Eastside Republican Review
A Publication of the Eastside Republican Club
P. O. Box 361025, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236 885-4331
THE CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE
Julie Corbett, Chair ERC
The new year portends to be an exciting year for politics and the ERC will continue to provide interesting forums and website updates to help you stay informed. The first forum speaker on January 22, 2008 will be Holly Hughes, Republican National Committeewoman who will share her perspective on the upcoming 2008 election and Republican prospects for the future. Senate candidate, Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, will be the speaker for the forum on February 19, 2008. In May, the ERC will be planning candidate forums to enable members to meet the candidates and ask questions and on June 17, 2008, Honorable Clifford Taylor will speak. In January, the ERC will also hold board elections and all members should be mindful that ERC dues must be current to vote.
With the completion of the Iowa's Republican Caucuses, Michigan's role becomes key with the first major primary race following Iowa and New Hampshire on January 15, 2008. By winning in Iowa, Huckabee has built momentum so Romney and McCain have work to do. After hearing the complaints of voters in Iowa who have been inundated by the tonnage of mail, phone calls, Internet news, and Web blogs, Michigan's citizens are most likely in for much of the same for the next weeks. The Democrats are boycotting the primary but enough of them will be around to create a commotion. The good side of it all might be that the candidates will spend a lot of money in Michigan.
As for Michigan, the state continues to struggle with a terrible economic climate and political upheaval. Bill Ballenger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics states, ”The legislature has a 16 percent approval rating,” likely due to squabbling in Lansing over the budget and lack of leadership by Governor Granholm. The new service tax, MI Fair Tax, legislative term limits, how federal guidelines will affect Michigan automakers, and many other issues continue to be the focus of a discontented population here in Michigan. As voters, we need to keep abreast of the news to stay knowledgeable and up-to-date. We must remain positive and know that by our actions we can make change!
Finally, the ERC requests that you provide your email address so that the newsletters and meeting reminders and other pertinent information can be sent electronically. This will save money for postage fees and printing. The ERC will protect your privacy; the email addresses will not be shared with any other group. Please add your email address in the envelope when you pay your ERC dues or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ERC BOARD ELECTIONS SET FOR JANUARY 22 MEETING
All seven members of the EXECUTIVE BOARD shall be elected at the Annual Meeting by plurality vote of the Regular Members present and voting. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed.
There shall be no term limitations on the four elected officers, and they may succeed themselves in office.
No member may serve more than one term as an At-Large Executive Board member during any two-year period.
Only ERC members current in dues are allowed to vote, under the bylaws. Current in dues means paid through 2007 or paid for 2008.
Nominations will be made by members from the floor. If any member has any questions about the responsibilities of a specific office or position, please call Julie Corbett (313) 885-4331. Please attend, and vote! Leadership is important to your club.
ERC PAC EVENT
Saul Anuzis, Michigan Republican party chairman, will be the guest of honor and the featured speaker at the ERC PAC annual Dinner on Thursday, April 24, 2008. His topic will be the 2008 election in Michigan and the presidential election in the USA.
Mark you calendars now. Details will be out soon.
HOLLY HUGHES TO ADDRESS JANUARY 22ND FORUM
Holly Hughes, Michigan Republican National Committeewoman, will address the Eastside Republican Club Forum at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 22.
Holly Hughes was elected to the Republican National Committee in 2006. She serves on the Rules Committee that will determine the rules for future National Conventions. She will be up for re-election to the NRC in 2008.
Hughes, a Montague resident, has been active in grassroots politics since 1989, and has worked on numerous campaigns from envelope stuffer to campaign manager. She has served in such Republican posts as precinct delegate, county treasurer, county chairman, district chairman, as well as county chairman in the campaigns of George W. Bush, Spencer Abraham, Terri Land, and Mike Cox.
In addition to working to elect Republicans, Hughes has also been a candidate herself. She is presently serving her third term as White River Township trustee, and is a former Montague area public school board member. Gov. John Engler appointed Hughes to the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Financial Assurance Fund board.
Hughes has served or continues to serve on the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, White Lake Community Fund, Hackley Hospital Cornerstone Foundation, West Shore Symphony Orchestra, White Lake Recyclers, and Lebanon Lutheran Church.
In 1999 Hughes received the White Lake Chamber of Commerce Athena Award recognizing businesswomen and community leaders. She also was awarded the American Hometown Leadership Award from the National Association of Townships after being nominated by fellow White River Township board members.
In 1981 Hughes received a business degree from Michigan State University. Today, she is a small business owner, working in property management. She has also worked with her husband, Richard, CEO for Master Tag in Montague, which manufactures horticultural tags, and with her family business, Bolema Lumber, a retail hardware and lumber company.
Richard and Holly have been married 23 years, and have two daughters, Morgan and Taylor.
We need more precinct delegates in all areas of the 13th Republican District. Please consider being a precinct delegate or recommend someone you think would be interested.
Precinct Delegates are the elected Republican representatives in neighborhoods. They are the eyes and ears of the party and the key to “grass roots” activity that wins elections. They elect our district, county and state committee members.
Time requirement is minimal. Delegates are obligated to attend two conventions a year held in Wayne County. They should participate in elections through activities in their neighborhood. For more information call Tom McCleary at 822-2709.
2008 ERC MEMBERSHIP
ERC membership dues for 2008, still only $25 per year per family, are now due. Dues cover the monthly meeting notice, room rental at the War Memorial, ERC Quarterly Reviews, website, postage, etc. All money for candidates is raised separately through the ERC PAC.
We have included dues envelopes with this issue of the REVIEW. Please take the time to write your check and mail it in promptly. A prompt response saves your club the expense of follow up mailings. We appreciate and need your support. Thank you for your consideration.
Since our mailing costs are covered by dues, we plan to review our mailing list and eliminate the names of people who have not paid their dues in over a year.
STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Service Tax Repeal
The Service Tax has been repealed. The widely reviled new tax was terminated about two months after passage and just hours after taking affect. But there were strings attached to that repeal. There are plenty of lessons that could be learned from this whole ordeal. Perhaps the most important is that if you have a bad process, you will get a bad outcome.
I am pleased about the elimination of the worst tax policy this state has ever seen, and that includes the SBT. Domestic businesses pay dearly under the service tax while foreign businesses basically pay nothing. A better name for it would have been the “Michigan Headquarters Tax.”
The disappointing part is that most of the revenue was replaced through a surcharge to the new Michigan Business Tax (MBT). There are many reasons why the surcharge makes more sense than the service tax, but the bottom line is that we should have accommodated the repeal through spending reductions alone. That is my preference and that is the only fair solution to the people of this state. However, legislative leadership deferred to the Governor's demand that the money be replaced to cover the recently passed budgets.
Here is the choice we were given: Vote “yes” in favor of a simultaneous service tax repeal and MBT surcharge -- or vote “no” and have the service tax take effect. A preferred third option (reduce spending) would have been best, but they would not even allow a vote on that.
I chose the repeal with surcharge - in other words, I voted “yes” on my one option. Here are the seven main reasons for my vote.
1. The Service Tax was supposed to raise $750 million annually. It quickly became apparent that the lax drafting of the law allowed for nearly unlimited collections by the state. It would have been kind of like an ATM machine for treasury. Many in government now believe that actual collections would have been more than $1.3 billion.
The MBT surcharge on the other hand, is a much more controlled and defined tax. Over-collections to that extent are simply not possible. To provide additional comfort, the MBT legislation includes a rebate mechanism that returns overages to the taxpayer.
2. As mentioned earlier, the repealed Service Tax acted as a “Michigan Headquarters Tax”. To pay the service tax, you had to be here in the state. Under the service tax, General Motors paid dearly and Toyota paid nothing. The MBT surcharge is spread equally among all businesses over a certain size. It does not put our domestic businesses at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors.
3. Because it was a brand new tax, the Service Tax required a ton of implementation costs. It meant new employees at the state treasury department to collect, monitor and audit, but the real costs were born by businesses. A recent study announced by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce estimated that businesses would pay over $900 million in set-up expenses.
The MBT surcharge is just an additional step in an existing tax. That will not require any additional implementation cost to businesses or the state for that matter.
4. The Service Tax would have been paid by nearly every business in Michigan at perhaps as much as $1.3 billion annually -- although only $750 million was budgeted ($619 million the first year because it did not start right at the beginning of the state's fiscal year).
The MBT Surcharge should closely mirror the budgeted amount of collections and will affect about a quarter of the businesses.
5. The Service Tax ignored a timing peculiarity between the start of the MBT and the related personal property tax exemptions/credits. That timing will result in an extra $219 million to the state.
The MBT surcharge deal returns $100 million of that to the taxpayers by lowering the first-year rate.
6. The Service Tax had no sunset. It just went on forever. The MBT surcharge expires in 10 years.
7. Nearly every small business would have to pay the Service Tax. Most small businesses will be completely exempt from the MBT Surcharge.
The Surcharge option was clearly a better choice. Between implementation costs and uncertain collection rates, businesses would have paid far more under the Service Tax -- likely over a billion dollars more during the first year.
It's been said that the biggest weakness in state government today is compromise. However, rigidity pushes every major decision to the brink and that has ultimately lead to very bad policy. The difference now is that people across the state are paying close attention -- and it looks really bad. Michigan's last best hope is that the people will stand up and demand better, because they deserve better.
If you have any questions or concerns you wish to share with Representative Gaffney, you can contact the office by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909 by email at email@example.com
or by phone toll free 1-888-254 LAW1 (5291).
SAUL ANUZIS, CHAIRMAN OF THE MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY
I hope that you and your family had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year celebration. I am confident that it will, in fact, be a GREAT year for our party as we approach our nation's most important election ever.
The year 2008 will be a defining year for our country and our party, and the Michigan Republican Party is ready for the challenges we'll face. We've spent the past year reviewing last cycle's programs in order to learn how to improve various parts of our get-out-the-vote and fundraising programs. We've also begun to build out staff structure, bringing on a new Political Director, and several new deputy positions that will work with our district and county parties to implement our mutual goals.
The major event of the new year will be our Presidential Primary on January 15th. Michigan is now in the national spotlight, and will immediately follow Iowa and New Hampshire in the national primary calendar. Because our state committee had the foresight to move up the date of our primary to raise Michigan's prominence in the nomination process, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of visits from presidential candidates, included the Dearborn debate this past October. A special thanks to Tom McCleary for his continued leadership on the Policy Committee who helped to craft the final proposal.
So all eyes turn to the 15th. I'd encourage you to visit my blog at http://migop.blogs.com/blog where you'll find the most up-to-date news and information on the final weeks of the race in Michigan and nationally. Get involved with the candidate of your choice and help get people to the polls on January 15th. Remember that this is a primary election run like any other. Registered voters may vote at their normal polling locations on the 15th between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Based on the results of that election, National Convention delegates will be allocated to the winning candidate by congressional district at our February 15 and 16 State Convention in Lansing. You can make a difference, so get involved with your preferred candidate today!
Thanks for all you do for our party!
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
Chairman, Michigan Republican Party
Your vote in the Michigan Primary Election is very important.
The Republican Ballot lists all of the Republican Candidates.
The Democratic Ballot only lists Hillary Clinton, because the other major candidates declined to have their names listed because of party politics. Democrats basically have a choice of Clinton or Uncommitted.
Vote for your choice. Do not write in a candidate's name because it will invalidate your ballot if the name has not been filed with the Secretary of State.
Please Vote. Every vote counts. Remember, we had a tie in the City of Grosse Pointe Council election.
PRESIDENT OF THE
Vote for not more than 1
JOSH ROMNEY ON 'LIFE WITH FATHER'
“My dad is incredibly optimistic about the future of this country,” said Josh Romney, son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking to the Eastside Republican Club Forum October 16, 2007.
The 32-year-old Romney brought the Romney “Mitt Mobile” to the Grosse Pointe War Memorial as part of his travel in support of his father's campaign.
The younger Romney said, “I want to tell you a little bit about my dad -- what he believes and about the campaign.” Referring to most states with later primaries, he said, “They are not paying attention yet.”
He told the Forum, “The Michigan primary will have a big impact on the balance of the race, because the rest of the country looks to you.”
Explaining his father's optimism, he noted that as a nation we have overcome multiple challenges, including wars and economic depression. Today's threats, he said, come from two directions.
Josh Romney said, from the outside, we face the threat of Jihad as well as economic pressures from Asia.
On the home front, he said the government is spending too much in Washington, and taxes are too high. He asked, “Is the solution the government, or the people?”
Romney said his father emphasizes three points in his campaign for the Republican nomination.
1) Strengthen the economy. Romney advocates tax-free interest, dividends and capital gains for most earners.
2) Strengthen the military.
3) Support the American family. Josh noted the American culture is God-fearing and esteems family values.
America, he said, is in a mood for change. “My father is a man of action and solutions - not talk,” he said.
The candidate's son said his father is not a Washington “insider,” and will bring a fresh perspective to the federal government.
When asked about the role of religion in the current campaign, Josh Romney said, “I think in a lot of ways it's positive because people want a man of faith. They don't particularly care which brand of faith that man belongs to.”
All five Romney brothers are helping their father, and their campaign-related travels are featured on a blog at fivebrothers.mittromney.com
About Josh Romney
Josh Romney has worked as a real estate developer in the inter-mountain west since graduation from the Harvard Business School in 2005, and recently formed Romney Ventures to pursue development opportunities throughout the west.
Previously, Josh worked in Salt Lake City for the Gardner Company managing development of thousands of residential building lots, and multiple commercial and retail development projects. His current projects include master planned communities of more than 1,000 residential building lots near Ogden, Utah.
From 2002 to 2003, Josh handled intra-company developments between subsidiary divisions of the Interpublic Sports & Entertainment Group based in New York City.
From 2000 to 2002, Josh was an acquisition analyst at Intercontinental Real Estate in Boston, Massachusetts. While at Intercontinental he performed research and valuations for a range of potential real estate investments across the commercial and retail sectors leading to $125 million in investments.
The younger Romney earned an undergraduate degree in English from Brigham Young University in 2000, and a graduate degree from the Harvard Business School in 2005. He and his wife, Jen, reside in Salt Lake City with their three children, Grace (4), Wyatt (2), and Owen (11) months).
LAWRENCE REED CALLS FOR 'PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP'
“Statesmen are a cut above politicians,” said Lawrence W. Reed, president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, addressing the September 18, 2007, Eastside Republican Club Forum.
Reed said principled leadership is really “statesmanship,” and it differs from merely playing politics.
He explained, “Politicians are run-of-the-mill, nothing-specials who seek office for the thrill of it, for the power and notoriety it brings.” The role of the Mackinac Center, Reed said, “is aimed at educating people as to which is most effective, central planners or rules of the marketplace.”
The Mackinac Center is a research and educational institute based in Midland and was established to equip Michigan citizens and other decision-makers to better evaluate Michigan public policy options from a free market perspective. >>Learn more about the Mackinac Center at Mackinac.org
As a public service, Mackinac Center also maintains a web site, MichiganVotes.org
, which publishes Michigan legislative information. It provides the capability to search the current session's legislation, the voting record of each legislator, and a portal to each legislators' own web site.
Reed said, “Some politicians are better than others, but it takes something more to rise above mere politics, which is the meat grinder of principles. The best politician knows how to deftly manipulate the levers of power for personal advantage, but the statesman's allegiance is to loftier objectives.”
Further characterizing a statesman, Reed continued,
He stands for a principled vision, not for what he thinks you'll fall for. He is well informed about the vicissitudes of human nature, the lessons of history, the role of ideas, and the economics of the marketplace.
He is a truth-seeker, which means he is more likely to do what's right than what may be politically popular at the moment. You know where he stands because he says what he means and means what he says.
He elevates public discussion, because he knows what he's talking about. He does not engage in class warfare or in other divisive or partisan tactics that pull people apart. He does not cynically buy votes with the money his taxes take from others.
As case in point Reed cited the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Reed contended, “The MEDC is a monumental flop that puts government in the business of picking winners and losers!”
Reed said the MEDC is a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, happily taking credit for every job created, and accepting no responsibility for jobs lost.
He said businesses in Michigan historically create one-half million jobs each year, while at the same time a similar number of jobs are lost. Reed said that when these losses are greater than the number of jobs created, Michigan suffers from a contraction of the job market.
Reed observed that Michigan now ranks near the bottom, 46th in the Forbes list of best places for business, indicating that prospective new businesses are obviously looking for more than “happy talk.”
Reed offered these seven fundamental changes necessary for Michigan economic improvement:
1. Change the perception of Michigan. “Make Michigan a right-to-work state, just like 22 other states,” he said. The percentage of Michigan workers covered by a union agreement is one-half of what it was 40 years ago.
Reed noted, “This sends a powerful message: Fix the Michigan labor climate!”
2. Project labor agreement changes. He said this has the affect of freezing out all non-union labor from a given project. To change this, the state Legislature would need to act.
3. Repeal prevailing wage law. Reed calculates this law unnecessarily costs Michigan consumers one-quarter of a billion dollars per year.
4. Corrections Department spending reform
. He proposed that some management areas of some prisons could be put up for competitive bids: food service, and other “hotel” aspects. Reed estimated Michigan taxpayers would save $200 million per year.
5. Regulatory reform. Reed said Michigan business is constrained by excessive regulation. As evidence, he noted that only five other states regulate more professions than Michigan. He concluded, “This is a major deterrent to business expansion in Michigan -- too many hoops!”
6. Fix the schools. In aggregate, Michigan businesses and institutions of higher learning report spending three-quarters of a billion dollars on remedial education, due to shortcomings in the present K-12 system. Reed sees this as a failure of the teacher education/preparation process.
In addition, Reed called for more competitive practices in the award of food service, custodial, and transportation contracts.
On the subject of public school teacher health care, Reed called the Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) “extraordinarily expensive.” He called it a “Cadillac health program at Rolls Royce prices.”
MESSA was established by the Michigan Education Association, the state's powerful school employees union, and is the state's largest administrator of school employee health insurance benefits.
7. Fix Detroit. Reed cited bloated taxes, costs, and bureaucracy. He said excessive per capita taxation is a major burden compared to similar municipalities. For example, annual per capita taxes in Indianapolis are $1,200, while in Detroit taxes are three times higher.
As a measure of economic efficiency, Reed explained that the ratio of Detroit citizens to municipal workers is 48 to 1, compared to just 203 to 1 in Indianapolis.
All of this, Reed said, points to Michigan becoming a poor state. If trends continue, he said, per capita personal income for citizens of Alabama and Mississippi will both surpass Michigan within five years.
He noted Michigan has not been this far below the national per capita average since the Great Depression. Reed said, “Right-to-work states have been job creators year after year after year.”
Commenting on the possibility of a Michigan right-to-work ballot initiative, Reed predicted that labor unions would spend untold sums to demagogue and frighten Michigan voters. Yet he said polls indicate such a measure could pass.
RNC CHAIRMAN VISITS WAYNE COUNTY
Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee met with Wayne County “Grass Roots” Republicans and members of the Dollar-A-Day Club. Mike reviewed the RNC plans for 2008.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
13th District Republican Meeting cancelled because of Primary Election
January 15 - VOTE
Michigan primary Election
Vote at your regular precinct
Your vote is important to determining our candidate for president
Eastside Republican Club Meeting
7:30 P.M. - Grosse Pointe War Memorial
Speaker: Holly Hughes, Republican National Committeewoman
Topic: 2008 Election Campaigns
ERC Election: New Officers for 2008
13th District Republican Convention
7:30 P.M. - St. John's Church, 50 East Fisher Freeway at Woodward Avenue (across from Hockey Town Cafe)
Elect delegates to State Convention
Michigan Republican State Convention
Eastside Republican Club
7:30 P.M. Grosse Pointe War Memorial
Speaker: “Rocky” Raczkowski, candidate for U.S. Senate
13th District Republican Meeting
6:30 P.M. - St. John's Church, 50 East Fisher Freeway at Woodward Avenue (across from Hockey Town Cafe)
Eastside Republican Club
7:30 P.M. - Grosse Pointe War Memorial
Speaker: To Be Announced
Eastside Republican Club PAC Annual Dinner
6:00 P.M. - Sindbad's Restaurant Sohar Room
Speaker: Saul Anuzis, Michigan Republican Party Chairman
Opinions expressed in the ERC Review are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Eastside Republican Club.
THE EASTSIDE REPUBLICAN CLUB
Post Office Box 361025
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236
>>More about ERC events held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial