Archive for April, 2015

Hard work & Shoe Leather vs. Fake Props & Lies!!!

Detroit News – April 29th, 2015
Foes beat pavement, fight Snyder on Prop 1

Paul Wilk says he doesn’t get passionate about much, but higher taxes and Proposal 1 rev him up.

Wilk is one of hundreds of volunteers among Proposal 1 opponents who are using old-fashioned, door-to-door politicking in neighborhoods, along with sporadic television ads and radio spots, to oppose the statewide ballot proposal that would raise $1.2 billion extra annually [after 2 years! –CTM] for roads and bridges. The 58-year-old Allen Park resident is so determined to defeat the measure that would raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent that he has for months been leaving glossy Vote No placards on doorsteps — and occasionally engaging likely voters. […]

On his route on Allen Park’s Robinson Street recently, Wilk stopped at the home of Betty Lovely, 86, who was outside washing her windows. He told Lovely he was “pushing for a no vote.”

“I am, too,” Lovely said, adding that she’s tired of seeing her taxes go up and not getting anything in return. “I’m thoroughly disgusted. I was going to vote for it at first. … Then I thought: If you buy a car, you know, what are the taxes going to be?”

Wilk smiled. “I know,” he said.

What a great story about the hard work so many concerned taxpayers are contributing all over Michigan to defend our prosperity.

Contrast that with the latest tactics employed by the opposition, reported by Michigan Radio:

Proposal 1 backers use a school bus to educate voters about sales tax ballot question

Union supporters will spend part of this week towing a school bus around the state. You’ll know it if you see it. It’s the one with a massive concrete block crushing its windshield.

It’s an arresting image, even if it’s a manufactured one. National union groups made the school bus prop in order to dramatize the need for more federal and state spending to repair and replace aging roads and bridges.

“This really highlights the need to have safe roads that transport our school children, for folks to be able to get to work safely,” says Jonathan Byrd, the legislative director with the Michigan Laborers union.

[Image: Paul Wilk educates voters on Prop 1, while labor union activists display a destroyed bus to scare voters into accepting the proposal.  Enable images in your email to view the image.]

You couldn’t find a more vivid juxtaposition to show the contrast between the character of the grassroots citizens working to defeat Proposal 1 through shoe-leather work reaching voters, and the national union groups joining the “Vote Yes or Else” campaign in using manufactured images to frighten voters into thinking they have an obligation to raise taxes just to have safe roads.

But this shows that we are up against those willing to use any tool of deception to trick voters into voting for the tax hike scheme on on May 5.

And they have the money to reach a lot of voters.

Our side is being outspent almost 60 to 1.

Randy, we’re almost to our $3000 goal to be able to reach hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters and remind them to vote on May 5.

We’ve done far better than expected by organizing volunteers across Michigan, making our points in the media, and exposing the false choice being presented by the other side.

But we must maximize turnout on May 5.

Randy, please make a contribution, today, for our final Get Out the Vote phone program.

For ourselves, our families, and all of our volunteers fighting to keep taxes in Michigan from going even higher, let’s make certain that we can get every vote on May 5th.

A little or a lot, it will go a very long way.

We have secured a Get Out the Vote phone system that will reach Michigan voters for an amazing 1.5 cents per one-minute call.

We can reach an enormous number of voters affordably at that rate.

Please click here to chip in today to make this final effort possible.

If we can raise an additional $3000 this week we can reach every targeted voter in Michigan just before Election Day.  We’re 2/3 there.

Please make a contribution, right now, to put us over the top on Election Day.

Click here to donate $30– 1% of the total goal.

Click here to donate $100– 3.3% of the total goal.

We must do all we can for maximum turnout on Tuesday May 5.

Thanks for all you do for prosperity in Michigan,

Adam de Angeli
Executive Director

A Truly Conservative Budget – a “Plan B” and another reason to Vote NO on the Ballot Proposal on May 5th!!!

Our 3rd hour discussion today,…Wednesday, 4-28-15 from Republican State Representatives – Todd Courser (82nd District) and Cindy Gamrat (80th District);

We have all seen the ads showcasing falling debris from old bridges and a how this is a huge safety emergency; proclaiming that the bridges are falling, if so why are we spending more on welfare and entitlements and education and less and less on roads? This is the spot in our state’s history where the rubber meets the pothole filled road!

While families have been counting pennies and cutting back, we have a proposal put in front of them that would take $2 billion more from them EVERY YEAR!

For years Michigan families and businesses have been tightening their belts and it is now time that government did so too!  We have the opportunity to lead by example and show that we can live within our means and within our budget and still fulfill our Constitutional duty to maintain our roads.

Funding our roads in this current budget year and within this current budget is not only necessary for the safety of our citizens but we believe is the responsible step to take by our government. We are offering a series of amendments that would do just that, including a 10% across the board cut from each general fund line item.

A 10% cut across the board combined with some targeted cuts will put nearly a billion dollars towards roads this year so that we can get started on fixing them while the legislature works on a long-term road package.

We cannot in good conscience sit on the sidelines and cut the transportation budget while simultaneously asking Michiganders to pay more in taxes for the roads.

Instead, we must do the hard work of responsible fiscal governing and freeze the budgets of entitlements and programs or tighten our government belt and decrease general fund spending by 10% in order to provide the much needed funding to our roads.

With awareness of the great responsibility entrusted to us by taxpayers, we have taken an intentional approach to put forward some amendments to cut wasteful programs and increased spending from our state’s general fund, with the ultimate goal of putting more money towards roads without raising taxes.

Our amendments will cut the corresponding amount from the below programs. An additional amendment will cut further 10% from other general fund expenditures. Combined, these amendments will free up roughly $1 billion dollars from the budget.

The Lansing establishment says we cannot fix our roads without raising taxes. These amendments prove otherwise, and protect the taxpayers of Michigan.

Submitted by;

State Representative – Todd Courser (82nd District) R  and

State Representative – Cindy Gamrat (80th District) R

The amendments are as follows:

Individual amendments for each of the following;

Department of Agriculture:

  • Migrant Labor Housing Cut $1,049,700
  • Horse Race Programs Cut $1,000,000

Department of Community Health

  • Base Medicaid Cut $19, 430,000
  • Community Mental Health non-Medicaid Cut $10,000,000
  • Reinstate Public Health and Wellness Reductions Cut $3,000,000
  • Healthy Kids Dental Service – New Program Cut $7,500,000

Dept. of Education 

  • Child Development and Care (CDC) Cut $$6,5888,800
  • State Aid to Libraries Cut $1,000,000
  • Renaissance Zone Reimbursement to Libraries Cut $600,000

General Government 

  • Legislature Operations Cut $3,815,700

Department of Technology, Management, and Budget

  • State Building Authority Cut $17,800,000
  • Capital Outlay Cut $10,000,000
  • Information Technology Investment Fund Cut $7,500,000
  • Motor Vehicle Fleet Cut $6,515,500
  • Legal Services New Cut $1,000,500
  • Homeland Security/Cyber Security Cut $1,000,000
  • Procurement Improvement Plan Cut $479,100

Department of Treasury

  • Business Attraction and Community Revitalization Cut $99,000,000
  • Entrepreneurship EcoSystem Cut $7,800,000

Department of Human Services

  • Healthy MI Plan Call Center Cut $1,446,900

Department of Natural Resources

  • Shooting Range Enhancements Cut $250,000

Department of Transportation

  • Transit Capital and Rail Infrastructure Cut $15,000,000

-An amendment to cut general fund spending across the board by 10%

7 Reasons to Vote “NO” on the May 5 Tax Hike Proposal

No New Taxes

7 Reasons to Vote “NO” on the May 5 Tax Hike Proposal

  1. We can’t afford even higher taxes. Michigan residents already pay among the highest gas taxes in the country, and most of that money isn’t even spent on roads. We pay a 4.25% state income tax where other states have no income tax. The ballot proposal would raise the Michigan sales tax to 7%, which would make it the 2nd highest state sales tax in the nation. The proposal would raise taxes about $200 per year for every man, woman, and child in Michigan. $800 for a family of four.
  2. It doesn’t solve the budget problem. Lawmakers increased Michigan’s state budget by $4.7 billion in just the last four years. The sales tax hike is only projected to take in $2 billion. Raising the sales tax only pays for part of the growth of government! The problem is too much new spending, not too little taxes. If voters approve these tax increases, soon enough we’ll be asked for even more.
  3. We can fix our roads and fund our schools without raising taxes. The state House passed a plan last December that would have increased public school funding $2.5 billion over the next eight years and added about $1 billion in road funding each year – with no net tax increase.
  4. Half of the new tax money isn’t even for roads. The proposal’s backers insist Michigan’s roads need to be fixed, but only half of the new tax money would be spent on roads. The rest goes to various special interests that benefit from the new tax money. (Source:
  5. Raising prices makes Michigan less competitive. Raising the sales tax effectively makes all goods more expensive: we all inevitably have less money to spend and save. Essentially, it increases the cost of living in Michigan – people need to earn more to live here – and this affects costs at all stages of production, distribution, sales, and service. Higher taxes hurt us all.
  6. The proposal misleads voters and does a lot more than tax and spend. The proposal passes ten laws and a constitutional amendment, with language totaling over 46,000 words: a novel’s worth of legalese. These laws include tax credits for low-income wage earners, affirmative action rules in certain state transportation contracting, funding for reading programs, $102 million in new federal income tax liabilities for vehicle registration, and much, much more not reported on the ballot to voters.
  7. Make Lansing do its job. It’s wrong for lawmakers to punt to voters a 46 thousand-word legislative package, kicking off a massive political battle and costing us a $10 million election, because lawmakers couldn’t agree on a solution to fund roads. Road funding should be a normal, ordinary, completely standard aspect of budget negotiations.

Vote “NO” to tax hikes on May 5th

because Michigan is TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!

Paid for by Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan, PO Box 211, Milan MI 48160.

Monthly Meeting Minutes – March 16, 2015

2015-ACRP Fun Day

Antrim County Republican Party  Meeting Minutes for 3/16/15 at Forest Home Twp. Hall

Meeting convened at 7:38 p.m.  Chairman Randy Bishop: Pledge of Allegiance: Invocation: County Commissioner – Christian Marcus

Treasurer Laura Bogdan’s report $x,xxx.xx  in State Account,  $x,xxx.xx in Corporate Account.

Chairman-Randy Bishop: ACRP Vice Chair Tom Stillings has resigned his position. Made a motion to elect two co-vice chairs: Kim MacMaster and Jim Gurr.  Ed Boettcher 2nd: the motion passed unanimously.

Secretary-Priscilla Miller: Priscilla represented our Chairman on a conference call for County Chairs with Ronna Romney and Jeff Sakwa. Reports that transition is going well.  County Chairs are the backbone of the party. Lincoln Day Dinners are already being planned. MRP wants to have at least one representative at each dinner.  Party is in a very strong financial position.  2015 Mackinaw Center Leadership Conference will take place Sept. 18th.- 20th. Date and location  of next State Committee Meeting to be announced soon. Putting a political plan together so everyone knows party goals and plans. Will be hiring Deputy Chairs.  Jeff Sakwa wants to make Michigan a battle ground state: Tough task ahead, but he believes we have the right message. He will listen to everyone and will return phone calls.

Randy Bishop: Post State Convention Report:  Ronna Romney and Jeff Sakwa are the new chair and co-chair of the Michigan Republican state party. Darwin Giles is the new Ethnic vice chair. Going into inner cities, talking directly to youth, does not believe in government hand outs.

Asked for delegates who attended convention to make a comment. Bill Bailey” “Very interesting”, Greg Valerio: “Great experience”, Cheri Hogan: “Suprises”, Gerald Averill: “voting process took way too long”.

Update on May 5th. Ballot Proposal.  Board of Canvassers approved proposal  language: No mention of money for  road repairs anywhere, photo of the ballot proposal final wording;2015 Ballot Proposal 15-1 May 5th

State Reps. Gary Glenn and Todd Courser introduced a bill this week which previously passed in the House known as the ‘Bolger Plan.  Would repair roads, without raising taxes!

Cheri Hogan asked how much news coverage on this proposal?  Randy: MIRS, Patriot Voice Radio and MLive.

Jim Gurr: With the many beneficiaries funded by proposal ie:  public schools, townships and reinstating earned Income tax credits, proposal could pass with 50% plus1%.

Randy Bishop: MRP may hold their May 8th/9th State Committee Meeting at Shanty Creek again this year.  With Ronna Romney stepping down as National Committee Woman, election of her replacement will take place at that meeting. Further discussion at April 20th ACRP meeting.

3rd Annual “ACRP Golf/Fun Day” outing will be on Saturday, July 18th. $ 25.00 for Dinner only; $ 75.00 for Golf and Dinner.  Registration/RSVP Form at this link; 3rd-Annual-2015 ACRP-Fun-Day-FINAL

By holding the Presidential primary in March: Michigan will be part of a “Mini – Super Tuesday”.

Discussions:  On changing the primary election from open, to a closed format or caucus/state convention.  Holding ACRP meetings at other locations in county (Torch Lake Twp. Hall, Elk Rapids Twp. Hall). Update on Antrim County Economic Development. Bringing manufacturing jobs to Mancelona.

2015 Membership Drive: Goal is 250 paid members.  Go to  type in friend’s e-mail addresses in ‘Subscribe to E-mail Updates.  An email asking if they want to receive the ACRP  Newsletter will be sent to them.

Membership form at this link;  ACRP 2015 Membership Form – PDF

9:06 p.m. Motion to adjourn Tom Sommerfeldt:  2nd Greg Valerio

Monthly Meeting Minutes – February 16, 2015

2015-ACRP Fun Day

Antrim County Republican Party – Meeting Minutes for 2/16/15 at Forest Home Twp. Hall

Meeting convened at 7:36 p.m.  Chairman Randy Bishop lead the Pledge of Allegiance: County Commissioner-Christian Marcus gave the invocation.

Chairman reviewed November’s unapproved meeting minutes (no meeting in Dec. no quorum of officers at Jan. meeting) Chair: Motion to approve, 2nd. Tom Stillings. Passed

Chairman reviewed January minutes, moved to approve 2nd. Myron Curtis. Passed

Treasurer Laura Bogdan:  is out of town, will have Treasurer’s report at March 16th meeting.

Chair provided brief synopsis on the Michigan Conservative Union and went over their list of endorsed candidates running for 1st District positions at the state convention.

State Party Chair-Norm Hughes

State Party Co Chair-Marian Sheridan

Chairman-Adrian Poulisse

Secretary-Devin Lawrence

Treasurer-Tony Sharkey

State Committee-(3 women & 3 males)

Michael Bancroft

Tom Stillings

Brian Sommerfield

Mary Sears

Miriam Handrich

Karen Renny

Vice-chair 35- Steve Yoder

Vice-chair 36- Mike Vickory

Vice-chair 37- Randy McClure

Vice-Chair 38- Barbara Kramer


101- Karen Josephus & Penny Nelson

103- Tom Backers

104- Matt Schoech & Linda Witt

105- Larry Corell & Randy Bishop

106- Vinny Szczerowski

107- Ralph Pruder & Abby Bell

108- Leon Felch & Judi Schwalbach

109- Justin Carlson

110- Keith Almli & Eric Cadeau

Chaiman: stressed important for ACRP Delegation “to speak with one voice.”

Skype interview with Adrian Poulisse: Gave a brief bio about himself. Favors a closed primary.  Shared favoritism issues taking place within the 1st. Dist Committee, under chairmanship of Jesse Osmer, 1st Dist Board lost 50% of it’s membership since he became chair. 1st. Dist. needs to work with all 32 districts, unlike Osmer who only works with friendly ones.

Skype interview with Norm Hughes: Experience counts, proven leadership, held three positions in Reagan administration. “Wants the party to be the best that it can be.”  To ‘brand’ the party so voters know the differences between the two party’s. Does not favor May 5th. ballot proposal. Money to fix roads can be found without raising sales tax. End prevailing wage.

Discussion on Antrim County Commissioners vote to make a one time donation to Mancelona Area Water and Sewer Authority for the purpose of initiating phase 1 of a short term TCE plume related construction projects, contingent on matching funds provided by MDEQ.

Steve Grill: explained ACUTE’s purpose. A loosely formed group to get safe drinking water for people affected by the plume.  “Whole point was to finally get something going. “

Chairman: showed map of TCE plume. Plume is already through Schuss, dumping into Cedar River 100-500 ft. thick contaminating 13 trillion gallons of water.

Lengthy discussion on County Commission continued.  Priscilla Miller:  questioned purpose of said discussion at ACRP meeting.  Tom Stillings : Very important, people making decisions are voted into these positions.  Scott brought up issue of holding commission meetings at night.

Chairman:  pointed out that Antrim Co. only county in the State of Michigan still operating with a Abstract Dept. at a cost of $110,000. a year.

Chairman: March 16th ACRP meeting “a big meeting” bring guests, information of May 5th ballot proposal.

9:10 p.m. Motion to adjourn: Vicki Bishop, 2nd. Dr. Hoadley

3 Polls and Ballot Language,…shows backward slide on Proposal 1, “it’s going to come down to voter turnout”!!!

March 31, 2015
MIRS News Service – Lansing, MI

The third poll released on Proposal 1 in the last week shows essentially the same thing — the May 5 road funding ballot question is in bad shape.Today it was EPIC-MRA showing Proposal 1 losing 24 to 66 percent. When the exact ballot language was read to 600 voters between Saturday and Monday, support dropped even further — 21 to 69 percent.
2015 Ballot Proposal 15-1 May 5th“I don’t think the ads are connecting at all and I don’t know if there’s anything they can do to change that,” said Bernie PORN of EPIC-MRA. “They’re starting to change up some of the messaging. I got a robo-call the other day that talked about the economy, job creation and education in addition to the roads.”I think they’re trying to spread it out, but I don’t think the safety and danger approach is connecting with voter. And if it’s not believable, that’s a problem.”EPIC-MRA asked the question as part of their regular survey for clients, but no particular client purchased this question, Porn said.

Of those who said they were going to vote “yes,” 48 percent they were doing so because “road repair is needed.” Another 14 percent said “funding is needed.” Ten percent liked that more education funding was being raised and five percent said it was because it’s the “only plan available; no Plan B.”

For those who said they were going to vote no, 32 percent said they were against a tax increase, that taxes were already too high. Eighteen percent said there was too much in the proposal and 13 percent feared “wasteful government spending.” Another 9 percent said they didn’t trust Michigan government or Gov. Rick SNYDER.

Seven percent said the funding was not needed and that there were other ways to fund the roads. Five percent said they didn’t think the roads would get fixed.

As for the crosstabs, Porn said, there’s a little less opposition among Republicans, but he said he’s seeing 60 to 70 percent opposition across the board.

“There’s not a lot of optimism for people who are supportive to find in the crosstabs,” Porn said.

Despite the public polling, John WALSH, Snyder’s director of strategy, said this morning at Michigan Association of Counties conference that the administration remains optimistic about Proposal 1 and thinks it’s going to pass.

“. . . (Y)ou never know. It will be close. It will be very, very close,” Walsh said. “Something about raising a $1 billion in taxes makes people nervous.”

Walsh said the proposal was important to both improving roads and economic development.

“If we can get it passed,” Walsh said, “I think we can look at a much brighter future for roads and perhaps our state.”

Paul MITCHELL, of the group Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals, said that while he’d rather be on his side of the poll numbers than on the other side, he and his group are not going to stop what it’s doing to educate voters and listening to their frustrations.

He said he continues to hear from residents that they don’t like “all this other extra stuff” in the ballot proposal when it’s all supposed to go to roads.

“We’re going to continue to put time, energy and money into this,” Mitchell said. “We need to make sure Proposal 1 is defeated and we’re insisting the Legislature fix the roads in a responsible manner.”

However, Roger MARTIN, of Safe Roads Yes!, said polling ballot questions is “very difficult” to do accurately. He noted that Michigan history is “filled with ballot proposals” that polls predicted would perform one way, but the opposite occurred.

For example, Proposal 1 of August 2014 (the personal property tax repeal) was polling as low as the low 30 percent range, but passed with 69 percent support, Martin said. Proposal 5 of 2012 (the two-thirds supermajority proposal) was passing in the low 70s about five weeks out from Election Day, but failed with about 66 percent voting no.

Proposal 1 of 2004 (the additional public votes for new gaming ventures) was in the upper 30 percent range about a month out from Election Day. It passed with 55 percent of the vote.

“We have a full month to go,” Martin said. “The first phase of the campaign is about to end, and we will be shifting to phase two. Ultimately, what this will come down to is turnout. If the people and organizations who support Proposal 1 turnout and vote, we will win.”

On Thursday, MIRS and Target Insyght released a poll showing the initiative losing 36 to 55 percent on the question. Once the ballot language was read to them, support dropped to 28 to 63 (See “Prop 1 Opposition At 55% In New MIRS Poll,” 3/26/15).

The next day, John YOB‘s Strategic National released numbers showing Proposal 1 losing 28 to 61 percent (See “Prop 1’s Road Safety Message Having ‘No Impact’ With Half Of Voters,” 3/27/15).

The live poll has a margin of error of 4 percent. Twenty percent of those who participated in the survey were called on their cell phones.

Snyder’s favorable number is at 46 percent in this poll while his unfavorable is at 39 percent. On his job performance, 47 percent gave Snyder a positive rating. Another 49 percent gave him a negative rating. The MIRS team talks about the future of Proposal 1 in this week’s MIRS Monday podcast.

Progress Michigan Survey Shows Voters Feel They’re ‘Paying Their Fair Share’ 

A Proposal 1 survey Progress Michigan conducted through a Google Consumer Survey found only 23 percent support the initiative, while 43.7 percent of the 2,876 Michigan residents surveyed between Mar 16-19 said they would vote no. Another 33.3 percent were undecided.

However, Progress Michigan spotlighted that among those who said they were going to vote no, 39.4 percent said it was because the “middle class already paying their fair share in taxes.” Another 19.4 percent said corporations should pay more to fix the roads and 14.1 percent said they didn’t have enough information.”Unfortunately, in December the legislature opted to kick the can down the crumbling road rather than making the tough choices their constituents put them in office to make,” said Lonnie SCOTT, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We hope the Legislature understands their constituents expect a comprehensive solution that involves asking wealthy special interests to pay their fair share.”

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