Coming to November 19 Forum
Henry Payne, syndicated newspaper cartoonist featured in The Detroit News and other publications nationwide, will be in Grosse Pointe Farms Tuesday, November 19, speaking to the Eastside Republican Club.
The 7:30 p.m. event will be held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road.
“We've appreciated Henry Payne's brilliant in the Detroit News,” said club chairman Jenny Nolan. “His conservative perspective in both his columns and cartoons is refreshing and enlightening.”
She added, “The Forum is open to the public at no charge, so we invite anyone interested in current events or cartooning to attend.”
Labeled "the Thomas Nast of his time" by National Review magazine, Payne creates his editorial drawings from a distinctly conservative point of view. More than a cartoonist, Payne also is a skilled and well-informed journalist whose investigative work has garnered national headlines. >>Learn more about Henry Payne.
"Will Detroit Stay Fixed?"
Asks Journalist Nolan Finley
"Bankruptcy does nothing to change the culture," cautioned Nolan Finley, editorial page editor and columnist for The Detroit News speaking October 15 to the ERC Forum.
Finley explained, "For the next mayor, bankruptcy will soon be history, city operations rational, and debt under control."
He warned his War Memorial audience that elected officials who believe that government exists to serve the political class and use it to maintain political status will be counter productive.
If that happens, he said, "We are going to be right back here in five to ten years."
In Finley's opinion, the next mayor will succeed only if he is able to complete what Kevin Orr has put into place, because "what's fixed doesn't necessarily stay fixed."
There's a lot that needs fixing. "The blight is sickening," he said.
"If we don't stop that now, I don't know that we're going to get another chance to save Detroit." >>Nolan Finley: Will Detroit stay fixed?
Michigan Policy Expert McHugh
Giving credit where credit is due September 17 at the Eastside Republican Club Forum, Michigan policy expert Jack McHugh of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy said, "The governor and the current legislature did 'heavy lifting' on a number of key issues."
Among tough issues they've tackled are tax reform, freedom to work, and the Detroit financial crisis.
Yet, with Michigan's recent approval of Medicare expansion, "Michigan took a wrong turn, and is adding to the national debt," McHugh said. >>Michigan's wrong turn.
Justice David Viviano Explains What It Takes
To Merit a Hearing Before Supreme Court
"We turn down more cases than we accept," exclaimed Michigan Supreme Court Justice David F. Viviano, speaking June 18 to the Eastside Republican Club Forum at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.
He explained that while citizens have an automatic right to trial in the judicial system, not every case appealed to the Supreme Court is accepted at that level.
"The court doesn't even hear every case where the Court of Appeals was believed to be wrong," he said.
Justice Viviano explained, "Cases are accepted when there are broad policy issues, or constitutional implications."
Gov. Rick Snyder appointed the Macomb County jurist to the court in February 2013. >>Read more Viviano.
Senate Leader Richardville
Avoids Pot Holes to Deliver Good News
Michigan's economic health is vastly improved, yet finding money to pay for needed road projects continues to be a challenge, said State Senator Randy Richardville who trekked from his home in Monroe to speak May 21 to the ERC Forum.
Not long ago, he said, "Michigan was at one of its low points -- a lot of people moved out."
By working together, he said, "We'll have a complete FY2014 budget by June 1 with a projected $702 million surplus."
The largest share of that surplus would go toward road projects, he said.
Selected by fellow-Republicans as Senate Majority Leader, Richardville was first elected to the Michigan Senate in 2006. >>Richardville Speaks to Forum.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley
Pulls Record Crowd for PAC Dinner
By John Minnis
Lt. Governor Brian Calley drew a record crowd to the annual Eastside Republican PAC fundraiser April 24 at Sindbad's Restaurant on the Detroit River.
“In the 15 to 20 years we've held these dinners here, this is the most we've ever had,” said Eastside Republican Club PAC chairman John Stempfle. He then thanked the nearly two-dozen sponsors of the event, including University of Michigan Regent Andrew Richner, former State Rep. Ed Gaffney, attorney Charles Kennedy, and Butzel Long director Louis Theros.
Others in attendance included Republican stalwart and Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Palmer Heenan, retired Wayne County Chief Judge William Giovan, and past American Bar Association President Wallace Riley.
Many of those present had attended a rare appearance of former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who spoke that afternoon at Grosse Pointe South High School at the invitation of student leaders of Young Americans for Freedom.
“We are now $20 billion less in debt than we were in January 2011,” Calley said. “I realize we've got a long way to go, but I love the trend he (Gov. Snyder) is on, of where we're going.” Read more and see event photos at the link. >>Calley Speaks in Detroit.
New Volunteer Commission
Deploys Veteran Crime Fighters
"I try to have hope every day," said Andrew G. Arena, former agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office and newly appointed executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission, in his March 19 talk to the Eastside Republican Forum in Grosse Pointe Farms.
He said the DCC focus is quality of life, and creation of an "atmosphere of no corruption," including crime investigation, abatement/abandonment issues, public corruption, and witness protection.
He noted, "I was encouraged when the Kwame Kilpatrick jury convicted the former mayor of racketeering, which is tough to prove -- that jury really worked hard."
"Right then and there, I thought, 'there is hope.'"
Arena ticked off some of Detroit's challenges. In mortgage fraud Detroit ranks second in the country, police suffer from a misuse of manpower and lack of leadership, and in one four-square-mile area violators with 600 active arrest warrants live and walk the streets unchallenged.
He described the DCC's work to stop a ring of insurance fraudsters operating "under the radar" in southwest Detroit. Their "business" involved buying 159 foreclosed houses in disrepair, renting them to illegal aliens -- who were afraid to complain -- never repairing the houses, and then torching them after the houses could no longer be rented.
Their final payoff was a claim against their insurance policy for the fire loss. The case uncovered tax evasion and 213 fraudulent house fire insurance claims.
“We are privately funded through private donors and grant proposals. We're not costing the taxpayers any money,” Arena said. >>Veteran crime fighters deployed.
Move to Draft Young Women
For Ground Combat May Be Next
Young ladies, prepare to be drafted for combat duty! That was one of the warnings issued by Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, in February 19 remarks to the Eastside Republican Club Forum.
Lauding the thousands of women who have and will continue to serve, Elaine Donnelly nevertheless laid out a strong case for restricting them from any combat role.
Donnelly leads the Center for Military Readiness, an independent, nonpartisan public policy organization specializing in military/social issues. Founded in 1993, CMR advocates high, single standards in all forms of military training, and sound priorities in making military/social policies.
She noted that thus far, the Supreme Court has rejected efforts by the ACLU to force women to register for the draft. She explained that the Court came to that conclusion because conscription was used only during wartime to build combat forces from which women were exempt.
That was 1981. Now that women are slated for combat duty, the argument can no longer be made.
"Combat effectiveness is now secondary," Donnelly said, because by his January 24, 2013, announcement Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unilaterally lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles.
She explained that added to victory is now a new priority, "gender diversity metrics." Plans call for "significant cadres" of women in direct ground combat battalions by 2016." >>More Donnelly on Military Readiness.
Massive Government Growth
Root Cause of U.S. Fiscal Crisis
“Stop digging!” insisted Paul Welday in his talk to the Eastside Republican Club Forum January 15 at the War Memorial.
The Republican activist and Oakland businessman explained, that's the first rule when you realize you're trapped in a hole.
Welday's message focused on leadership and “the crisis facing our state and our country.”
The root fiscal problem, he said, is the massive growth in government.
In laying out the facts, Welday noted that our national debt at $15.6 trillion is now bigger than the entire U.S. economy. By comparison, he said the gross domestic product is just $15.1 trillion.
To help illustrate how fast the debt has grown and how deep the “hole” is, he pointed out that in 2007 national debt was considered high at $9 trillion.
In another comparison, Welday put the U.S. debt crisis in international context. He said that the annual amount of interest paid to the Chinese on U.S. debt held by them would soon equal China's annual military budget.
“What do we do now?” he asked.
Welday advocated “changing course, and stopping endless government spending.”
He said taxpayers and our leaders must accept the challenges, endure sacrifice, and realize that responsibility for action belongs to us. >>Welday to the Pointes.
Finley's Analysis of Vote
“This was not a wave election -- there were mixed results,” said Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley.
He noted, for example, that Republicans picked up 30 of the 50 state houses.
Finley spoke November 20 to the Eastside Republicans at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.
In Michigan, he reminded, “Voters defeated union proposals up and down the ballot… and voters did a wonderful job on the Supreme Court.”
At the federal level, “Voters did not give [the President] the votes in Congress to get his agenda passed. Voters returned a Republican House.”
Being realistic, he observed, “It is extraordinarily hard to beat an incumbent.”
Finley encouraged his audience, “In 2010, just two years ago, Republicans swept the landscape. Do we really believe that things have so fundamentally changed in two years, and Republicans are no longer relevant?”
In the final analysis, Finley recognized a GOP weakness. “We got beat on the ground,” he opined.
He said that the election outcome “was not an affirmation of [Obama's] last four years.” >>Learn more.
A 'Travesty' for Pointes
Echoing the sentiment of his audience, analyst Bill Ballenger told the Eastside Republican Forum October 16 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial that splitting the Pointes into two districts was “a travesty.”
Noting that the united Pointes have been a bastion of the GOP since the party was founded, “Too bad the Republicans [in Lansing] have not seen fit to keep the district together.”
Ballenger bluntly told the audience, “The GOP threw Grosse Pointe 'under the bus' by splitting the Pointes.” As a result, the area is divided between two Michigan House districts. >>Pointes divided.
Pointing fingers, he said, “The news media was so asleep” during the primary, looking the other way while a felon won the Democratic nomination for state representative in District 1.
“Today, Republicans control everything in Lansing,” he said.
That's why Ballenger sees the Michigan Supreme Court as a key battleground. He said the three Supreme Court seats are “almost the biggest thing” at stake. Because three of seven justices are up for election, including two Republicans.
Though they are non-partisan positions for the Supreme Court, Republicans are supporting Justice Stephen Markman (incumbent), Justice Brian Zahra (incumbent, partial term), and Judge Colleen O'Brien. >>ERC endorsements.
He pointed out that failure to elect these three could tip the balance from a conservative to a liberal court. >>More on Ballenger.
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