Antrim County Republican Party – Meeting Minutes

Forest Home Twp. Hall
January 20, 2014

The meeting was called to order by Chairman – Randy Bishop at 7: 37 p.m.

Invocation led by Mark Rubingh was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chairman welcomed guests and asked how they had heard about our meeting. He subsequently introduced the Executive Committee

Laura Bogdan presented the Treasurer’s Report advising that the Corporate Account contained $x,xxx.xx and the State Account $x,xxx.xx (numbers are available, in person at our meetings).

2014 Membership applications are available: Dues are $20 for individual and $30 for family memberships.

There was no Secretary’s Report because Priscilla Miller was absent from last meeting due to surgery. Welcome back Priscilla and Bill Miller.

Vice Chair Report presented by Lori Luckett who advised of Dell computer and Quicken software purchase research and amounts stating that no purchase had yet been made because of the cost. Attendee asked if other brands had been considered and offered to assist in the purchase of Hewlett Packard computer. Luckett also reported that the computer must be purchased with funds from the State Account because it will be used for campaign issues and candidates. Luckett also reported that she will temporarily be assisting Priscilla Miller with the minutes.

New Business
1. Antrim County Commissioner Christian Marcus spoke on his assignment to the Private Property Rights Subcommittee advising that a presentation about Agenda 21 had been made to the County Board of Commissioners by three gentlemen. In addition to providing information, these men asked the Board of Commissioners to educate themselves and to form an advisory committee. The motion by Christian Marcus to form an advisory committee was supported by the Chairman and the private property rights issue was placed under the purview of the Health, Animal and Public Safety Committee. More and more land being purchased by Federal Government. He drew attention to the current push for multiple “Safe Harbors” along Lake Michigan which is being supported by Congressman Benishek. According to Christian, Safe Harbors” are not governed by Michigan law but fall under the Water’s Treaty Act, a federal law, signed by our president, that gives oversight of our water ways to foreign nations. Dave Crandall spoke in support of safe harbors. Christian requested that membership get actively involved and apply for vacancies on various county boards and committees to assure the protection of private property rights.
Jim Gurr stated that the problem in regards to personal property rights is they always sound so good at first, but the details show you end up paying a very high price.
Sam Batell encouraged membership to go on the web and educate themselves about Agenda 21. ICLEI is the local arm of an Agenda 21 group being funded by the United Nations. The largest office in the midwest is located in Traverse City.

Randy recommended doing a Google search and emphasized the Agenda 21 map and Agenda 21 for Dummies. According to Randy, only 23% of land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is privately owned. Tom Stillings interjected that there already are attempts to put meters on well water consumption.

2. Tom Stillings reported on the iCaucus advising that he has been named the coordinator for 1st District. The iCaucus is a national organization of grassroots leadership that is responsible for vetting candidates who seek the organization’s endorsement. It is not affiliated with any political party. The goal is to promote financially responsible government officials who understand and will follow the Constitution. Candidates seeking iCaucus endorsement must answer the iCausus questionnaire of 160 to 180 questions. The candidates are then questioned by volunteers about their answers. The goal is to weed out the candidates who speak of conservative principles but have no intention of following those principles if elected. Volunteers are needed as county coordinators to serve on vetting committees and to help iCaucus candidates get elected. To volunteer, contact Tom To participate go to web site and sign up. There are no dues or costs to join.

3. Tom Sommerfeldt spoke on Elk Rapids issues. Voters defeated a school millage in November 2013 by 12 votes. A re-count was called for and millage was still defeated. The Elk Rapids School Board has authorized and paid for a special election to be held February 25. Tom reported that the millage is for security upgrades and for all schools, security cameras for all buildings; a new high school gym containing an indoor track, weight room, dressing rooms, cardio room; handicap accessible restrooms at the soccer and football fields; and upgrades to the counseling, online education and music areas. This is a 10.9 mill bonding issue for which the school is seeking 8.3 mills from the property owners. A home valued at $ 200,000. would see an increase of $83. a year in taxes. for 20 years. The cost to taxpayers for holding election is $8000. Tom urged all voters in the Elk Rapids School District to get absentee ballots and to get out the vote. Discussion ensued pointing out benefits a new gym would provide.

Maryanne Jorgensen spoke about Elk Rapids Township and the efforts to privatize EMS services seeking three bids from private companies. Elk Rapids Township has approached Torch Lake and Milton Townships about getting involved. Concerned residents have threatened to pursue a recall of township officials. Dean Crandall, Forest Home Township Trustee, spoke of supervisor’s successful efforts to form an Ambulance Authority and thought that was a better way to resolve the matter in Elk Rapids and surrounding townships.

4. Chairman – Randy Bishop reported on the U.S. Senate race. Terri Lynn Land, former Michigan Secretary of State is running against Gary Peters for the vacant seat created by Carl Levin’s retirement.. If elected she could be the 51st. Senator and give the GOP a majority in the U.S. Senate. According to Randy, polling shows that Terri Lynn Land is up by 2 percentage points. She is also leading Peters in fund raising and has personally contributed a million dollars of her own money.
Randy also reported that the strategy for the upcoming elections is to grow attendance at local meetings, including the ACRP meetings, to get boots on the ground. Thoughts are that these elections will see significant input from women, moms and grandmas, who are getting concerned about Obama Care and who will tend to vote against the Democrats. There are 10 open seats in the Michigan House which may be filled by women.
Congressman Dan Benishek is being primary challenged by Iron Mountain native, Alan Arcand. Thoughts are that because of the primary challenge Jason Allen and Tom Casperson my enter the race against Benishek.
Randy would like the ACRP to host a candidate debate after the filing deadline and sometime in May or June. The debate would feature Benishek vs Arcand 1st Congressional District, Triston Cole vs Tony Cutler for the 105th Michigan House seat; Greg MacMaster vs Wayne Schmidt for 37th Michigan Senate seat.

Randy also advised that he is actively encouraging the State Committee of the Michigan Republican Party to hold its May 2nd/3rd meeting in Antrim County at Shanty Creek Resort.

Our 2nd Annual “ACRP – Fun Day” is scheduled for July 19, 2014 at A-Ga-Ming. Lt. Gov. Calley has this event on his calendar. All proceeds will go into the State Account for donations to candidates and issue advocacy.
Additional discussion of lame duck session and vote to change the allocation of electoral college votes by District instead of the current “winner take all” in Michigan.

Reagan Day Dinner is set for February 8, 2014 at Bay Harbor. This is a glitz and glam affair featuring Brian Calley and his band. The proceeds are to be allocated to the five counties based on attendance. Randy expressed concern about the lack of communication between the NWMRW responsible for organizing this year’s event and the local parties.

Kris Anne Hall is hoping to return to the area for more Constitution training.

Motion to adjourn by Tom Sommerfeldt seconded by Dr. Hoadley. Meeting adjourned at 9:14 p.m.