Thursday, February 21, 2008
Congressman Tim in Saline on Friday!
Congressman Tim will be holding a coffee hour at My Favorite Cafe, 101 S. Ann Arbor St, Saline, on Friday between 9:00 am and 10:00 am. Not likely we will see Vice President Cheney, but it should be an interesting hour...
My Favorite Cafe is in the center of Saline, 1 block south of Michigan Ave. (US-12), on the east side of the street.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"Dick and me was just like peas and carrots again. He showed me around and even introduced me to some of his new friends."
With apologies to Forrest Gump, and kudos to "Blogging for Michigan" for the first post on this;
From the Battle Creek Enquirer http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080220/NEWS01/802200304/1002/NEWS01
Press officials for Vice President Dick Cheney confirmed Tuesday he is scheduled to make a stop at the Marshall home of Fred and Arlene Homann on March 7 during a private, invitation-only fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.
Details about Cheney's visit were scant among local Republicans.
Fred Homann said he was asked by a friend to host the party.
"I'm just supplying the facility, if you will," he said. "I'm not sending out any of the invitations or anything like that."
Homann said he is a Republican supporter and, while he has held fundraisers for GOP candidates at his home before, he's never hosted a big-name guest before.
"I am very excited to have the vice president come to Calhoun County," Walberg said about Cheney's visit.
Scott Durham, chairman of the Calhoun County Republican Party, said Cheney's visit will help highlight local issues and frame them in a national discussion.
"It's fantastic any time any of these national figures swings through Calhoun County," he said.
Megan Mitchell, Cheney's press secretary, said the vice president is scheduled to be in Illinois earlier in the day, prior to his stop in Marshall.
Cheney has been campaigning this year to support Republican senators and members of Congress, Mitchell said.
"I've been with him at several events, and I think he's been very well received," Mitchell said. "The vice president intends to work hard throughout 2008 to return the House and Senate to a Republican majority."
Durham said Walberg's race against either state Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Bedford Township, or Sharon Renier, D-Munith, will be tough.
"I think what I've heard from people in Washington and people in our communities is that Tim's doing all the right things in both places," he said. "The vice president isn't going to come out for just anybody."
President George W. Bush, Cheney's boss, endorsed Walberg's rival, former Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Battle Creek, in 2006.
Ed Sarpolus, vice president of the Lansing-based polling firm EPIC/MRA, said Cheney is stumping for Walberg as part of a concerted Republican effort to protect two Republican congressman: Walberg in the 7th District and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Township, in Michigan's 9th Congressional District.
"It sounds like they're beginning to realize that Tim's going to need some money," he said. "This is one of the seats they are watching. They can't afford to lose too many seats."
Sarpolus said Cheney "likes to hang around people who are like him," and in the Republican-heavy 7th District, Cheney's visit to Walberg's fundraiser could be a much-needed boost for the congressman's campaign.
"The point is that everybody knows what they think of Dick," he said. "No matter what they think of the vice president, they're willing to pay to see him."
Earlier this month, Schauer surpassed Walberg in fundraising. Schauer reported collecting more than $350,000 during the last three months of 2007 and ended the quarter with more than $500,000 in his account.
During the same period, Walberg reported raising about $151,000 and ended with about $438,000 in his account.
Can't wait to hang the "Cheney likes to hang around people who are like him" on Tim for the campaign! Please, for heaven's sake, someone get pictures of the two buddies.
I also think the comment, "everybody knows what they think of Dick", is one hundred percent on target...
UPDATE By Fitzy: Eric B. at Michigan Liberal sums it up perfectly:
This is precisely the shot-in-the-arm Tim Walberg needs right now. He lags behind in fund raising, his own people are plotting to overthrow him, and now he brings in basically the only politician less popular in the United States than Castro, and the only American less popular than O.J.Indeed.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Congressman Tim Gets Big Endorsement!
Knowing it is a little dated and to be expected, on January 25, the "sugar daddy" of Tim's 2006 election campaign, the "Club for Growth" decided to endorse him for reelection. Not much of a surprise, as he voted with them over 86% of the time. I'm just surprised he hasn't signed the "no tax" oath yet!
In the endorsement there was an interesting note, "Rep. Walberg also voted to reduce government spending, voting to defund outrageous pork projects (except his two earmarks this year, and the projects the CFG criticized him for last year in it's Repork card, see my earlier post) and to eliminate corporate welfare so taxpayers can keep more of their hard earned money."
Anybody know what "corporate welfare" Tim voted against? Are they talking about the Farm Bill?
Friday, February 15, 2008
Demas: Right-Wing Cannibals
Love her or hate her, Susan Demas always has interesting things to say about the 7th Congressional District. Today, she doesn't disappoint.
On a subject I've touched upon, Demas writes about the growing civil war in the Republican Party, specifically as it relates to Tim Walberg. Go read the whole article. If you're too busy or lazy for that, here's an excerpt.
Really, go read the whole thing. I think it's worth it.
Renier To Kick Off Campaign
She didn't make as much noise as the other candidates in 2007, but Sharon Renier is still running for Congress in 2008. From the Jackson Citizen Patriot:
Sharon Renier will officially kick off her congressional campaign at noon Monday with a flag-raising ceremony at her Munith farm, 10716 McCreery Road.
I can't make it, but I'd love to hear from anyone that attends the kick-off. I'm actually really curious to see what she has planned and to see how she performs. Remember, she won two Democratic primaries (2004 and 2006) where she was not considered the favorite, upsetting more "establishment" choices. Now, both of those were low-profile contests overshadowed by the GOP contests, with next to no money spent by any Democratic candidate. But it's still an achievement most people can't claim.
Having met Sharon Renier and seen her debate Tim Walberg, I can say that she has a certain appeal. At the same time, I don't know how she'll do against the campaign experience Schauer and his team have. Money, endorsements, and institutional support all point to Mark Schauer winning the primary, but Sharon Renier could mix things up.
Of course, she's only raised $1,555 and she has $52 cash-on-hand, compared to Schauer's $500,721. That's a big gap.
All of this is said with my usual caveat that I'm not endorsing anyone on this blog. I have my own preference between Renier and Schauer, but I'm doing my best to keep the coverage on Walberg Watch as balanced as possible.
Renier's website (soon to be launched) is at http://www.renier4rep.com/.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
The Truth About... Mark?
Several alert commenters have already been talking about this, but I've been slow getting around to writing about it. Sorry about that...
They say that imitation is the finest form of flattery, right? That's what I'm telling myself about the newest political website to focus on Michigan's 7th District, www.TheTruthAboutMark.com. In what may be a conservative response to Walberg Watch, the website is "dedicated to clarifying Senator Mark Schauer's stands on issues of the day."
My first comment will be this: I'm up front and open about the purpose and intentions of Walberg Watch. Right up at the top, it says "Covering and Opposing Congressman Tim Walberg, the Radical Conservative of Michigan's 7th District." I in no way claim to be an impartial source of information. The tagline given by "The Truth About Mark" makes it sound like a public service, deciphering the complicated votes that he might take in the state Senate.
It's clearly a website designed to portray Schauer in a bad light-- "Does Mark believe that Seventh District voters are bigots?" is a headline-- and I'd be a lot more impressed if they didn't try to maintain the facade of "clarifying Senator Mark Schauer's stands on issues of the day."
But that's really just a petty complaint on my part. I also don't like the color scheme or the layout, but none of that really matters.
The information they have presented thus far has some basis in fact, and they do include documentation to support their claims. Everything is heavily biased, obviously, but it's at least one or two steps better than the JoeSchwarzIsALiberal.com website the Club for Growth created in 2006. And hey, they even cite Walberg Watch for one of their pages. I feel so proud.
It's also worth noting that if this is the conservative response to Walberg Watch, I think that my own creation is far superior. Is it because I'm a talented writer? Well, no, because I'm not. Is it because I'm blinded by partisanship, and dislike all things conservative? I certainly hope not. No, the reason their website is inferior to this blog is... you.
I'm proud of the fact that I don't censor or delete comments. I don't approve what you have to say, and, while I might disagree or respond to you, you're free to say whatever you want. (There have been one or two instances where someone crossed the line, but that's only for extreme circumstances and very offensive language.)
But that's not the case for TheTruthAboutTim.com. Here's their editorial policy:
Did you see that? You can't even look at the comments without registering, and anything you post has to be approved. More than that, it can be removed if it's too "distracting" from the purpose of the site.
I'm just saying, everyone is welcome at Walberg Watch, even if they disagree. Us left-wing liberal commie folks are tolerant and loving, not authoritarian and repressive.
Oh, and some trivia. I considered "The Truth About Tim" as a name for this blog when I started it, but eventually rejected it as too wordy. Now that I see essentially the same name in action, I feel I made the right choice.
In short, Walberg Watch is better. But I'll gladly admit that I'm a very biased observer. Moving on...
Who's running this, and who's paying for it? That's information you have to do some digging for.
At the bottom of every page is:
Paid for by the Seventh District Congressional Committee with regulated funds.... and that's the only contact information given. However, the only posts made so far have been by the user wdseelig, and a WhoIs search tells us that someone named Wyckham Seelig registered the domain on October 23, 2007.
Seelig is the chairman of the 7th District Republican Party. I've got to say, it's a little refreshing to see the GOP finally catching on to the power of the internet. A little competition is always good.
But that alone is significant. When the chairman of a local political committee uses his own time and funds to build an attack website, it says something about both how worried they are about the race and how little grassroots energy they have going for them. I don't want to tell you too much about who I am, but I can assure you, I'm not the chairman of the 7th District Democratic Party, nor am I employed by the DNC.
However, the plot thickens...
The e-mail address Seelig used to register the website was with NCMS.org, the website of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, based in Ann Arbor. Seelig had been a program manager and then vice president with NCMS, but apparently retired a few years ago. When Rich at Michigan Liberal posted about this, he got this update from NCMS:
Interesting... It's nice to know that NCMS isn't trying to influence politics in any dishonest ways. Just the usual ones like lobbying and the occasional $1,000 contribution.
So what does all of this mean? I'm not sure. It could mean that Walberg supporters will have an online rallying point from which they can attack Schauer. It could mean I'll actually have to do quality blogging, just to compete.
On the other hand, this whole thing seems kind of sloppy to me. My prediction? TheTruthAboutMark.com will be completely abandoned by May. But then, I could be wrong.
I will say now that in the near future, I'm going to spend some time refuting some of the attacks Seelig makes on his website, which, honestly, won't be too hard. I don't want this to become an all-Schauer all-the-time blog, because the focus is still Walberg, but Mark Schauer is a good Democrat and a strong candidate, and, frankly, I like the guy. And I would do the same thing if the Republicans were attacking Jim Berryman, David Nacht, or Sharon Renier.
UPDATE: An anonymous commenter rightly chastised me for forgetting to point something out. Honestly, I thought I mentioned it, but apparently I didn't.
The bottom of every page says:
Paid for by the Seventh District Congressional Committee with regulated funds.That's important, as the commenter notes:
You are neglecting the fact that the site claims to be paid for by regulated funds, but there are no legitimate reports to show which funds are used.There are strict disclosure rules for political spending, especially by party committees spending "regulated funds" in support of or opposition to a candidate. If this website has been registered since October, one would think that it would have shown up in disclosure reports somewhere along the way. I haven't seen anything.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
This is off-topic, but I want to mention it anyway.
Before he was Congressman Tim Walberg, he was State Representative Tim Walberg, representing Lenawee County in the Michigan House for 16 years. It was a solid, reliable Republican seat, and Lenawee County is a pretty conservative place that liked Walberg's brand of politics.
But in 1996, Walberg got a surprisingly strong challenge from a local radio host named Doug Spade. When Walberg retired in 1998, Spade won the seat and held it comfortably for six years, until term-limited out of office in 2004. His brother, Dudley, now holds the seat, and was easily re-elected in 2006.
Doug Spade isn't an ordinary politician, though. He was caring and supportive and always focused on helping his constituents. Even when he voted a way you didn't like, you knew he was doing it because it was right for Lenawee County.
He also had the distinction of being the only member of the Michigan House of Representatives that was legally blind. But that physical impediment didn't stop him from representing the district well.
Always active in the community, there's a good chance that if you lived in Lenawee County, you probably met Doug Spade. And you probably also met Toby, his leader dog. Meeting Toby stands out in my memory almost as clearly as my conversation with Representative Spade. By all accounts, he was a good dog, and added a new dynamic to political business in Lansing.
Today, the AP brings us this:
For more about Doug Spade and Toby, read this article originally from the Adrian Daily Telegram.
GOP Primary Challengers?
There's a lot that I want to write about, but I'm having a hard time finding the energy and free time to blog about the 7th District. (Those of you that know me can probably guess why.) But I couldn't pass up this.
I don't like to re-post entire articles-- especially from the subscription-only MIRS-- but hopefully they'll forgive me. A friend sent me this:
A Primary For Walberg?There's a lot to digest there, but first, here's a quick "I told you so" moment for me. I didn't mention it here, but in a comment on the blog Swing State Project, I wrote this about Mark Schauer's fundraising total:
That's pretty impressive, and probably more than Walberg raised. It'll solidify Schauer as the presumptive Democratic nominee, and if Walberg's weak this quarter, I think it might be enough to encourage a Republican primary challenge. That's just a gut feeling on my part.Well, it was more than Walberg raised (a lot more), and now the primary challenge speculation is beginning.
So, what do you all think? Will we see a "Draft Clark Bisbee" campaign spring up?
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