House candidate with a cranking problem drops out

July 11, 2014 by  
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Sad.

Jordan D. Haskins, a 24-year-old GOP candidate for Michigan’s legislature with a vast and unusual criminal history, said Thursday that he’s dropping out of the race.

For some reason, the HuffPo didn’t tell anyone what his unusual history was. He jerked off to sparking motors, which is weird but not illegal, except when you break into municipal vehicles to do it. It’s the little lurid details like that that keep readers coming back.

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Terri Lynn Land’s low tax rate allows her to dump a million into her campaign

July 10, 2014 by  
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My tax rate last year was 10 percent. If that sounds really low, consider that I also made less than $20,000. And, if you think that’s low, you ain’t seen nothing.

Michigan GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land paid less than three percent of her income over the past two years in federal taxes, due primarily to heavy charitable deductions.

According to the Detroit News, Land’s income in 2012 was $44,726 and she paid $1,196 in taxes, for a tax rate of nearly 2.7 percent. In 2013, her income was $89,729 and she paid $1,999 in taxes, a rate of around 2.2 percent.

That’s really pretty appalling and it’s because her income is very modest compared to her net worth, which is $32.8 million. That allowed her to do this.

Washington— GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land continues to outraise Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Gary Peters in Michigan’s U.S. Senate race after she made a $1.2 million personal contribution to her campaign, according to statements on second-quarter fundraising the campaigns released Wednesday.

For a grand total of $2.9 million of her own money. Keep this all in mind when you see statements from her campaign about how Michiganders are funding her because they want a change. Most of the money in excess of what Peters raised is her own.

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Aramark might lose prison food contact; Aramark smells a conspiracy

July 10, 2014 by  
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Maggots in Ohio were apparently too much.

LANSING — Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said Thursday the state should rebid its contract for prison food services, given ongoing problems with the existing contractor, as unions stepped up pressure on Gov. Rick Snyder to return the work to state government employees.

“I’d put it back up for bid,” Richardville, R-Monroe, said of the seven-month-old contract with Aramark Correctional Services of Philadelphia, during a taping of the public affairs program “Off the Record” on WKAR-TV.

He later remarked that no one deserves that sort of treatment. That’s great, although it felt like maybe an opportunity was lost to ask whether that sort of humane thinking didn’t also apply to people locked up for life without parole while they are children.

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About that Supreme Court ruling on juvenile lifer sentences

July 10, 2014 by  
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Prolly most of you, being plugged in and shit, heard about the state Supreme Court’s ruling that when the U.S. Supreme Court said that life sentences without the chance of parole couldn’t be given to children that they didn’t mean people already in prison. Jack Lessenberry has a very good take on it.

Well, I am not an attorney, but here’s a prediction. In due course, the federal courts will overturn yesterday’s state supreme court ruling; they can hardly do otherwise. Something is either constitutional or it is not. Federal law trumps state law.

Apart from that, this ruling is, besides unjust, irrationally stupid in that it will cost the taxpayers needlessly. Michigan is being drowned by the cost of our prisons – more than two billion a year.

Cost is certainly part of it. The entire “get tough on crime” nonsense from the 90s — something that had minimal impact on crime in the first place and in second place was just a knee-jerk “I am angry, therefore you have no value” reaction — came with a pricetag that no one thought through at the time. But, beyond that, putting someone who hasn’t reached maturity yet without a chance of them ever getting out is the very definition of inhumane.

It’s not something that a civilized people would think is a good idea, and it leaves us poorly positioned to criticize others for their human rights abuses … like coercing children into fighting for them. I mean, a couple of years ago, I worked with a guy who moved here from Sudan after having been pressed into service as a child soldier (well, he was a teenager). The difference between him and the people we lock up for life is that he had a chance after being pressed into service to get out and make something out of himself. Our juvenile lifers have simply been put into a storage unit.

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Today in campaign news: Lil’ Fella gets caught making stuff up

July 9, 2014 by  
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*–I’m not sure if the Washington Post’s coverage of this will sway many Michigan voters, but they called out Lil’ Fella for lying about his conservative street cred.

*–Nancy Skinner, who is running for the Democratic nomination in the 11th District, has gotten some attention the last week for his campaign platform that leans heavily on climate change. And, by attention, I’m not talking just about Democrats and progressives, but climate scientists. I saw this link this morning via the Twitter account of climate scientist Michael Mann. It goes to a piece written by Peter Sinclair, who did the Climate Change Denier Crock of the Week series. Unfortnately for Skinner, neither Sinclair nor Mann live in this district.

*–The campaign for Andy Helmboldt for 62nd House has announced that it has been endorsed by the Millwrights and Carpenters.

*–Lisa Brown, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, will be in Kalamazoo tomorrow night to headline a fund raiser for pro-equality candidates.

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Today in campaign news: A handful of endorsements

July 8, 2014 by  
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*–Rudy Hobbs’ campaign in the 14th announced this morning that it had received the endorsement of the Michigan Credit Union League.

*–Phil Cavanaugh’s campaign to be Wayne County executive has announced that it has been endorsed by AFSCME Local 25, the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO and the Laborers’ Union Local 1191.

*–The campaign of Andy Helmboldt has announced that it has been endorsed by the Police Officers Association of Michigan in their bid to succeed Kate Segal in the 62nd House District. He is running against Calhoun County Commissioner Terris Todd and former Calhoun County Democratic Party Chairperson Dave Morgan in the Democratic primary.

*–Update! … Brenda Lawrence’s campaign in the 14th Congressional District is reporting being endorsed by the Detroit Police Officers Association.

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About that backlash on charter schools

July 7, 2014 by  
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Over the weekend, Bridge magazine published a rebuttal to the Freep’s carefully put together year-long journalism endeavor on charter schools. I breezed through it, thought about writing how terrible it was that a rebuttal to news stories came from not another journalist but political operative Greg McNeilly, but got sidetracked. This morning, Jack Lessenberry does a better job of summing it up than I could.

Even worse was a piece of blatantly ideological propaganda this weekend in the Center for Michigan’s usually superb online magazine Bridge by someone named Greg McNeilly, president of something called the Michigan Freedom Fund. The author strung together right-wing slogans to claim the newspaper deliberately got everything wrong, because it “was in lockstep with the MEA,” the teachers’ union, and was willing to lie “to meet a union agenda.”

I was frankly as ashamed of the Center for publishing this, as I would be if they reprinted a Maoist pamphlet. To me, the nature of the charters’ response only confirmed the newspaper’s findings. And here’s why this matters so much: …

Bridge has an annoying habit of doing this sort of thing … looking for something called the center by inviting everyone’s opinions, even the opinions of people who aren’t motivated by truth telling. McNeilly isn’t just a partisan hack, he works for the DeVos people as part of the soft campaign to get vouchers etched into school policy. It’s dishonest work from the get-go.

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Campaign profiles from The Year of Our Lord 2010

July 7, 2014 by  
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Our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan’s campaign got Tiger Beat on the Potomac to publish a profile of their guy. It’s straight out of 2010.

“I meet a lot of politicians. He’s definitely unusual,” says Ted Wiatt, the billionaire co-founder of Gateway Computers who brought Snyder to his company. “I mean, who runs with the slogan ‘one tough nerd’? Who does that?”

Yes, as far as campaign slogans goes … it’s just so wacky it just might work.

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Holiday weekend open thread

July 5, 2014 by  
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Did y’all get your America on yesterday? I sure did. Listened to the Rolling Stones and weeded my garden. Also, cooked ribs and even made a fantastic potato salad with fresh tarragon instead of mustard.

Anyway, we’re officially in the home stretch before the primary election next month. Lots going on, and there’s always the Dems getting ready in preparation for the general election.

Please, talk amongst yourselves.

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And now, a word from our … awwww, nuts

July 5, 2014 by  
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Take a little time to thank Vanguard Public Affairs for its sponsorship of Michigan Liberal the last three weeks. If you haven’t liked them on Facebook already, here’s your chance.

You may get another chance to get to know Vanguard here very shortly, but the company’s time in the spotlight had run out. We had someone else ready to go this morning, to run through the primary, but they backed out last minute leaving prime pre-primary space sponsorship space open. When I say prime, I mean prime. It’s one square, right before everyone heads out to vote, that you can use to boost your name ID among Dems and progressives, who will vote in your election. Plus, unless I’m saddled with weird things going on, I try to get a post or two over the month just to provide a little extra oomph.

Rates are cheap: $25 by the day, $100 by the week or $360 by the month. If you’re interested in this exciting opportunity, please contact me at ebaerren@michiganliberal.com, by text message at 517/881-8008 or on social media (teh Twitters or on Facebook … look for the guy who swears a lot).

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