Saturday, December 20, 2008
Every time our legislature creates new legislation in the middle of the night, it is either (a) bad law or (b) involves a tax hike. Before closing this years session they passed a series of bills which allowed for the skirting of the Headlee Amendment. I was feeling rather low as a result and I just could not bring myself to finish this blog last night. Today, as luck would have it, I received a shot in the arm. Call it corny if you like. The protagonist of the movie I watched, "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" was moved by his father's memory. His father and mine taught principle, patriotism, honesty, integrity and persistence.
These days it may seem a little hokey but that movie inspires me and keeps my spirit up. When I see the way some politicians operate, that movie gives me hope that the citizens have a chance to make a difference. I know that I am not alone in this or the movie would not still be a favorite classic after all these years, and whether you believe it or not, "I am not naive nor am I crazy."
John Hertel who is paid $150,000 each year plus benefits to be the CEO of "Detroit Regional Mass Transit" was a lobbyist whose job it was to pass the 16 bills to make possible the $1.5 billion initial funding for the 3.4 mile transit which would run down Woodward from the old GM Building on W. Grand Blvd. to the GM Building on Jefferson Ave. My question is who is going to ride this thing and where will they be going? After it is built, how much will we have to subsidize this transit system that goes nowhere? The big question is this, if the courts have found DARTA to be illegal, then how is this any different? Why should the people outside Detroit assume this burden especially without the opportunity of a vote? How can the Chief Executives of Wayne, Oakland, the Chair of the Commission from Macomb and the Detroit Mayor make this decision without the permission of the voters?
The other thing that passed in the wee hours Friday, was the Cobo Hall expansion. We have not finished paying off the previous bonds and they are ready to take out more. The plan would finance $288 million in changes by extending to 2039 taxes on statewide liquor sales as well as a Metro Detroit hotel-motel tax. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she will sign the legislation into law. Oh what a Big surprise.
Government is out of control. They have no respect for us or for the constitution they swore to uphold. We have a lot of work to do. Where is Mr. Smith when you need him? We must be the Mr. Smiths if we are to preserve our way of life. We can not continue to be "too busy" or we will find that we will not be allowed to do the things we were too busy doing. If we all give a little of our time paying attention, the job will not be so hard, after all, there are still more of us than them.
We live in a time of Special Assessments, increases in fees that are not legally fees, judges that make radical law or bend it to fit the political atmosphere and legislators who make law because they think they know better or it serves their purpose. I say it is they who have no respect for the law or the people who are indeed sovereign. We need to expose them.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I am going to do something I have never done before. I am going to distribute to the Wayne County State Senators and Representatives the recent blog of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. First, because I believe it to be truthful and second, it has a link to former Rep. Leon Drolet's parting speech to the legislature, which I feel the other legislators should read.
I am so tired of everyone saying that our problems would be solved if only there were no term limits. There were reasons why the voters of this state proposed and voted for term limits and the reasons are as valid today as they were then. I hope you will take the time to read the blog and the farewell speech.
I am old enough to remember the way it was before term limits. People say that they lack experience with term limits. No one else has two years to learn their job. This is not a game you learn to play, but a cooperative effort to govern. Presumably, they brought skills with them to the job. If they haven't they do not belong there.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Why is it so hard for politicians to admit a mistake? After the Enron and WorldCom debacles, the knee jerk reaction by Congress was the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. While the intent was to eliminate fraud, there is evidence that it is hurting the venture capital industry and doing more harm that good in other areas. It now takes around 12 years to enter the capital market when it used to take 5 years. That's because, it is more difficult to raise the 4.36 million in hidden taxes in yearly compliance costs. Originally, the cost was estimated at around $91,000. Big difference.
It created personal criminal responsibilities for board members. This narrowed the number of well qualified board members willing to accept the personal responsibilities. Many smaller companies reverted back to private status or merged to lower costs. It also made it more probable companies that considered going public would do so in London rather than anywhere in the United States. Sarbanes -Oxley created massive amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy. Those companies that complied fully were the ones who lead the financial breakdown in the investment banks in 2008.
Oxley, who retired in January after 25 years in Congress said that he would have written it differently and he believes Sarbanes would as well. Everyone felt the urgency that something must be done. "Everyone felt like Rome was burning." He said it was like nothing he had seen in his 25 years in Congress.
It is time to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. If other laws are needed, they should take the time to do them correctly. We can not afford anymore damage to our economy.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
You have to believe by now that I am not against recall after being involved in the attempt to recall Speaker Andy Dillon of Michigan for the last 1 1/2 years. I am, however, opposed to the recent attempts to recall members of the Wayne-Westland School Board. It seems that the attempt to recall them was a result of the school board's warning that they might fire teachers who failed to obey the law. They went out on strike for four days until the court ordered them back to work.
The Wayne-Westland Education Association stated that the board failed to respond to their request to reduce class size and that any reduction would have to come out of the teachers contract. The union rejected outright the proposal put out by the board that would allow a different insurance carrier.
The school board is not requesting that the teachers receive a cut in pay or a freeze. They are not suggesting a change in insurance benefits either. They are requesting that they be allowed to shop insurance instead of using MESSA. MESSA is a not-for-profit membership organization established by the MEA as a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA). Because the union gets a cut, they are reluctant to allow competitive bidding. The union wants MESSA insurance at no cost to its members. The board wants to tie the districts costs to the increase in revenue received from the state. The union flatly refused it.
Salaries for the contract year 2007-2008 for Wayne Westland range from $34,409 for the first year new hire to $94,459 to a teacher who has a PHD and has been working for the district for 14 years. Their health care benefits are among the best money can buy. The districts MEAP scores are at or below the state average.
There is no doubt that teachers have a difficult job and a great deal of responsibility. But, they do have to get a grasp on reality. They have a closed community. They use children to their advantage and even to spread their propaganda which I believe they really think is true.
They can not go on living as if there has been no change in the economy and the world. They have to remember there are people standing in line wanting their job and they are qualified to do an equally good job or better. Taking children hostage is terrorism and their parents and the community are subject to extortion.
I am glad that they are going into fact finding. Maybe an equitable solution can be reached. In a state which will soon be in worse trouble, we can not make any more promises that we can not afford. Under no circumstances should the board allow binding arbitration. People should be applauding their board not recalling them.
You can recall your board, but it will not solve the problem.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Speaker Andy Dillon has been reelected and not recalled. The people have spoken. Having been overspent by about $450,000 I guess we should have expected the outcome. Good things have come about as a result of this recall. We have prevailed in the courts. We have helped to partially level a very uneven playing field by defending our First Amendment rights. We have established that the important thing is the person signing not the person gathering the signatures. We now have a network of people who share our concerns.
Why is that so important? While Dillon brought in all kinds of people from outside the district in large numbers to harass us and block us, we were limited to those who lived within the 17 th district to collect signatures. The federal court had already made a decision that in the case of referendum any U.S. citizen can collect signatures. In our case, they made a decision that anyone within the state can collect signatures. This is very important for future efforts.
There is no doubt that I was displeased with the results of the recall. I hope that Rep. Dillon does not think that if he continues down the same path that the recall of him or others might not be revisited. They are destroying the state that I love. Some people think I am crazy, others have called me names, made vulgar remarks and snide comments. Other people have given me encouragement and support. I find it interesting that I have signed my name or the committee to everything I put out there but those who criticize me, call my phone, mail me x rated comments are all to cowardly to sign their names.
Let me make one thing clear. At no time did I lie, cheat, break the law, or commit fraud. If they think I did, let them press charges. We have already won three times in court, one more won't kill us. As for Andy Dillon, he will be judged by a higher being. I hope his trips to receive communion do not dam him to perdition. I am not one who believes that all is fair in politics.
Dillon did help increase income taxes- check your paycheck. Dillon did help place a 22% surtax on business after removing a 22% service tax which was so idiotic that even they recognized it after being shown. He did vote to raise the legislative budget by 7% and the state budget by 8%.
If he didn't, where did the money go?
Friday, October 31, 2008
On November 4, 2008 you are being asked to renew a millage for Wayne County Community College. Renew? They are asking for 1.25 mills. Right now they are levying .99 mills. Isn't that an increase? You bet it is. They are asking you to give up everything you have gained under the Headlee Amendment for the last 8 years. How can they get away with calling this a renewal? It's Wayne County that's how. This is in addition to the to, the 2001 voted operating millage which is now being levied at a rate of 1.4861 mills.
The Headlee Amendment works basically like this, revenue can increase at only the rate of inflation plus any additions and deletion of taxable value at the local level of government. If revenue increases over that, the mills levied must roll back to generate the inflationary amount or must be placed before the voters to override . WCCC thinks this slight of hand is justified because they believe it is good for us.
Keep in mind that a number of their courses are remedial. The inference is that the 12 years of education we paid for previously is not sufficient. Below is information taken from a website.
Ranks 292nd for total enrollment
Total (all students)
|Student Ratio |
Ratio of students to faculty
|21 : 1|
Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas
Reported area around or near Detroit, MI
Student Tuition Costs and Fees
What are the typical tuition costs and fees for attending Wayne County Community College District?
Ranks 3857th for total cost of attendance
|In District||In State||Out of State|
|FT Undergraduate Tuition||$1,332||$1,722||$2,184|
|FT Undergraduate Required Fees||$175||$175||$175|
|PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour||$56||$72||$91|
|FT Graduate Tuition||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|FT Graduate Required Fees||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PT Graduate per Credit Hour||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Total Cost of attendance — On-Campus||$2,369||$2,753||$3,209|
|Total Cost of attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family||$8,779||$9,163||$9,619|
|Total Cost of attendance — Off-Campus with Family||$5,519||$5,903||$6,359|
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
If anyone is free this weekend and would like to help us distribute literature in Redford Twsp, Dearborn Heights and a small portion of Livonia, please contact us at 313-278-8383.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I congratulate the people of Redford Township for their decision to replace Miles Handy as township supervisor. Now is the time to make another good judgement about who should be your treasurer. It is time for the people of Redford to take their Township back. You will have a choice in November to elect a name under the Democratic ticket or an Independent with qualifications for the job.
Being Commissioner Phil Cavanugh's wife is not a qualification for treasurer. Apparently, even Robert F. Brag Jr., Redfords present treasurer thinks Paul Borland would do a better job. That's him in the picture along with Paul. Below are Broland's promises.
As an Independent Candidate on the November ballot you can rest assured that I will bring my business and leadership experience along with my education, to the Treasurer’s Office.I’m not from a family of politicians and I do not represent any one party’s agenda. As Redford Township Treasurer I will represent democracy in its purest form, government for the people, by the people.As your Treasurer I Pledge to:
- Hear the voices of the Township
- Continue to move Redford Twp. forward
- Ensure the INDEPENDANCE and INTEGRITY of the Treasurer’s office
- Maintain budget control
- Collect, Invest and Distribute township fundsAnd most importantly
To be YOUR Guardian of Public Funds
He said it, now Reford Township should hold him to it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Following the route that Mapquest gave us was interesting and beautiful. It took us through the mountains which were in bright fall colors. It almost didn't look real it was so beautiful. I am grateful for the scenery but the directions to the AFP , Defending the American Dream Summit stunk. Coming home from Washington, we took the highway all the way back and the scenery was still beautiful but the directions were far more clear and direct. All in all, it was a great experience and the conference was worth while and a success.
A lot of familiar faces were missing due to this being an election year. Even I felt guilty going away because of the Recall of Speaker Andy Dillon. I have to say that it was worth it. It refreshed me after a year of fighting to get the recall on the ballot. It provided me confirmation why this recall is so important. It reminded me that other states, even in these hard times, are doing incredibly better than Michigan and that we need to take steps immediately. The first step, is to notice up our governor and legislators by removing Dillon from office.
If anyone has a little extra cash, please send your donation to Taxpayers to Recall Andy Dillon, 25613 Rouge River Dr., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127. We appreciate any amount how ever small.
Friday, October 10, 2008
This morning the list of speakers was equally impressive. John Stossel from ABC 20/20, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, Steve Moore and John Fund from the Wall Street Journal, Herman Cain radio talk show host, Grover Norquist from Americans for Tax Reform (and the list goes on) gave insights into what we should be doing. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are perfect examples why the Federal Government should keep out of our business. (Do you really want these people to take care of our health insurance?)
I'm off to my next conference. Hope to get into more detail later.
I am writing to you from the Americans For Prosperity Conference in Arlington, Virginia. We had conferences about blogging and networking and then eminent domain, land development and environmentalists. That's a heck of a lot for a morning. The next event is the Capitol Hill Rally and news conference.
There are hundreds of people who have not arrived yet. How do I know? Because there are tables loaded with name tags that have not yet been claimed. I'm hoping to be able to give you more information direct from the conference today and tomorrow. The speaker's list is impressive. I know you will be sorry you missed it. People here are real friendly. Strangers come up and talk to you. The mood is light in spite of the gloomy economic climate. As things come up along the way I'll be back to you. There is an impressive list of speakers. I'll be reporting on them later on today. In the meantime, make an effort to do something important while I'm away.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
The night was dark, cool and still. The Dearborn Heights council chamber was pregnant with anticipation. The candidates for the 17th district were beginning to exhibit anxiousness for the debate to begin. Andy Dillon the smooth talking villain vs Sandra Egger friend to the rich and the begger , were sizing each other up. The Dearborn / Dearborn Heights League of Women Voters were preparing the order of their questions.
Without warning, Team Handy spread themselves throughout the chamber. For those of you who are not familiar, they are a group of politicians and supporters from Redford Township. Among them, was Miles (Boss Hog) Handy, the recently (thank goodness) defeated township supervisor. Along with him was county Commissioner Phil Cavanaugh, the fire chief, Cavanugh's wife, who though unqualified, is seeking to be treasurer of Redford, all in all there were about 15 of them.
As they swaggered in, they had a smug and confident look on their faces. I have yet to understand how Dillon became an underling in Team Handy, given his position as the Speaker of the State House. What I did notice is that some of them behaved like children who thought that making faces gave them bravado.
Dillon appeared uninterested. Egger appeared nervous. The questions where asked. Dillon lied with a straight face. He continued to pretend he cut the budget by $400 million when it was the proposed increase that was cut. Egger nervously gave her answers but she remained true to herself and the taxpayers. Dillon tried to to impress with his fancy words and composure. Egger spoke with sincerity and conviction.
In the end, in spite of their cockiness, the Redford Ruffians settled for a hamburger and a drink at a local bar instead of a pint of blood.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The legislative analysis states this:
If a taxpayer is elegible for an exemption, the board of review would grant the exemption for the tax year in which the application was filed, and for the immediately preceding tax year if the taxpayer would have been eligible for an exemption that year. If the board of review did so,any exempted and unpaid taxes, interest, penalties, and fees for the immediately preceding tax year would be extinguished......
The local board of review could deny an exemption for one or more of the following reasons:
- the person claiming the exemption was not a qualified taxpayer
- the claim for exemption was based on fraud
- the qualified taxpayer had no interest in the property for which the exemption was claimed, and the claim was an attempt to avoid the collection of taxes
- the state equalized valuation of the principal residence for which an exemption was claimed was 200 percent or more greater than the median value of a principal residence in the local tax collection unit.
Doesn't sound to bad. Well who is going to make up the revenue? In the Right Michigan article they refered to the problem with bonds and referenced the increase that will be required on those still paying taxes, to meet the annual payments. It is much worse than that and difficult to explain.
There aren two thing that govern the level of taxation on our taxable value. The first is the Headlee Amendment (Article 9 Section 26-32 of the State Constitution) which limits the revenue to local units of governmet to the rate of inflation and the second is Proposal A, which limits the increase in the taxable value of individual property to the rate of inflation or 5% which ever is less. The amount of the millage rollback, if any, is determined by the total taxable value in a local unit of government. That means your school district, city or township, and county determine how many mills they can levy by basically taking last years revenue, plus any additions or deleations of property and figuring how much revenue they are entitled to under the Headlee Amendment.
As some people's taxable value decrease or disappear , as in HB 6162 the burden is shifted to others still paying taxes. Article 9 Section 31 of the State Constitution assures local units of government a certain level of revenue;
I have tried to simplify a very complex tax system. You might want to consult the Citizen's Research Council for the more complicated version.
As you know, your taxes have continued to rise while your property values have declined. People ask me why every day. How can this happen? When taxable values continue to be capped each year to the rate of inflation due to Proposal A, assessments increased at a much faster rate. The difference between your taxable value and assessed value was still too great for you to experience a reduction. Surprisingly, the legislature noticed that too. They passed House Joint Resolution III to revise the Proposal A assessment cap for declining values. This from MichiganVotes.org :
Received in the House on September 25, 2008, to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish that, after 2010, if a property's assessed value decreases the taxable value not be allowed to increase, as it does now under the enacting language adopted by the legislature following passage of the 1994 Proposal A. If the assessed value increased by less than the rate of inflation, the assesment increase could not exceed that amount. Passed in the House (101 to 0) on September 25, 2008, to place before the voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish that after 2010, if a property's assessed value decreases the taxable value not be allowed to increase, as it does now under the enacting language adopted by the legislature following the passage of the 1994 Proposal A. If the assessed value increased by less than the rate of inflation, the assessment increase could not exceed that amount.
Keep in mind that this would still be a tax shift because the revenue is still guaranteed to the local units of government under the Constitution. The millage would just not be rolled back as much and those who have purchased their houses after 1994 when Proposal A passed will still be paying more than their fair share and those who receive an exemption would shift their share to others.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I've been spending a lot of time in court this past year and it's all because of the recall of Speaker Andy Dillon. The first time in circuit court to get the wording on petition approved. Next to federal court to defend my First Amendment rights so that we would be able to count signatures that they threw out and twice this past week back to circuit court to remove the last two paragraphs of the language submitted by Dillon which criticizes us instead of defending his position - a definite violation of the law. A year is a long time just to get a question on the ballot. They say the process is too easy. I say it is too hard and costly. At least we made it a little easier in the future by having the court affirm our rights.
During this whole ordeal, they have complained that we have been getting financial resources from outside the district. Most of our funds came from people who own businesses in Michigan and who have gotten stuck with huge increases in taxes. The rest was from more than 250 individuals who were sick of cuts in their own personal budgets, while the state continued to increase spending and raise taxes. We delivered petitions to almost every house in the district. Anyone could have sent in invalid signatures. That includes Dillon's supporters or even Dillon himself.
Now that we have the ballot question settled, its time to get down to business. I think it is time to put the garlic around our neck, take our wooden stakes (for our signs), get to the heart of the matter and take care of the task at hand.
I am told that Dillon has a quarter of a million dollars to run his campaign with. He didn't collect that much from voters in his district. Could it be he got it from all the lobbyists and special interest groups he reported on his campaign statement?
He has some nerve complaining about us. No mater where any ones money came from the question is where it belongs - finally in the hands of the voters of the 17th district.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This gets me right in the mood. If you go to our website homepage and click on the oil rig you will hear the new song by country music star Aaron Tippin. Below the picture, if you click on the link, you will see a video from American Solutions.com. You should do it because it is a really great song and quaint video.
Preliminary results of mine and my sons Hydrogen fuel cells which we have had installed in our vehicles are good. My son's 2002 Ford F150 truck is getting an average increase of 57% in his gas mileage. I am driving a 1993 Crown Victoria and I have experienced a 50% increase in my mileage. Both of these should improve with continued use and as the oxygen sensor adjusts. Please note the nickel in the picture, so you can judge the size.
My nephew says he is going to replace our units with the new and improved version which he is ready to put into production soon. He has a patent pending and is securing funding. Soon you too will be able to tell foreign oil producers Americans can become more energy independent. Go to American Solutions.com to join the fight.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I was pretty miffed a couple of weeks ago when the Michigan Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court refused to hear the case for the recall of Speaker Andy Dillon. I've cooled off now. As November gets closer, I was thinking about judges. I read in the newspaper that the Democrats have chosen Judge Diane Hathaway to be their candidate for the Supreme Court, so I started checking her out. That sweet gentle face has the heart of a left wing liberal.
Hathaway has been a Wayne County circuit judge since 1993. She ran unsuccessfully for the Michigan Court of Appeals in 2006. She was a supporter of the Reform Michigan Government Now proposal.That was the proposal that almost re-wrote the entire State Constitution. Good thing the lower courts decided it could not go on the ballot because it was to broad. The proposal was very poorly written and would have made sweeping changes that would have effected all of us negatively. She has the support of the union bosses. I am not sure of the rank and file. Her criticism of Justice Taylor is that he is to pro-business and not generous to the little guy. Which means he doesn't ere on the side frivolous lawsuits. According to the Detroit News, Hathaway called Taylor a "walking conflict of interest" who too often rules in favor of insurance companies at the expense of middle-class Michigan residents.
Insurance companies will settle almost any case to avoid Wayne County Courts. They know they can not win no matter what the circumstances and even if there is liability the courts and juries will usually grant outrageous awards. She has sympathy for those award and is running against the conservative Chief Justice Clifford Taylor.
Justice Taylor can certainly defend himself but no matter I felt that you should know more about him. This is from his election website:
" Chief Justice Taylor is considered a strict constructionist, and is frequently invited to teach new jurists throughout the country. He is the co-author of a three-volume work entitled Torts which covers personal injury law in Michigan. He was recently named the Man of the Year by the Police Officers Association of Michigan, having previously been their Jurist of the Year. He has also been honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and was given the Grano Award for Judicial Excellence by the Federalist Society.
Chief Justice Taylor serves on the Board of the George Mason University Law and Economics Center, which provides judicial education across the country. He served in the past on the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Chief Justices, the Michigan Legislature’s Commission on the Courts in the 21st Century, and on the Michigan State Board of Law Examiners.
His community activities have included service on the Board of Directors of Chief Okemos Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Board of Directors for the Michigan Dyslexia Institute."
Given the circumstances I don't think I will have a hard time deciding.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Yesterday, the Secretary of State finally certified that there are enough valid signatures to place on the ballot the recall of Speaker Andy Dillon. So, now it is up to us to explain to the people of the 17th district the reasons we believe he needs to be removed from office and not be re-elected. You read right. He will be on the ballot twice. He is running for re-election and the recall question will be on the ballot as well.
When I started this recall, I had no personal bad feelings about Rep. Dillon. I have now seen what he is made of and who he hangs with and my feelings have changed. It has made me more committed to remove him from office. We have to re-emphasize the reasons he was wrong to raise our taxes instead of cutting the state budget. I hope to keep providing other information which will reinforce that conclusion. His friends and tactics also hold a place in judging his character and where his loyalties rest.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The blog itself provides my perspective.
Friday, October 26, 2007
In the panel presentation, McCollough says he sent out people to present his side of the story. They were like thugs. We had to call the police on them several times. They badgered people who came up to sign. I remember him calling us a dogs breakfast and malcontents. We believed and I still do to this day, that it was some of his supporters who signed the petitions more then once. There were probably others who signed more than once by mistake because we were frequently in front of the same stores over a three month period. Some people may have forgotten if they signed. There were three signatures that appeared on a petition that were forged according to his handwriting specialist. When we investigated those three people said they did indeed sign the petition and we could not find the signatures on other petitions turned in. My question is who would think to hire a handwriting annalist to look over all those petitions unless you expect to find something.
I will also tell you right now that John Engler never had the authority to stop the recall nor did anyone else. They were collected by people who wanted McCollough removed from office and that was not something to be bargained away by anyone in Lansing no matter what they may have said.
Rose Bogaert, Chair
Wayne County Taxpayers Assn.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
File No. 1:08-CV-687
HON. ROBERT HOLMES BELL
TERRI LYNN LAND, individually and in
her official capacity as Michigan Secretary
ANDREW DILLON, WAYNE COUNTY
CLERK CATHY M. GARRETT, and
WAYNE COUNTY ELECTION
Friday, August 15, 2008
According to Mr. Olson, "the mission of the MEA and MESSA is not to look out for the best interests of the school districts - its to make sure that their members are receiving the best "Compensation and Benefits possible".
I am always befuddled by the fact that over 30% of our taxes go to education and we spend so little time electing qualified people who have lots of backbone to manage our districts.
It is nice to have caring parents on the board and others that reflect the demographics of the district but they need to have skills that will allow them to manage the millions of dollars entrusted to their care.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wayne County Community College history has been marked with distasteful episodes. Classes listed but not held, students enrolled without attending and teachers paid for classes they rarely taught. It is true that of late it has operated much better and has expanded its suburban population to 40%.
So why did they choose to put the millage on last year when it did not expire until 2011? Some say it was to take advantage of a low turnout election. I say it was much more devious than that and they are doing it again. The language referred to in the newspaper this year suggests that they are requesting a renewal, when in reality, a levy of 1.5 mills would actually be an increase. It would undue any gains we would of had for the last 10 years under the Headlee Amendment which has limited the revenue increase to the rate of inflation and rolled the millage back. Since 2001, they have had an increase in student population from 17,000 to 70,000. A number of students require remediation. That means the education we have been paying for the last 12 years has been less than adequate.
I wonder if they know that if the millage is set to take effect as a renewal and passes this year they will have to take any reduction that occurs the next two years until the millage is levied? That was part of an Attorney General decision made this past year.
WCCC says they need to plan. So do we. Will our assessments be up or down in 2011? Will we be in or out of a recession? Will Michigan be in better shape or worse? Will population grow or decline? Will we have the personal revenue to pay for the tax increase, since every level of government is trying to hit us up for more money?
Fancy buildings do not an education make.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
What makes Michigan different? Is the weather so different? It seems we do have two seasons in Michigan, winter and under construction and we do not have the good sense to leave the alternate route from being under construction too. For years, before my mother moved in with me, I had to fight to get from the west side of town to the east side of town because the roads were being worked on. By the time next year would roll around, that stretch of highway needed repair and they were working on repairing a stretch a mile away. I know they are collecting taxes to fix the roads, but I think at some point they should learn to do a good job. Maybe that is the reason there are so few people coming to Michigan. They are having trouble getting here. I might have to rethink that idea because they seem to have little trouble leaving.
Update on my Hydrogen fuel cell. I still have not gotten my odometer replaced, but can sure tell the difference on my gas gage.
to be continued.....
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Kwame Kilpatrick has been ordered to jail for breaking the restrictions of his bond. He not only left the city, he left the country. He went to Canada on city business but the condition of his bond was that he not leave the city. The judge says he is not making the mayor an example. He says he would have put anyone who broke bond in jail.
If Kwame felt the need to leave for the sake of city business, he should have requested permission from the court. This is just another example of how politicians think that the law does not apply to them but only one the people they proport to represent.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Well it is 11:46 am and I have not received my odometer yet. I had previously wrote about the hydrogen fuel cell I put on my car. Well my odometer broke and I don't know how many miles per gallon I'm getting. So it gives me another reason to be angry at Speaker Pelosi as I watch all those dollars pile up at the gas pump.
Please call Speaker Pelosi at 1-202-225-0100 and tell her to call congress back into session for an up or down vote on energy legislation.
In support of this issue "Americans for Prosperity" is sponsoring an interesting event.
Save the Dates
August 13 and August 14
Hot Air Balloon to Stop in Farmington, Kalamazoo
Gas prices are squeezing your budget! Yet some lawmakers in Congress continue to refuse to support free-market measures that would lower energy costs. And global warming alarmists like Al Gore cheer misguided policymakers on by calling for more energy taxes and regulation.
Join Americans for Prosperity's 70-foot-tall hot air balloon in Farmington or Kalamazoo to learn more about the Hot Air in the energy debate. These events will be fun for the whole family and completely free! Bring the kids out for dinner/breakfast and a tethered hot air balloon ride.* The first 50 pre-registrants will receive a free t-shirt.
Farmington (pre-register) THIS ONE IS CLOSE!
5:00 PM -- Wed., August 13
Shiawassee Park (map here)
(at the corner of Shiawassee and Power Roads)
8:30 AM -- Thurs., August 14
Flesher Field, Oshtemo Township (map here)
3664 South 9th Street
Contact Scott Hagerstrom for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to forward this e-mail. Encourage folks you know to sign up, including friends from work, family, your college, homeschool group, political group, and other community associations!
One of the driving forces behind Congressional inaction on the energy issue is global warming alarmism. We are working hard to bring you the missing half of the global warming issue. What will the impact of reactionary legislation be on our national economy, local businesses, and even your personal budget?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
It has come to the point where the parties support people because they have a (R) or a (D) after their name principled or not. Maybe we need another lesson in voting and what it means.
Rose Bogaert, Chair
Wayne County Taxpayers Association
Monday, August 04, 2008
I have decided to include some questionable people running for office in Wayne County as part of my blog.
WHO IS THIS PERSON DISGUISED AS A MILD MANNERED POLITICIAN?
- A 35-year homeowner in the district
- A wife, mother, and grandmother
- A life-long Democrat
- A Schoolcraft College Trustee
- An adjunct professor at Madonna University
- District constituent services staff person for Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Andy Dillon
- One of the mean, nasty, thugs that followed, harassed, stalked, took pictures and blocked us from collecting signatures for Speaker Andy Dillon's Recall
I think she would serve us better in the county jail than on the commission. There are a number of undesirables running for office in Wayne County. A lot of them know each other well.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Here I am out on the cutting edge again. This past week my husband , my son and myself had hydrogen fuel cells installed on our cars. My nephew created this thing in the garage of his house in Ohio, where he has a machine shop. He has been working in mechanical and electrical engineering for years. Two days before he came up to install it in my 1993 Crown Victoria (definitely need better mileage there) , my odometer broke. We are running our tests now and it will take a few days for the electronics and oxygen sensors to catch up. My son, who is a chemical engineer, is already getting a 50% increase in his mpg. He can't really tell because he has spent some time time working outside this week in the heat and kept running his pickup truck to get his air conditioner to cool him off.
My husband lives so close to work that we haven't had a real test there, at least not enough to make it meaningful. So that will take some time. I will get my odometer this Wednesday. I did drive to and from Dearborn to Grand Rapids last week and filled up before I left. I had lots of gas left over when I got back. When the car was new it only got 15-18 gallons on the highway. Close as I can figure it only got about 10 mpg in the city before I put this thing on the car.
We will continue to take our mileage test until we get some meaningful data but at these prices I'll take a 40-100% increase in my mpg. I'll let you know how it all works out. He has a really neat design that will fit in any car. I'm really geaked about this.
Did I mention that it works on diesel fueled vehicles as well and that he heated his home with this hydrogen gizmo too.
I was watching TV today and some guy was talking about biofuel from algae. Looks like a plan to me. As far as I'm concerned we can do this thing if congress will get out of our way.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
We keep hearing that we need to be energy independent from foreign oil, but our representatives never seem to show they believe it by their behavior. Michigan in particular has a problem because most businesses which remain in this state, are hanging by a string.
Also, some will be unable to heat or cool their homes, food prices will rise, they will have a difficult time paying for gas to run their car.
We need to get our legislators off their duff. This problem goes beyond politics and effects our basic needs.
In the seventies we demanded congress to act. Some of their decisions were helpful while others were not. We know from experience what works and what doesn't. Conservation on our part always works for instance. Tax credits for insulation, thermal windows and energy efficient appliances works for another. Dialing down our thermostats works. Research on ways to reduce energy efficiency works.
Windfall Profits Tax does not work. Look at this video and then consider signing the petition on line.
Now go to their website and add your name to a million others. If we want them to make any effort we have to be willing to do our share.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
First lets talk about medicine. I can not believe that they are still pushing this. The influx of people into this country to access medical care is impressive. While everyone may eventually get a chance to receive medical care with socialized medicine, you still have to be alive to receive it. Lines are long and care is sometimes restricted by the patient's age. The older I get the less enthusiastic I become about that prospect. I thought perhaps you might like to see this video.
The next topic is the nationalization of the oil companies. I know these people are out of their minds. Name me one thing that the government has done well. There are some things that are better just because of the magnitude of the job, but that doesn't mean they do it well. If you are old enough to remember back to the 1970's, you will remember the so called "Oil shortage". Eventually, Jimmy Carter and congress slapped a "windfall profits tax" on the oil companies. That only served to drive the oil prices higher. What drove the prices down? We did. We found ways to conserve energy. We used less. Those who could afford it insulated their homes and put in thermal windows. We walked when we didn't need to ride. We bought energy efficient appliances and electronic thermostats. We lowered the heat and put on more clothes. The changes will come only if we demand them. This video shows what happens when the government takes over.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Which brings to mind another issue. You know we support the right of ballot initiative but we do not support the right to be deceptive. This message goes across party lines and should be important to all. The video below does a good job of explaining the problem.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, in her official capacity,
Andy Dillon, and Wayne County Board of Election Commissioners
On June 6, a Complaint For Writ of Mandamus was filed in the Court of Appeals to recapture signatures which are valid as found by the US Supreme Court. If found to be invalid it would would violate citizens First Amendment Rights of free speech and association. This would give us more than enough signatures to place the question on the Aug. 5th ballot.
In addition, we are also challenging the practice of throwing out both signatures when someone signs twice by accident. For years the opposition has been thought to be signing petitions more than once to throw off the count. In 1983 when we were attempting to recall Senator Patrick McCullough, we had enough signatures to recall him from office for his vote for a 38% increase in the income tax. Due to duplicate signatures, where both the original and the duplicate were thrown out, we were unable to place the recall on the ballot. We challenged it in the Court of Appeals but did not have the resources to challenge it any further. We now have the opportunity if the Court of Appeals does not drag their feet.
On the face of the petition, is this warning in bold print: "A PERSON WHO KNOWINGLY SIGNS A RECALL PETITION MORE THAN ONCE OR SIGNS A NAME OTHER THAN HIS OR HER OWN IS VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS OF THE MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW."
We believe that over a three month period people can honestly forget if they signed a petition. We still have the presumption of innocence in this country. We agree that one of the signatures should be discounted but only one. In any case, we should not allow the disenfranchisement of voters for political expediency. Hopefully we will prevail.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
When the Constitution of the United States was ratified, a colleague asked Benjamin Franklin, “What have we wrought?”
Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, if they can keep it.”
I have not been writing lately because I am not sure what to tell you. We are still fighting to save the recall of Andy Dillon. As soon as I know what is next, I will let you know. The one thing I do know is that I am fearful for this country. I have seen things in this campaign that are unprincipled, dirty and beneath those who propose to represent the people of the 17th district. I can not believe that we are the only place in this country that have had these experiences.
We can not excuse this by brushing it off as just politics. If this is politics, it has no place in our form of government. We have lost respect for each other, our first amendment rights have been violated and breaking the law is not justified to achieve a goal. No matter what happens we will ultimately wind up in court.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I try to remember every one who helped make this country what it is, because that is what my father taught me. I can remember my father raising the flag in our yard each day when I was young. He watched every war movie that was ever made (and cowboy movie too). He cried every time he heard taps. He was a sailor in WWII. He never saw action but he appreciated everyone who did. He was proud to be a sailor and prouder still to be an American.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all that have served this country and permits me to live free.
I know this country is not perfect but it is the best there is. When I go to court on May 27th to defend myself against the trumped up charges by Rep. Andy Dillon, I believe that if there is justice I will be vindicated. I believe in this system. I also know that power corrupts. It is evident in the way Dillon's thugs attempted to infiltrate and corrupt our petition drive. I received calls attempting to bribe me, petitions in the mail without circulators to temp me, calls with people attempting to get me to make incriminating statements, have been followed and harassed and been asked to do things that are anatomically impossible. Dillon has personally lied when he said I never gave him suggestions on how to cut the budget and no one in our organization ever attempted to photograph his children or his wife. They say that almost 1/2 of our signatures are invalid. I know we will prove them wrong. This could only happen if he or his supporters sabotaged our effort. It does not serve us to do anything like this. We knew the state and Dillons surragates would be going through them.
Please take time this weekend to remember those who fought for our freedom from the beginning to the present. Pray that we can keep our country free. May God bless America and keep her safe.
Friday, May 09, 2008
First I will give you the sweet.The Secretary of State has finished the first process to place vacationing Andy Dillon's name for recall on the August 5th ballot. I hope that they didn't send the news to Mexico and ruin his fun. After all, his vacation is far more important than the mess this state is in.
The bitter is that our court date has been postponed again. It seems they have come up with more trumped up charges and our side needs time to figure out what they are talking about and who these supposed witnesses are. The only regret I have is that we have come to this as a society. If Dillon is loved so much by the voters, why is he going through all this? He could just stand on his reputation and his performance in the legislature and defeat us at the polls. He would be defending his record and not trying to discredit us. I guess it must be because he can do neither and must give the appearance that he is the injured party.
In the meantime, Rep. Dick Ball (R-Owosso) introduced a resolution which criticizes the State Constitution for allowing recalls for anything but criminal misconduct. Recalls are about anything but that. Criminal misconduct is decided in the courts. Recalls are about representation and political matters. HR358 also stated that recalls are undemocratic. Huh? We had to collect a lot more signatures then he had to collect to run for office. About 8,500 more. Then the recall has to be voted on. Sounds pretty democratic to me. Thank goodness the rest of them had the good sense to not want to vote on it. It was however the fact that someone wanted to amend the resolution to include that Kwame Kilpatrick be removed from office that brought the great enlightenment. The dems removed it from the agenda.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
So where is our hard working Speaker of the House Andy Dillon? The mess of the Michigan Business Tax and the expected shortfall for our state budget need to be addressed. Where else would he be but on a beech in Mexico? Obviously, the time off after the budget is finished, the break for hunting season, the long Christmas break or the spring break are not enough. He feels it is time to get away at a time where his leadership, for which he is payed considerably more, is needed.
Does he need to get away while the governor continues to give away our money at an unprecedented rate to businesses she thinks are worthy? Maybe he needs to get away while business is suffering under the legislatures last adjustment to the tax on business. He must not be able to tolerate the people who are losing their jobs, their homes and their children to other states. I guess that is part of his "me first" philosophy.
MIRS a Lansing Journal asked if he needed to "get out of Dodge" to regroup. The Speakers spokesperson, Greg Bird replied that it was previously planned. I think that is worse. His absence was premeditated. Shame on you Dillon. You can take a slow boat after you get recalled from office when you will have plenty of time.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Yesterday before we turned in the signatures to recall Speaker Andy Dillon we were scheduled to hold a press conference in room 55 of the Capital Building. We were notified at the last minute that it was not available and no other room was available. When a reporter from MIRS asked why the press conference was changed Dillon said "They want to have a press conference in one of my rooms? Yeah right."
Who does Speaker Dillon think he is? That is the peoples house not his house. By what right does he deny anyone access to the Capitol Building during the hours it is open. It is that arrogance that I was unaware of until I started to recall him. His superior attitude keeps him from making decisions for the people but facilitates his disposition to act in his own self interest. He forgets he was sent there to do our business not his own.
It is interesting the things you find out. Dillon supporters hired an out of state coordinator for his blockers. They hired a convicted felon as a blocker. He complains because someone drove by his house a couple times to try to interview him but thinks nothing of his blockers driving by my house several times a day and following our circulators up and down the streets and to their homes. He accuses us of lying and fraud. I now know him to be a liar because he has lied about me. He has said I offered no solutions to the budget crisis. While I did say that he had to make the final decisions on what should be cut because that is what he was elected to do, I also suggested that he look at the $1.9 billion worth of cuts by the Mackinac Center and those suggested by the Citizens Research Council. He made no cuts but increased the General Fund Budget by 8%.
He says the people who are recalling him are not from this district. I had people from his district stuffing bags to hang on doors and boxes stacked from my front room to my family room full of the literature. I had petitions mailed to my house. I had obscene phone calls. I answered questions and gave instructions. People from the district brought petitions to my door. I received more in todays mail. Speaker Dillon, keep thinking that the people of your district are happy with your representation, it will make my job easier.
You and your deplorable friend Miles Handy have shown your true colors. Just like Darth Vador you have gone to the dark side.