediately increase revenue but would allow collections to rise or fall with price, inflation and demand. Replacing the 15-cent diesel tax would increase revenues and match the proposed tax rate paid on unleaded gasoline.

Most of the increased funding — — an estimated $339 million a year, per House Republicans — would be realized by permanently dedicating a portion of sales tax currently collected at the pump, along with a fixed percentage of use tax revenue already collected on out-of-state purchases.

Michigan is among a small handful of states who charge sales tax on fuel purchases. As a result, motorists here already pay more at-pump taxes than those in most other states, but none of that sales tax revenue goes to roads. The sales and use tax proposals seek to maintain dedicated revenue streams for schools and local governments while tapping money that currently goes to the general fund.

Other revenue-boosting bills would authorize MDOT to move forward with public-private partnerships, eliminate registration exemptions for some specialized vehicles, devote late payment feeds to roads and require motorists to pay any registration fee differences when transferring a plate to a new vehicle rather than waiting until they renew.

The plan would also increase permit fees for overweight or oversized vehicles. Michigan has the highest weight limits in the nation but requires trucks to spread their weight over multiple axles in order to reduce road wear. While others have called on the state to lower limits, Bolger said that would simply result in more trucks on the road as companies split their loads between drivers.

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle agreed. “You’d have two drivers. Two engines. Twice as much emissions and more congestion on the roads,” he said.

Steudle also offered support for various cost-saving proposals designed to expand competitive bidding and performance contracting for road projects at the state and local levels. Townships would be authorized to require competitive bidding by counties if they are providing at least half the funding for any given project.

While lawmakers received the plan with open ears, Rep. Brad Jacobsen (R-Oxford) questioned why it did not address the fact that electric vehicles owners avoid fuel taxes, and state Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) suggested a mismatch between increased warranty requirements and a plan that won’t actually provide enough money to improve roads to needed levels.

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday was set to consider a fiscal-year 2015 budget that includes approximately $245 million in one-time transportation funding in order to realize maximum federal match dollars and fund state and local road projects. Bolger’s plan would make those dollars permanent and add additional resources moving forward.

A comprehensive solution that includes new revenue sources remains — at least for now — elusive. Increased fuel taxes and registration fees, as previously proposed by Snyder, are highly unlikely in an election year, and House Transportation Committee Chairman Wayne Schmidt (Traverse City) said there are no plans for lame-duck action.

“I think this is a great starting point, and I think doing nothing is not an option,” said Rep. Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser), minority vice chair of the committee. “Michigan has, obviously, weather impediments that we can’t control. Salt and water is our worst enemy, but our lack of investment has produced what we have now.”

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him, find him onFacebook or follow him on Twitter.


WHAT A DIFFERENCE TWO WEEKS MAKE

Greg MacMaster for State SenatePRESS RELEASE April 17th, 2014 KEWADIN, MI — On April 3rd, House Transportation Chairman Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) participated in a press conference and issued a press release announcing a transportation reform proposal. (A reproduction of Schmidt’s actual press release headline and press conference photo are attached to this email.)
 
Two weeks later, during a radio interview with WTCM-AM 580, Schmidt repeatedly distanced himself from the very proposal he helped unveil. (Excerpted audio of Schmidt’s repeated distancing of himself from the proposal is attached to this email).
 
What changed? On April 10th, Schmidt let slip during an interview with Bridge Magazine that the transportation reform proposal was just “the first bite,” and that while the proposal was revenue neutral for now, “lawmakers could increase the fuel tax in a lame-duck session.”
 
Schmidt’s implication that a second bite could come during a lame duck session ignited a firestorm of controversy that the third-term legislator had a secret plan to raise the gas tax, which would violate Governor Rick Snyder’s (as well as Schmidt’s) pledge to support greater government openness and transparency.
 
The governor subsequently distanced himself from Schmidt’s comment, saying during a radio interview with WTCM-AM 580 that he hoped the issue could be addressed now. (Excerpted audio of the governor’s comments are attached to this email).
 
While Schmidt’s gas tax position has been all over the map during the past two weeks, State Rep. Greg MacMaster (R-Kewadin) has been clear: A tax increase should be a last option, not a first impulse. There are alternatives available, including proposals by members of the Senate as well as legislation introduced by MacMaster. Additionally, before a discussion of a tax increase is even considered, taxpayers deserve to know exactly why roads are in the shape they’re in despite the fact that they’re already paying the 6th highest gas tax in the country.
 
Finally, exactly one year ago yesterday Schmidt told MIRS “I’m not going to fool people. There’s going to be an increase to get the roads in better shape.” Does the Transportation Chairman still believe that? What does he believe? It’s hard to tell from his all-over-the-map comments of the past two weeks. State Rep. Greg MacMaster believes the time has come for the Transportation Chairman to come clean with Michigan taxpayers regarding his intentions with the gas tax.

 

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ACRP March 17th, Meeting’s Minutes

Antrim County Republican Party Meeting’s Minutes

Monday, March 17, 2014 Forest Home Twp. Hall

7:32 p.m. Meeting called to order by Chairman – Randy Bishop, Prayer led by Jim Gurr

Pledge of Allegiance, Introduction of Executive Committee Members.

Approval of January 20th, ACRP Meeting Minutes:

Motion to approve – Jim Gurr: 2nd. by Dr. Richard Hoadley.   Approved without objection.

 Treasurer’s Report – Laura Bogdan: Corporate Account: $xxxx.xx

State Account: $xxxx.xx

Announcement of Vice Chair – Lori Luckett’s resignation as of 2/25/2014.

Randy Bishop made motions to make; Laura Bogdan – Vice Chair (2nd Betsy Aargo,)

and Tom Sommerfeldt – Treasurer; (2nd Brad Brown).

Motions passed unanimously by the paid members who voted.

Chairman’s Report – Randy Bishop, announced goal of increasing ACRP membership to 100 paid members. Asked members to each recruit three new members. Stressed importance of getting Terri Lynn Land, elected to the U.S. Senate. Land polling ahead of Gary Peters in last five polls, two were conducted by the Dems.

By increasing and educating members, we need to encourage people to run for Precinct Delegate. Must file with Antrim County Clerk, by May 6th. deadline. As Chairman of ACRP, Randy has prepared the Apportionment Plan for Antrim County, to be submitted to the County Clerk and State MRP.

After Precinct Delegates are elected, ACRP will hold a training session. Number of delegate positions by township: Banks Twp. gets 7, Central Lake 8, Chestonia 2, Custer 5, Echo 3, Elk Rapids 11, Forest Home 8, Helena 4, Jordan 3, Kearny 7, Mancelona Precinct One 5, Mancelona Precinct two 4, Milton 10, Star 3, Torch Lake 6, Warner 2.  Delegate positions have never been filled.  Goal is to have all 88 delegate positions filled this year. Currently we have 24.

Jim Gurr: Explained who delegates nominate at our state party conventions.

The MRP has taken Obama’s technology and improved it.  New website migop.org provides access to activities, meetings, Dash Board,  to Get Out The Vote. Will be able to access the names of every Republican, registered to vote in your precinct. Plan for Delegates to be at their polling places on election day, call to remind those registered to vote and check off their names when they vote.

We have been assured that this general election, we will have yard signs and handouts in advance, for our candidates. Demonstration of Dash Board at migop.org

Brad Brown is again Chairman of July 19th. “ACRP Fun – Day/Golf outing.  RSVP’s from a lot of candidates. Lt. Gov. Calley, Congressman Benishek and local candidates, will be attending. Due to candidates speaking, motorcycle and airplane rides are canceled. Ticket prices: $25. for buffet. $75. for Golf, including buffet. Proceeds go to our State Campaign account.  To register for this event go to ACRP website at acrpmi.org  and click on ‘Future Events’ .

To read bylaws, go to our ACRP website at; acrpmi.org and then click on the ‘About Us’ tab.

To receive ACRP Newsletter and e-mail updates, type in your e-mail address or a friends, in the ‘Subscribe’ space, and a confirmation e-mail will be sent, or to become a member, click ‘Join Us’.

Next GOP State Committee Meeting will be held in Antrim County, at Shanty Creek Resort on May 2nd and 3rd. Laura Bogdan in charge of gift bags for committee members. ACRP members are asked to dress in red ACRP shirts and blue jeans, to greet attendees at the Friday evening, ‘Pizza and Politics’ gathering, on the 2nd. No one recalls State Committee ever meeting in Antrim County. Explanation was given on how the State Committee functions.

Tom Stillings: Invitation to  Attorney Gen. Bill Schutte Bar-B-Q at Howard Walkers home on June 17th. 5:30 -7:30 p.m. tickets $ 50. for your entire family. Buy on line at Schutte’s web site or from Tom.

Ruth Report on line 130,000 dead people removed from voter reg. rolls. Goal is 200,000.

Discussion on the Elk Rapids, ballot proposal was held. Chairman Randy Bishop reported,: Nothing is stated in the ACRP bylaws regarding nonpartisan, or ballot issues.  The National Republican Party Platform, which is also our state’s platform, says “we stand for limited government and less taxation.” This was a tax issue!  Chairman believes, “the reason we are losing elections, is because we are becoming more like the Democrats.”  The proposal originally defeated by 12 votes in the previous general election.  When the information on the ‘special election’ got out to Republicans,  it was defeated by 300 votes in the special election.

He assured those present, that future upcoming elections and ballot proposals, will be “clearly stated” on the agenda, and a vote of the membership will be taken, before the party takes a position on an issue and make a public recommendation.  He stressed the fact that it is our obligation to educate and inform our members, and that “the ACRP, will stand strong on our principles and on our Republican National Party’s Platform.”

Tom Stillings reviewed the proper way of filling out Part Time Legislature petitions. Most common error is writing down birth date, instead of date of signing.  Only after last signature on petition is signed, may a circulator fill in the information required at the bottom of the petition.

Antrim County Commissioner Ed Boetcher, spoke on his efforts to save  money spent on postage in mailing out hundreds of pages to each commissioner, by electronically transferring from a web site onto a screen, for easy reference during meetings and to provide the public with information on upcoming issues prior to commission meetings over the internet.

Jim Gurr: Motion to adjourn 2nd: Richard Hoadley

Meeting Adjourned at 9:08 pm.

1374943513888

 


MACMASTER CONDEMNS SECRET GAS TAX HIKE PLAN, CALLS FOR ISSUE TRANSPARENCY

Greg MacMaster for State Senate
KEWADIN, MI – State Representative Greg MacMaster (R-Kewadin) today criticized House Transportation Committee Chairman Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) for comments he let slip to Bridge Magazine that suggest he has a plan to raise the gas tax after the November election, during a “lame-duck” session.
 
A “lame-duck” session of the legislature occurs after the November election but prior to when the new legislature takes office in January. Since many members will not face voters again, and it often occurs in late night sessions during the holiday season, controversial and/or pet projects are often passed with little or no public scrutiny.
 
The passage from Bridge Magazine follows:
 
“…Schmidt, chair of the House Transportation Committee, said he favors replacing the current gasoline and diesel tax with a wholesale tax on fuel, but leaving it ‘revenue neutral’ for now. Lawmakers later could increase the fuel tax in a lame-duck session, he said.
 
‘The old adage is you eat an elephant one bite at a time,’ the Traverse City Republican said then. ‘This is the first bite.’” (Source: Funding for Michigan Road Repairs Stalls as State Elections Near, Bridge Magazine, April 10, 2014)
 
MacMaster has been a vocal opponent to raising taxes on Michigan motorists, whom already pay the 7th highest price for gasoline in the country along with the 6th highest gasoline tax. (Source:Michigan among top 10 states with most expensive gas, Detroit Free Press, March 23, 2014.)
 
Additionally, Michigan is only one of a handful of states to levy a sales tax on the cost of gasoline, effectively taxing a tax. 
 
“Raising the gas tax should be a last option, not a first impulse,” MacMaster said. “And to raise the gas tax during ‘lame-duck,’ under the cloak of darkness is a 180 degree turn away from the governor’s pledge to better government accountability and transparency. The legislative branch cannot claim transparency and then not deliver.”
 
“The governor certainly cannot be aware of the chairman’s ‘lame-duck’ tax hike scheme, and I encourage him to oppose it.
 
“I oppose a gas tax increase for the reasons I’ve stated. Some individuals support a gas tax increase, and they have their reasons for doing so. While I disagree with them, I respect their opinion. 
 
“What I do not respect is the attempt to dodge accountability for one’s actions through legislative slight of hand during a ‘lame-duck’ session,” MacMaster continued.
 
“These kind of shenanigans are exactly what gives politicians a bad name with citizens. You can’t stand for transparency and then suggest a lame duck vote.”
 
“Let’s have an open, honest discussion on the chairman’s tax increase plan. Taxpayers deserve to hear the pros and cons, the benefits and drawbacks and it should be done in an open public setting that allows citizens direct access and input into the process.
 
“Additionally, we need to broaden the issue to discuss what criteria is used to determine which road projects are funded. Are all areas of the state being funded equitably?” MacMaster continued.
 
“Are there other efficiencies to be found in Michigan’s $50 billion budget that would allow the allocation of more resources to roads without resorting to increasing taxes on our people?
 
“After all, Georgia has 9.92 million residents and a state budget of about $20 billion, while Michigan has a population of 9.88 million residents and a state budget of about $50 billion. Can we learn anything from Georgia?
 
“After a thorough investigation and public discussion of the issue, then, and only then, should there be an up-or-down public vote on the chairman’s plan to raise the gasoline tax,” MacMaster concluded.

Congressmen Camp and Rogers, break D.C’s iron grip!!!

By Nolan Finley, Detroit News

Apparently Potomac Fever is curable.

Two Michigan congressmen at the pinnacle of their influence are doing something that is practically unheard of: leaving Congress without being carried out or booted out.

Camp RogersDave Camp and Mike Rogers, both Republicans, upended Michigan politics over the past week by announcing they won’t seek re-election. The news came out of nowhere, and has set the political hot stove league to chattering about the whys and wherefores of their decisions.

It’s not as puzzling as it seems.

Both are currently sitting on glittering thrones in Congress — Camp as head of the uber powerful ways and means committee and Rogers as chair of the increasingly visible intelligence committee.

And both face not being in those glamor spots in January.

Unlike their Democratic colleagues, who value seniority over all else, including competency (witness Detroit’s John Conyers still sitting as ranking member of the justice committee), Republicans limit most of their committee chairs to three terms, or six years (time spent as ranking member when the party is in the minority counts toward the total).

Midland’s Camp has hit the term limit. So unless Speaker John Boehner waives the rule — not likely since Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan is next up as ways and means chair — Camp will be just another member of Congress at the end of the year.

That’s a huge deal. In Washington, there are few folks higher on the A-list than congressional committee chairs. It’s a powerful role. Chairs decide what legislation gets to the floor and in what form.

That means they’re in line for a lot of fanny kissing — and political contributions — from a lot of places. After you’ve been bowed and scraped to and reverently called Mr. Chairman at cocktail parties for six years, going back to the cheap seats is a bitter pill to swallow.

Since the intelligence committee chair is appointed by the speaker, and not elected, Rogers is not subject to term limits. Boehner could reappoint him if he chooses. But apparently he didn’t get the commitment he sought for another term. And there’s some doubt Boehner will be re-elected as speaker.

So with a job offer as a nationally syndicated radio host pending, Rogers weighed the risk and decided to walk.

Both Camp and Rogers were heavily courted as the Republican candidate for the Senate seat Carl Levin is vacating. Knowing their chairmanships were likely coming to an end, why didn’t they make the leap?

Quite likely because they know what most of us outside Washington don’t fully appreciate: Being a senator ain’t what it used to be. That explains why a rare open Senate seat in Michigan drew just one candidate from each of the two major parties.

It’s primarily a fundraising job. The contenders in Michigan will have to raise between $10 million and $15 million on their own for this election, and the winner will have to start all over again collecting a similar amount for the next campaign.

The Senate also has become an impotent institution. Even less gets done there than in the House. And going from a House committee chair to a low seniority senator would be like starting over in Washington.

Camp, 60, is a homebody who returns to Michigan most weekends. He also just fought off cancer. Rogers, 50, is an extrovert who loves the microphone and will now have one of his very own.

Not such a surprise, then, that they decided perhaps there is a life after Congress.

nfinley@detroitnews.com
(313)222-2064
Follow Nolan Finley on Twitter at @nolanfinleydn and watch him at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on “MiWeek” on Channel 56.


  • Next Monthly Meeting; Monday, September 16th, 2019 Forest Home Township Hall 321 N. Bridge St., Bellaire 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

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