Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Primarily Confusing

11. January 2008 • Juliew
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The Michigan Presidential Primary is Tuesday, January 15. Voting will be at regular polling places from 7am to 8pm. The only item on the ballot in Ann Arbor is the presidential primary. Sample ballots can be found here. You will need to show your ID.

That part is clear, the rest is confusing. First of all, this is a “closed” primary. This means you must declare if you are going to vote Republican or Democratic and your ballot will only have the candidates for the party you chose. Although this is not public information, it will be given to Michigan’s political parties (Ann Arbor does not keep track of party preference). Write-in candidates will not be allowedcounted. Yes there will be a line for a write-in vote, but don’t use it because no write-in votes will be allowedcounted.

Adding to the confusion, it seems that Michigan has been a very bad state and chose to have its primary before the February 5 deadline. This upset the national Republican and Democratic Parties so they decided to sanction Michigan. The Republicans have removed half of our delegates. The Democratic Party has removed all of our delegates. In a show of solidarity to the National Party, several candidates pulled out of the Michigan Democratic Primary, including Barack Obama and John Edwards.

If you are planning to vote Republican, your options are pretty easy. You declare, you pick up your ballot, you vote for the candidate of your choice. Be aware that although some candidates have dropped out of the race, they may still be on the ballot because of long printing lead times. (Tancredo and Brownback have dropped out.)

If you would like to vote for a Democratic candidate, you have a few options. The first is to vote for Clinton, Gravel, or Kucinich as they are listed on the ballot (Dodd has dropped out). If you are an Obama or Edwards supporter, you can vote for “Uncommitted” and hope that Uncommitted gets enough votes to get delegates and that they vote for your choice. Or you can declare as a Republican and vote for the least-likely-to-get-elected Republican candidate.

Why vote Democratic at all if there aren’t going to be any delegates at the National Convention? The general consensus is that the Democratic leaders will feel more, well, democratic and eventually give us back some delegates. If that is true, the assumption will be that if you voted “Uncommitted,” you wanted either Obama or Edwards and the delegates should act accordingly.

So don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! Remember your vote counts, or it doesn’t, maybe.



  1. It should be noted that we have two candidates with Michigan connections-Mitt Romney,who was raised in Bloomfield Hills and Dr.Ron Paul, who performed his residency as an ob/gyn at Henry Ford Hospital in the 1960s. Dr. Paul’s interview that was recently published in an Israeli newspaper revealed that he would ,as president, cut of all foreign aid to both Israel and the Arab states, thereby being even-handed. Dr. Paul has received about as much public donations to his campaign as either Obama or Clinton-about $20,000,000.00, which has stunned campaign pundits. His message of rolling back American involvement overseas and of the federal government in everyday life of Americans has gained widespread appeal. Readers should examine his congressional website and download his essays as they show he is one of the few elected officials that has gained such a profound understanding of how our Founding Fathers dream of a nation based on freedom of expression and commerce eventually has moved towards a totalitarian state.


       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 12 '08 - 12:54AM    #
  2. “Barack” Obama, not “Brarak”.

    Another reason to vote “uncommitted” is to prevent Hillary “Let’s invade Iraq” Clinton from declaring a victory; many people think she will look weak if “uncommitted”, de facto a.k.a. “Nobody”, beats her. (And why waste your vote on Ron Paul?)

    —Check out Michigan Liberal for more details.


       —David Boyle    Jan. 12 '08 - 01:12AM    #
  3. I’m still deciding exactly what to do in the primary on Tuesday. I don’t support Republican policies at all, but I simply can’t stomach that the national Democrats are not going to count Michigan’s votes! It prioritizes their party rules over our votes and disenfranchises many of our 6.5 million voters. I’m having a very hard time with this, and a hard time supporting a party whose idea of a democracy is apparently very different from mine.

    Whatever you decide to do in the primary, I hope you’ll let party leaders and your state legislators know how you feel about this fiasco of a primary. I’ve put up some information about the primary, and what you can do to make your voice heard, at WhoStoleMiVote.org


       —Scott Gifford    Jan. 12 '08 - 01:17AM    #
  4. “Barack” Obama, not “Brarak”.

    Oh geez! Thanks David. I fixed it.


       —Juliew    Jan. 12 '08 - 01:43AM    #
  5. Just to recap: the principal movers from the Democratic side were Debbie Dingell and Jennifer Granholm, both Clinton supporters. Clinton was the only major candidate not to pull out (presumably a decision, not an oversight). Both of her supporters have been unwilling to express regrets about the way it turned out.

    I think that a vote for Uncommitted, apart from any loyalty to a specific candidate, rejects this ploy.

    Remember: write-ins not counted!


       —anonymous too    Jan. 12 '08 - 03:00AM    #
  6. Uh, it’s an open primary, I think—the closed one would be for registered party members only. For us, all you have to do is ask for whichever ballot you want.

    The whole situation stinks, and I blame Howard Dean. It’s his job to stop things like this from happening. Once it became clear that the state and national parties were on a collision course, he needed to sit down in a back room with the Levins and the Dingells and Governor Beautymark—pure exemplars of the machine politican all!—and work out a deal.

    I’m a Democrat who does not support Hillary, and I’m voting Uncommitted—I would be angry if the Republicans interfered in our primary, and I can’t bring myself to do the same to them.


       —JIm M.    Jan. 12 '08 - 03:09AM    #
  7. Can the state Democratic Party be any more worthless? I mean honestly. I’ve worked to organize my precinct; I’ve attended county and state conventions and city party meetings. I’ve given money and volunteered my time. And they’ve repaid us by doing what? By ineptly engineering this sham of a primary. It’s ridiculous and just another sign of how broken this state is. Instead of valuing our votes, our state party leaders cared more about posturing and supporting Hillary Clinton. Screw ‘em.


       —OWSider    Jan. 12 '08 - 04:21AM    #
  8. As messed up as this has been, especially on the Democratic side, it’s hard to argue that Michigan isn’t playing a bigger role than we have in the past. Michigan has gotten a reputation as an upset state but those past examples have been fluke wins caused by crossover mischief voting more than anything else. This time, especially with the Republicans, Michigan is a big-deal. The whole issue of being stripped of delegates seems like much ado about nothing. Let’s face it, by the time we get to the convention, the candidate will likely have already been selected. What’s more important? Ensuring that a handful of high-placed politicians get a say at the convention or that Michigan voters get a significant say in the selection of the candidates for the next President?

    As for voting, I think I’ll be joining the Kossacks and voting for Mitt.


       —John Q.    Jan. 12 '08 - 05:22AM    #
  9. This is the best summary of our situation I’ve seen, juliew. Thanks!

    I’m for Obama, the candidate of hope. Obama supporters should indeed vote “uncommitted”.

    It would be great if Hillary got less than 50% of the vote!


       —David Cahill    Jan. 12 '08 - 03:02PM    #
  10. You might consider crossing over and voting in the GOP primary. At least protect us from a potential President Huckabee who doesn’t believe in evolution.

    This is your chance to make sure that even if the Dems lost in November, we don’t end up with a totally crazy person in the White House. Yeah, it’s kind of anathema to think of doing this. But maybe it’s the best alternative….


       —Cooler Heads    Jan. 12 '08 - 03:10PM    #
  11. How often do you get the chance to explicitly vote for “none of the above” for president?

    Best. Election. Ever.


       —Murph    Jan. 12 '08 - 03:18PM    #
  12. “Uh, it’s an open primary, I think—the closed one would be for registered party members only. For us, all you have to do is ask for whichever ballot you want.”

    Jim M., Larry Kestenbaum says it is a closed primary and he knows way more about this than I do so I’m inclined to believe him. Also, the Michigan Bureau of Elections says it is a closed primary. I think maybe it is because it is a state-sponsored primary rather than a party-sponsored primary so you aren’t required to be a registered party member. Making you choose a Republican or Democratic ballot effectively makes it a closed primary.


       —Juliew    Jan. 12 '08 - 06:16PM    #
  13. Check this definition of a closed vs. open primary:

    http://www.bartleby.com/59/14/openprimary.html

    Also check this (at the bottom):

    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/election-guide/2008/primaries/states/MI.html

    I don’t see where the primary is referred to as a closed primary in the BOE document.

    We’re arguing over semantics here, however—we’re in agreement about the process. But I think the term “closed primary” is generally understood to mean that the primary is open only to registered party members, which is not the case here.


       —Jim M    Jan. 12 '08 - 07:15PM    #
  14. (1) Open vs. closed primary. I dunno if there really are consensus definitions for “closed primary” or “open primary”. It really depends on whether you’re looking at it from a Michigan or national perspective.

    Most states, unlike Michigan, require voters to register by party, and only allow those who have stated the appropriate party preference in advance to participate in a primary. That’s what the rest of the country thinks of as a “closed” primary.

    Time Magazine recently published a presidential primary graphic showing Michigan’s as an “open” primary, meaning independents are free to participate without any prior party declaration.

    But since Michigan voters are accustomed to choosing a party primary inside the voting booth, rather than publicly, the choice-of-ballot system we have on Tuesday is widely referred to as a “closed primary” because it inhibits party activists from crossing over and taking part in the other party’s primary.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 12 '08 - 08:42PM    #
  15. (2) Write-in votes. The main posting is incorrect in saying that write-in votes are not “allowed”. They’re certainly allowed, but they will not be counted.

    Because they’re “allowed”, your ballot will not be rejected by the tabulator if you vote write-in.

    Write-ins don’t count because a recent Michigan law provides a ten-day deadline for write-in candidates to register. Write-in votes for any candidate who didn’t register do not count. No candidate in either party registered to receive write-ins by the deadline for the January 15 primary.

    I strongly disagree with this law, but I am in a minority among election officials, who don’t like the work and delays that counting write-in votes can entail.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 12 '08 - 08:46PM    #
  16. (3) Public information. The law which established the January 15, 2008 presidential primary also exempts the list of who voted in the Democratic and Republican primaries from the Freedom of Information Act. It provides that these lists will be provided to the Democratic and Republican parties (to be used however they like), and that local government copies be destroyed. Criminal penalties are provided for giving the list to anyone else.

    This law is patently unconstitutional for several reasons, notably in that it privileges two specific party organizations over all others. Moreover, the law has a non-severability clause, which provides that if any part of the law is ruled invalid, the entire law dies.

    A circuit judge struck down the law over the list provisions, and his decision was upheld by a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals. However, the notoriously partisan Michigan Supreme Court reversed that ruling by a 4-3 vote.

    Now, a different group of plaintiffs, including three political parties (Libertarian, Green, Reform) and the Detroit Metro Times, is suing in federal court. I am very confident that the law will be overturned again.

    This means that the choice of ballot information from the primary will either become public record available to everyone, or perhaps the federal judge (to “fashion a remedy”) will order the records destroyed and given to no one. It is not safe to assume that your choice is private.

    Regardless of that expected ruling, the election system is pretty ineffective at keeping this kind of information secret. For example, access for poll watchers to all election paperwork is assured by law; they can see the declarations and take notes. And, the ballots are numbered and listed in the (public) poll books; it’s not rocket science to figure out who had a Democratic or Republican ballot from ballot numbers alone.

    As a matter of law and practicality, either the choice of ballot is public to all, or secret for each voter. There is no “middle way”.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 12 '08 - 09:02PM    #
  17. (4) Withdrawn candidates. Iowa and New Hampshire are very jealous of their status as first caucus and first primary. Democratic candidates were put under intense pressure to “sign the pledge” to boycott any unauthorized early states, or face being much less competitive in those two states. All of the major candidates signed the pledge.

    The authors of Michigan’s primary law blundered in leaving the “opt out” provisions in place from earlier law. Florida, which is breaking all the same party rules as Michigan, does not offer candidates any genuine choice to opt out, so Florida’s ballot has all the Democratic candidates.

    The fact that none of the Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, have any campaign apparatus in place in Michigan means that there will be no advertising targeted at Michigan, and none of the usual get-out-the-vote activities. Hence, the voters who get motivated by such things will be absent.

    The electorate on January 15 will consist of those who read the news and show up at the polls on their own — i.e., considerably more educated and affluent and partisan than usual, even compared to normal primary election turnouts.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 12 '08 - 09:23PM    #
  18. Mr. Kestembaum,

    Thank you for your informational posts on this topic. We are lucky to have a County Clerk who is knowledgable and active on these issues.

    We have a Presidential primary process that is steeped in history and arcane party regulations. Unfortunately, as quaint as it is, our current process for selecting a President is very broken.

    Leaving aside the fundamental unfairness of the electoral college and the lingering hangover from the “Great Compromise,” we have a primary system that advantages the economies and the enhances the influence of two states above all others.

    In my opinion, because of the demographics and political predilections of Iowa and New Hampshire, this process drives the political discourse to the right and disadvantages minority voters (and other interests).

    As a result, the only candidates that can survive the gauntlet of Iowa and New Hampshire are candidates that speak to the issues of those states. Our national ethanol boondoggle comes to mind.

    In any event, there is an easy, fair and sensible solution. Hold primary elections on ten consecutive Tuesdays in the spring. One year before the election, hold a lottery. Randomly assign five states to each of the ten election dates.

    This process would shorten the election season, inject fairness into the selection of delegates and give the voters in all states a fair shot at democracy.

    Speaking as a Democrat, I am appalled at what my party is doing to the process and the state of Michigan. However, my frustration surrounding these sort of structural issues pales in comparison to my frustration over the war in Iraq, our failed and inefficient health care system and the systematic dismantling of the New Deal policies that made this nation a great one.

    So, I remain a proud Democrat, even when my party’s leadership openly disrespects me and my fellow Michiganians.


       —Jeff Irwin    Jan. 12 '08 - 11:02PM    #
  19. I disagree with Larry on the issue of which groups get information about which voters asked for which ballots.

    The courts (state and federal) have repeatedly held that it is legitimate for state legislatures to treat major parties differently from minor parties. That is what our state legislature has done with regard to this information about ballot choices.

    I am confident that this new law will be upheld.


       —David Cahill    Jan. 12 '08 - 11:32PM    #
  20. There have been lots of interesting proposals for fixing the primary system. I heard a report on Michigan Radio a few months back with a proposal that the primaries start off with a block of small primaries, which are advantageous because the voters really get to know the candidates, and then increase the block size as it goes on. The idea is that when each block of states has their primary, there are still enough delegates at play to change the outcome of the election. I don’t remember the person I heard, but it looks like this is being called the American Plan now, but this Wikipedia page seems to summarize it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduated_Random_Presidential_Primary_System

    Unfortunately, I fear that the parties will learn this year that they can make whatever rules they want without regard to fairness, and if they don’t feel much pain from decimating the Michigan and Florida primaries they will not have any reason to look at reform.


       —Scott Gifford    Jan. 13 '08 - 06:08AM    #
  21. A vote for Ron Paul is the only possible way to cast a vote to end the war in Iraq and stop billions of dollars to the apartheid “Jewish State” that pushed for the war.


       —No More Wars for Israhell    Jan. 13 '08 - 02:16PM    #
  22. Looks like Kucinich is breaking the Dem boycott on Michigan and hanging out in Detroit. Bonus points for the lovable vegan gnome with the hot young tongue-studded British wife. (Just to hit all the media-emphasized quirkiness. Did I mention that his wife has a pierced tongue?)


       —Murph    Jan. 13 '08 - 06:00PM    #
  23. Oops, I forgot to include the link: from the DetNews .


       —Murph    Jan. 13 '08 - 06:01PM    #
  24. Two college-student-aged guys were distributing Ron Paul literature in my neighborhood this morning.

    And I’ve seen at least a handful of Ron Paul yard signs around.


       —HD    Jan. 13 '08 - 06:08PM    #
  25. Every time I see a Ron Paul sign I think to myself “there’s a vote for a racist, homophobic, secessionist – but hey, at least they want to end the war, too”.


       —FAA    Jan. 13 '08 - 08:11PM    #
  26. Because I don’t think my “uncommitted” Dem vote will really count for anything, I am thinking of voting for McCain because he said in a speech in Grand Rapids that some of the jobs that have left Michigan are never coming back. And so we need adapt to the new economy and change in order to be economically viable and healthy.

    The other Republicans are all making noise about propping up the auto industry.

    McCain has said the most honest and sensible thing about the Michigan economy of any other GOP candidate. It’s not pretty, but it’s true and the sooner we deal with it the better.

    So I will crossover and vote McCain.


       —Cooler Heads    Jan. 13 '08 - 08:40PM    #
  27. Jeff, I encourage you to consider being just a Democrat, without the pride. Or you might go a step further and strive to be a humble Democrat. I’ve looked for value in pride and haven’t found any. I think it’s often used as a poor stand-in for happiness and/or confidence (not to try to pin that on you.)

    I wonder how a primary would go if the results from each state were withheld until all states had voted. Any idea if that would be legal, Larry? I also wonder how IRV might be used to improve them.

    Kucinich is scheduled to speak at the Nat Sci building Monday, 1/14, at 2:30pm.

    FAA, I looked up “seccessionist” and learned that it’s someone who advocates for the policy of secessionism. Do you object to that? Or do you believe that Paul specifically advocates for actual secession?


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 13 '08 - 09:28PM    #
  28. Steve,

    As to withholding results for weeks, the legal issues are dwarfed by the practical difficulties.

    If you want all states to vote without knowing about the results in other states, why not have them all vote the same day?

    A single-day nationwide primary with IRV, say. (I need to think out the implications of that.)


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 13 '08 - 10:35PM    #
  29. Steve,

    Zero value in pride? I think maybe you are overstating the point. In my estimation, pride is a valuable motivator. For instance, pride can motivate an individual to contribute to their community. Pride inspires citizenship and industry. Sometimes these forces run awry, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bankrupt sentiment.

    In an attempt to avoid a semantic or philosophical argument about pride, suffice it to say that you are right in asserting that I should strive to be a humble Democrat.


       —Jeff Irwin    Jan. 13 '08 - 11:42PM    #
  30. I, too, am a humble Democrat. I should be humble, since somehow we Democrats allowed our nation to be governed by Alfred E. Neumann for 8 years. I would think, in all my humility, that we should be wiser than to allow ourselves to be represented by the candidate the Republicans want to run against. Newt Gringich is still pushing Hillary Clinton as our candidate. Should this be a signal?

    Of course, George Bush stated in 2000 that our nation should have a humble foreign policy. We have seen how well that went.

    Steve, as a supporter of Nader in 2000, why are you advising Democrats?


       —anonymous too    Jan. 14 '08 - 02:27AM    #
  31. The lost delegates really don’t matter at all — Iowa and New Hampshire are small states with few delegates to start with but are still hugely (and unfairly) influential because of their effects on the primaries to follow. Better to have an early primary with few (or even no delegates) than a late primary with many.

    The monopoly that Iowa and New Hampshire have on being first really needs to be broken. There is no good reason for two small, unrepresentative states to have an outsized influence election after election.

    Why did most of the Democrats pull out of Michigan? Not, I think, because of “show of solidarity to the National Party”, but rather in an attempt to suck up to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Well screw ‘em. Either vote Hillary (to send a message to Democrats willing to stiff Michigan to impress Iowans) or vote for the best (not worst) Republican on the ticket (if experience is any guide, we may end up with one of ‘em). I plan to do one or the other tomorrow (I haven’t quite decided yet).


       —mw    Jan. 14 '08 - 03:05PM    #
  32. Steve,

    “I looked up “seccessionist” and learned that it’s someone who advocates for the policy of secessionism. Do you object to that?”

    No, I don’t object to that definition. Yes, I do object to a policy of secessionism. I sort of dig the whole “United” part of the USA.

    “Or do you believe that Paul specifically advocates for actual secession?”

    Well, Ron Paul believes the Civil War was unnecessary, has written that “the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society”, and has been a featured speaker at a conference hyped as one that would “explore what causes secession and how to promote it”...so, yes, yes I’ll stand by referring to him as a secessionist.

    Really, though, the whole secession-y thing is the least of my concern with Ron Paul. I mainly can’t stand seeing political signs for a racist, not to mention someone who doesn’t believe in evolution.


       —FAA    Jan. 14 '08 - 04:22PM    #
  33. I’ve decided the DNC shouldn’t decide when Michigan votes. I’ll be voting for Dennis Kucinich and am glad to have the opportunity to do so.


       —John    Jan. 14 '08 - 04:33PM    #
  34. Murph, you didn’t mention his claimed UFO sighting and Tim Russert’s apparent attempt to pull a Dean Scream media hit job on Kucinich by asking him a mocking question about it in the debate.

    The candidates have been asked to answer more questions about UFOs than global warming. (Democracy Now reports that of over 2,000 Sunday talk show questions to candidates, only three were about global warming.) The priorities of our corporate owned media are interesting.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 14 '08 - 05:24PM    #
  35. Thanks, Larry. What are the practical difficulties, though? (What’s practical isn’t usually at the forefront for me.) I was thinking that same-day primaries would eliminate most of the opportunities that candidates have to connect with voters, short of one-way, expensive TV ads, which wouldn’t be an improvement. Yes, please ponder IRV some more (as I know you have more than most up to now.)

    Thanks for being open minded, Jeff. You’re a good example for your party mates and a responsible representative.

    Steve, as a supporter of Nader in 2000, why are you advising Democrats?

    Hmm, bait from an “anonymous” poster… Do I have anything better to do today?


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 14 '08 - 05:54PM    #
  36. Dennis Kucinich will be speaking today, Monday January 14, on campus in the Natural Sciences Building at 2:30pm.


       —Juliew    Jan. 14 '08 - 07:46PM    #
  37. Maybe Governor Granholm’s turn as Linda Loman (Attention must be paid to this State! Attention must be paid!) was a bit unseemly, but I agree with John Q. that Michigan is playing a larger roll in the nomination process. As an independent voter I was delighted to see John McCain in person yesterday in Howell—introduced by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (wearing, and my brother and I both thought this was funny, a lumberjack shirt). I’m also hoping to see Joe Lieberman tonight on Liberty Street if I manage to get there in time. I just don’t recall having this sort of access to either party’s candidates and their big-name allies in the past—even for a few days.

    And while my heart is really with Obama, and I will most certainly vote for him in the general election if he’s nominated, I’m happy to use my primary vote for McCain whom I see as a solid second choice. In fact, if it comes down to McCain vs. Clinton or Edwards in November, I’ll be hard pressed not to vote for McCain.

    What I most dread is Huckabee vs. Clinton, or Romney vs. Edwards, or some such combination where I’m sick to my stomach no matter who I vote for. Again.


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 14 '08 - 10:12PM    #
  38. Huckabee and Romney scare me. So does Clinton, for that matter.


       —Cooler Heads    Jan. 15 '08 - 12:09AM    #
  39. My heart is with Obama, so I’m voting “uncommitted” tomorrow.


       —David Cahill    Jan. 15 '08 - 02:42AM    #
  40. It’s sad to see that people are still buying into the “moderate” McCain fantasy. McCain is adamantly pro-war and he made it clear that having troops in Iraq for 100 years is OK by him. His voting record is very conservative and while he’s been bashed by some conservatives for his votes on campaign finance reform and a couple of other issues but those votes are exceptions to the rule. Independents and moderates latch onto those votes on those issues as if they define who McCain is but in fact, he’s more conservative than the impression left with most voters. Read this and let us know if you still feel the same way.

    http://select.nytimes.com/2006/03/13/opinion/13krugman.html?hp


       —John Q.    Jan. 15 '08 - 04:57AM    #
  41. if i could vote for gore tomorrow, i would. that is about the only empty gesture i would be willing to make.

    i can’t even get excited about try to mess up the republicans — each is worse than the others, voting for any of them would be a sick joke.

    so, steve, as someone who supported nader over gore in 2000, how is it that you are now advising people how to vote in the democratic primary?


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 15 '08 - 05:24AM    #
  42. People change parties, Honeyman. I think a lot of us here backed Nader in 2000. Not sure what it is to you.


       —Brandon    Jan. 15 '08 - 05:57AM    #
  43. I had thought I had seen everything in 2000 when Green Party activists drafted Jello Biafra to seek the presidential nomination as opposed to Ralph Nader. With no campaigning and choosing death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal as his running mate, Biafra finished tied for second at the nominating convention and delivered a brilliant convention speech. This primary election the Michigan legislature can be thanked for an even more bizarre and fractured scenario than the Green Party had in 2000-and they did it to both the Democratic and Republican parties.


       —Mark Koroi    Jan. 15 '08 - 08:34AM    #
  44. I appreciate that you don’t post anonymously, Peter, but you (and anonymous too) might want to reread what I wrote and note that I didn’t advise anyone on anything.


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 15 '08 - 02:53PM    #
  45. reread what I wrote

    ok …

    Jeff, I encourage you to consider being just a Democrat, without the pride.

    um …

    I didn’t advise anyone on anything.

    yes you did. but i don’t have a don’t have a horse in this race, so i have no problem conceding that you didn’t. even though you did.

    brandon, you can call me peter, just like all the polite people do. i take it you and steve are newcomers to the democratic party. welcome. sorry about the last seven years, but don’t blame us: we voted for gore. sadly, the race was too close to call; we needed just a little bit more. too bad, we all pay the price: the thousands dead, the ruined economy, torture, rendition, shame. a bitter pill to swallow. but all that is behind us now, isn’t it?


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 15 '08 - 04:08PM    #
  46. “It’s sad to see that people are still buying into the “moderate” McCain fantasy.”

    I didn’t say I thought he was a moderate. In fact I disagree with him significantly with regard to the war and a woman’s right to choose. I just trust him more than I trust Clinton and Edwards, both of whom will sell out their “principals” the moment it becomes politically expedient.

    In any case, the McCain vote is cast. Mrs. Structure-Dude can’t bring herself to vote Republican, so she went the uncommitted route. So either her vote won’t count at all, or the Clinton’s will find some way to count our delegates at the last second, pointing to the handful of uncommitted voters as evidence that there was a legitimate primary.

    And not to sound like a star fucker, but I got to shake Joe Lieberman’s hand last night. I was late arriving, but he was even later. It was pretty sweet. And if we had waited until February 5 to vote, we wouldn’t have a soul campaigning in Michigan.


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 15 '08 - 06:38PM    #
  47. I voted this morning at 2-4 at Angell School. At 8:30 am, I was voter #41.


       —Cooler Heads    Jan. 15 '08 - 07:46PM    #
  48. I voted at 11:45 at precinct 1-6 (Northside School). I was voter #70.


       —David Cahill    Jan. 15 '08 - 08:02PM    #
  49. “I just trust him more than I trust Clinton and Edwards, both of whom will sell out their “principals” the moment it becomes politically expedient.”

    That’s the same rhetoric that’s used to defend GWB, that he’s so “principled” that he won’t let pesky things like reality budge him from a position once he’s taken a stand. If you’re ready to sign up for four more years of that, we’re in more trouble than I thought.


       —John Q.    Jan. 15 '08 - 11:15PM    #
  50. Writer Stan Goff opined that he would vote for a dead cat if it would get us out of the war.

    I know how he feels, as I can’t believe the party I just declared and gave my vote to.

    But the guy with the two first names is the only candidate that will stop the war and also has a chance of getting elected. Well, at least more of a chance than the only other anti-war candidate, who doesn’t have a comparable fund-raising apparatus.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 15 '08 - 11:56PM    #
  51. you declared yourself a republican and voted for the racist misogynist creationist?

    that is extreme politics.


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 16 '08 - 01:30AM    #
  52. yeah, I didn’t find the evidence for the first two of your “ists” to be very convincing, and the last one, you know, if Paul can grab all the religious wacko votes of the repug party with that kind of stuff and get elected and stop the war, then I say go for it.

    And isn’t it ironic to be calling the only candidate who doesn’t think we should continue to occupy a race of people and their country the racist?


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 16 '08 - 02:43AM    #
  53. check out the new republic article.


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 16 '08 - 03:17AM    #
  54. With 31% of the Washtenaw County precincts reporting, Uncommitted is beating Clinton, 45% to 42%. Hooray!


       —David Cahill    Jan. 16 '08 - 03:45AM    #
  55. I’m not a Ron Paul supporter and wouldn’t vote for him in a general election. But since he has responded to the TNR article, shouldn’t you also link to that as well? In recent years, TNR has been a cheerleader for Joe Lieberman and the war in Iraq so I’m not sure they come into this discussion with an objective viewpoint.


       —John Q.    Jan. 16 '08 - 05:05AM    #
  56. In the TNR article you cite, there’s no bibliography showing the page/article/issue/citation/etc. for each of the purported excerpts. There’s no scanned images, photocopies, or pictures. Just undocumented allegations with a lot of inference and innuendo, peter, how do you know the author didn’t take the excerpts out of context?

    Besides that, the article was released by TNR on the day of the NH primary without giving the Paul camp a chance to respond. I saw in the comments that Paul has since denied the words as being his.

    Yes, this was the Fox News type “journalism” that I found less than convincing.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 16 '08 - 02:30PM    #
  57. Final results show that Uncommitted did indeed triumph over Clinton in Washtenaw, 45% to 43%.

    Statewide, Clinton only got 55%, while Uncommitted got 40%. A very poor showing for Clinton, considering that she was the only real candidate on the ballot.


       —David Cahill    Jan. 16 '08 - 02:59PM    #
  58. michael, you missed the read selections from Ron Paul’s newsletters link in the article. the scanned images are there, the content in full context. you can see for yourself that ron paul described MLK as “a comsymp,” a “lying sociaist satyr,” and “a world-class adulterer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and “replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

    john q, i think you are giving ron paul a mountain of benefit for a thimble of doubt. ron paul’s response was not that there were no such articles, nor that the words were taken out of context. he admits they were published in his newsletter, under his name. he merely denies writing them and claims no knowledge of them.

    his newsletter, his name, but not his words, not his thoughts? i can’t imagine giving a politician a free pass like that.


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 16 '08 - 03:17PM    #
  59. Small correction, Peter: Paul currently denies writing/claims no knowledge (which on the benefit of doubt side would beg how insanely incompetent the man must be as the newsletters were published for a couple of decades). In ’96, though, he claimed quotes from the newsletters “were taken out of context” – sounds like an admission of authorship to me.


       —FAA    Jan. 16 '08 - 04:18PM    #
  60. “his newsletter, his name, but not his words, not his thoughts? i can’t imagine giving a politician a free pass like that.”

    I’m not giving Paul a free pass but since both the article and his response are available online, providing people a chance to read both isn’t an unreasonable request.

    As for the newsletter, I think he has denied authorship. I’ll admit that doesn’t give him much of an excuse. But I think the fact that no one has stated that Paul has ever publicly stated those views himself makes me think that he’s probably telling the truth. Most of the raging racists of the world don’t have any problem expressing those views publicly.

    If Paul’s so smart that he knows not to say that stuff publicly, he’s also smart enough to know that putting it into a newsletter is going to get him into trouble. So I tend to think that he didn’t know or wasn’t paying attention to what was being printed under his name. I know that most of us would find that hard to believe but not knowing who was responsible for doing what, it’s very possible that Paul had little or no involvement in that publication. In any case, for most people Paul’s political positions aren’t going to be ones that they’ll support anyways.


       —John Q.    Jan. 16 '08 - 06:44PM    #
  61. So Romney won with his fairy tale about the car industry regaining its dominance, with his help. What a load of baloney. It’s sad that the state’s GOP voters bought it.


       —Cooler Heads    Jan. 16 '08 - 08:16PM    #
  62. I’m not sure that it is fair to say that Romney’s statements about the auto industry were influential in his victory here. I would surmise that name recognition had more to do with it than any issues.

    I’m cynical perhaps, but I have to believe that if issues were important to voters that we would never have ended up with a President with such a bankrupt and backwards ideas. Just look at the exit polls of particularly GOP voters. The “issues” that bubble up aren’t really issues at all. “Character” was at the top of the list in NH. Is that really an issue, or more of an visceral “smell test.”


       —Jeff Irwin    Jan. 16 '08 - 10:55PM    #
  63. To Jeff, regarding visceral “smell tests.” That’s pretty much what I had to go on when you showed up on my porch in 1999(?) asking for my vote. You were just a wet behind the ears pup, but you smelled ok, and I’ve never regretted the decision to vote for you.

    A post-election comment/question for Larry K. if he’s reading.

    I voted early in the AM in my first Ward polling place and selected the Republican ballot. Mrs. Structure-Dude! voted in the same place about ten hours later. While the staff were struggling to locate her name on the voting list she was able to read the list upside down and say “There I am, just below the guy with the same last name and the little ‘R’ written in next to it.”

    Now I don’t care if the Republican party wants to waste their money calling me and sending me mail, but it weirds me out a bit that any of my neighbors could have also spotted me and my scarlet “R” on the same list—and given that the sweet, but rather far-sighted volunteers can’t read the lists very well without some help, the likelihood that the public did a good deal of poring over the list is pretty high.

    It’s not quite tantamount to being outed on the sex-offender list, but in my “open-minded,” “tolerant” neighborhood people are still going to insist their kids cross the street when they pass my house.

    All joking aside, isn’t there a better way to handle the issue of which ballot people receive?


       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 16 '08 - 11:29PM    #
  64. Another fun result is that the Fifteenth Congressional District (including AA, Ypsi, and parts of Wayne and Monroe Counties) went for Uncommitted over Clinton, 47% to 41%. This means that our congressional district will be sending some Uncommitted delegates to the national convention.


       —David Cahill    Jan. 17 '08 - 12:40AM    #
  65. That’s assuming any Michigan Democratic delegates can be seated at all at the national convention.


       —jcp2    Jan. 17 '08 - 12:45AM    #
  66. ...sigh…peter1, you continue to muddy the water when you wrote in your last post,

    ... ron paul described MLK as…

    The TNR links you cited do not support your claim that Ron Paul was the author of the descriptions of Martin Luther King you included in your last post. For obvious legal reasons, the TNR was careful not to explicitly allege that Ron Paul was the author. Look at the TNR passage regarding MLK from your first link.

    This newsletter describes Martin Luther King Jr. as “a world-class adulterer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and “replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

    See how the TNR is careful to only attribute these descriptions of MLK to the newsletter and not to Ron Paul, himself?

    You weren’t so careful, peter, and your unsupported allegation against Mr. Paul is nothing short of libel. But on Ron Paul’s behalf, I accept your apology.

    Now let me show you something about the other link you provided, which is a scanned portion of one of the newsletters, which you apparently didn’t read, either. The second paragraph on the second page begins with the following sentence:

    King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys.

    peter, see how the newsletter identifies these descriptions as originating from “the FBI files”? So for the TNR article to attribute these descriptions to the newsletter without even mentioning “the FBI files” is a bit disingenuous, wouldn’t you agree? You took this disinformation from the TNR one step further when you attributed the description of MLK to Ron Paul, himself. Now I doubt that you would have done this, intentionally, so I will just assume that you didn’t bother to read the links you included with your post.

    Which leads to this observation. I notice this TNR article you cited, “Selections From Ron Paul’s Newsletters”, doesn’t appear to have an author’s name attached to it. Should we assume this was to avoid any libel lawsuits that could result?

    If these selected excerpts were worth scanning and publishing, why not scan the entire collection of documents? Why are the ends of the articles omitted which could possibly show who wrote them? Where are the pages that show the sender’s address? There are no covers or datelines or anything to show where these scanned pages came from. There’s no way to determine if any of the pages were op eds or published letters sent in by readers. One can only assume that the omitted pages (and issues?) did not serve TNR’s agenda. It is also disingenuous the way the viewer of these scanned pages is led to believe that the term “I” refers to Ron Paul, himself.

    Considering this complete lack of journalistic integrity by TNR with these “selections”, it was a wise TNR decision to not publish the author’s name. But these articles served the purpose for which they were written, because as we have just seen…

    PEOPLE DON’T READ CLOSE ENOUGH!!!

    Sorry for yelling, peter.

    1 I will refer to you as “peter” as you say like all the polite people do and I will assume that the lack of capitalization is your preference.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 17 '08 - 02:17AM    #
  67. ok, michael, ok, i get it, i get it already: you luuuuuuuuuv ron paul.

    but while you may think it’s bullshit, er, disingenuous to assume that the “i” in the pdf i linked to is ron paul speaking in the first person, the document does end as follows:

    My wife Carol, and our children and grandchildren, join me in wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    (this is just after his declaration that “the only safe sex, medically and morally, is that between husband and wife” and just before his closing “may we start to confound the plans of the Trilateralists and other big-government types, making America freer and thus truer to her own heritage, in 1991” which i mention not to demonstrate that ron paul is a total nut case, but merely to provide positional context.)

    now, if ron paul’s wife is not named carol, then you have a case. but if ron paul was married to someone named carol in late 1990, then you have some explaining to do.


       —peter honeyman    Jan. 17 '08 - 05:13AM    #
  68. PSD: “All joking aside, isn’t there a better way to handle the issue of which ballot people receive?”

    In a word, no.

    There are fundamentally two ways to hold partisan primaries:

    (a) Print both party primaries on a single physical ballot, and let the voter secretly pick which one to participate in.

    (b) Print the party primaries on separate ballots, issue only one kind to each voter, and keep track of which one they took.

    Michigan and Wisconsin use system “a”. Almost all other states use some version of system “b”.

    For the presidential primary, national party rules decree that system “a” is not acceptable. Well, somehow Wisconsin can still use system “a”, but Michigan can’t.

    For 2008, the legislature tried to take a middle way between system “a” and system “b”, where the choice is public in the precinct, but secret afterwards, and turned over to the two major political parties.

    In my opinion, this compromise is blatantly unconstitutional, because it privileges two parties above all others. I expect it to be struck down in a pending federal lawsuit.

    When that happens, the D’s and R’s will either become public record, or be destroyed. It’s pretty much up to the judge to “fashion a remedy.”

    Dave Cahill, I should note, disagrees, and expects the law to be upheld. We shall see.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 17 '08 - 06:28AM    #
  69. Thanks for being a font of knowledge for another election/primary, Larry.

    Good stuff.


       —todd    Jan. 17 '08 - 06:33AM    #
  70. For those of you unwilling to remain complacent and complicit until November, I encourage you to visit this site calling for hearings on Cheney’s actions, view the video, and sign the petition. Wexler has picked up where Conyers and Kucinich left off.


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 17 '08 - 06:25PM    #
  71. The Kucinich campaign has paid for a recount in NH. Some good may come of it, apparently.


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 17 '08 - 07:31PM    #
  72. Didn’t the claims of voting irregularities in NH get pretty well debunked at Daily Kos?


       —John Q.    Jan. 17 '08 - 09:53PM    #
  73. you luuuuuuuuuv ron paul.

    You couldn’t be more wrong, peter. You must have missed where I agreed with the writer who would vote for a dead cat if it would end our unnecessary wars. On Tuesday, I tried but couldn’t say the R-word to get my ballot. I just mumbled, “Ron Paul’s party…” without being thrilled about the situation I had been forced into. But to paraphrase Rummy: “You stop the war with the candidate you have—not the candidate you might want or wish to have at a later time”.

    While you and I quibble over the authorship of these decades old politically incorrect ramblings, the occupation of a people and their country continues, and no other candidate has voiced any sincere intent to stop it. This neo-con driven hit piece on the only candidate who would stop the war has distracted us from the more important issue, which of course was its purpose.

    Never the less, I did find an explanation regarding who could have authored the Christmas greeting you cited. I believe the author could have been Mike Brady of “The Brady Bunch” for these reasons.

    1) His wife’s name was Carol.
    2) He had several grandchildren (from A Very Brady Christmas , 1988)
    3) The Brady Bunch had a history of Christmas greetings.

    But seriously, let me go back to my critique of the source. Did you notice, peter, that the scanned image of the document starts in mid-sentence? Why could this be? The un-named author (Kirchick?) of Selections… doesn’t tell us. It would seem that if the scanned two pages were the only part of the document found to be in existence, then the author would have stated such, wouldn’t you think? One can only assume that the left out pages contradict the impression the author was trying to make, that Ron Paul authored the document, himself.

    Which brings up another observation. You have presented this Christmas greeting passage as the “smoking gun” which ties the newsletter’s authorship to Ron Paul. Why didn’t the author of Selections… mention this? Could it be that the author had access to information that runs counter to this Paul-authorship conclusion, so for obvious legal reasons, the author was careful not to make such an explicit allegation?

    You’ve been played, peter. The author of Selections… threw this out there knowing someone (with possibly impaired critical thinking skills) would pick it up and run with it, and you did. I don’t doubt that your intentions may be good, as you’re just trying to alert everyone to “that wacko”. But you’ve allowed yourself to be flamboozled with some deceptive bullshit.

    On another note, I just signed the petition to impeach Cheney, Steve, thanks for providing the link. The counter was ‘206405’ before I signed, and just 3-4 minutes later, after I signed, I checked again and the counter was ‘206498’. If myself and 92 other people signed the petition in that short amount of time, that is a good sign of the concern of the people.

    Now, I’ve voted to impeach the republican VP during the same week I put myself on the republican voting list, which as Larry mentioned, is exclusively owned by the republicans, and the public is barred by the MSC from accessing. That should keep Big Brother scratching his head for a minute. (Not that I’m politically significant enough for BB to be caring about.)


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 18 '08 - 05:57PM    #
  74. I’m not sure why my last post was not given its own number (75) and as a result appears to be a continuation of the previous post. If starting my post with a block quote somehow confused the software, perhaps I can edit and resubmit it.

    Ron Paul warned me about conspiracies like this. Just kidding, of course.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 18 '08 - 06:08PM    #
  75. The Impeach Cheney petition counter was in the 186,000 range when I signed, approximately 24 hours before you did, Michael. That’s an encouraging increase.


       —Steve Bean    Jan. 18 '08 - 08:50PM    #
  76. The democrat and republican monopoly of the Michigan voting lists is nothing more than a power-grab intended to consolidate power to the two major parties. It’s remarkable that the citizens of Michigan paid for the collection of this information but are prohibited by law from accessing it. The lists are essential for an effective campaign, but now a potential candidate will never get access to the lists unless that candidate is fully in line with either the democrat or republican’s official positions.

    The purpose is quite obvious. “Fringe” candidates, like Dennis Kuccinich and Ron Paul, will find campaigning and getting elected even more difficult without having access to the voting lists.

    The republican majority on the Michigan Supreme Court actually threw a bone to the Michigan Democratic Party with their overturn of the Court of Appeals decision, which had ruled that the law was unconstitutional. It will be interesting to see if Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer will return the favor by retracting his earlier promise to unseat MSC Chief justice Cliff Taylor in the upcoming election. If Taylor runs unopposed in 2008, then we can probably assume that a “back room” deal was made, perhaps not unlike Pelosi announcing that impeachment was off the table after the 2006 election. Such an exchange of political favors would be quite understandable, especially considering that the justices are nominated at the parties’ conventions.

    David, you hinted that there was some kind of precedent for this monopolizing of the voting lists and that you were confident that this new law would be upheld. I haven’t been able to find such a precedent and instead have only found opinions that claim there is no precedent at all for a law giving the major parties exclusive control of the voting lists. If your confidence in the new law is based on anything more than mere party allegiance, then I would be interested in you being more specific.


       —Michael Schils    Jan. 28 '08 - 09:04PM    #
  77. time to get hte caucus juices flowing … vote with your feet and the delegates will be counted according to a rabid i-wnat-my-vote-*COUNTED* friend.


       —toasty    Feb. 15 '08 - 03:11AM    #
  78. By the time the parties decide to give Michigan back its delegates it will not matter anyway since by that time the nominations will likely be a foregone conclusion. It already has on the Republican side.


       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 15 '08 - 04:34AM    #
  79. It now appears that the close Democratic presidential nominating race means that the Michigan primary vote may mean something and there could be a new vote in Michigan. I would support a new election if this would mean that Michigan would get back its delegates.


       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 17 '08 - 02:49AM    #
  80. Michigan and Florida will only get back half of their delegates and Senator Levin, Ron Gettelfinger,and Debbie Dingell recently authored a joint statement blaming the Democratic Party national committee leadership for the confusion that led to Michigan establishing an early primary. Now that Obama has the nomination locked up, who really cares about these delegates anyway since the value of an early primary ws to establish an early front runner as Iowa and New Hampshire do?


       —Kerry D.    Jun. 2 '08 - 02:34AM    #
  81. The only ones to blame for this fiasco are the idiots in party leadership who got our primary disqualified. I hold Levin, Gettelfinger, and Dingell responsible, and if I could fire them all, I would.


       —Fred Zimmerman    Jun. 4 '08 - 01:39PM    #
  82. Also blame the Michigan legislature for passing the bill approving the early primary. If they had done their research properly and perhaps gotten a “pre-approval” from the national leadership in the party, this could have been avoided. They could also have filed a federal court declaratory action against the national leadership if there had been any prior hint that the delegates were going to be disqualified as punishment for holding an early primary. Bad Democratic leadership all the way around with the rank-and-file electorate paying the price.


       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 4 '08 - 09:34PM    #
  83. Mark, absolutely. I blame everyone responsible for this fiasco.

    It amazes me the news coverage of this issue. If this were a case where the state legislature & party leadership had wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, it would be treated like a scandal with investigations and calls for resignation.

    This blunder is more severe. What’s the $ value of not giving Michigan a voice in the selection of the next Presidential candidate? It’s got to be billions if you trace back the effect on public spending in the next 8 years.


       —Fred Zimmerman    Jun. 5 '08 - 02:31PM    #
  84. Granted, the Michigan Dems Primary was a fiasco, no quarrel there. But I’m not seeing the obvious $ connection that Fred Zimmerman sees when he wrote:

    “What’s the $ value of not giving Michigan a voice in the selection of the next Presidential candidate? It’s got to be billions if you trace back the effect on public spending in the next 8 years.”

    So, Fred, could you clarify this? I’m not saying it ain’t so, I just don’t get it. Is the idea that because the candidates didn’t come here and actively campaign, they won’t have a good sense of what the issues Michigan faces are, and that consequently, whoever is elected, Michigan won’t be given due consideration as far as public spending goes? Or is it that a legitimate Michigan primary could have made the difference for Hillary Clinton, and that a President Hillary Clinton would have caused more money to flow to Michigan than a President Obama?

    Is it a moot point of McCain is elected? Or is that actually the point: Michigan’s screwing up of its primary delayed the clinching of the Dems nomination (whoever it was) to the point where now McCain will win [with the accompanying assumption that McCain’s victory would mean less public spending comes to Michigan]?


       —HD    Jun. 5 '08 - 04:50PM    #
  85. I’ll be the first to admit that the connections are too tenuous to articulate plausibly. But that doesn’t mean they’re not real.

    Historically, Michigan has done a very poor job at getting federal spending to the state. I work in a federally funded sector where other states have hordes of elaborate federal projects and Michigan has zip. It should be an embarrassment to the Congressional delegation.

    To the extent that the primary date change was a power grab (i.e. 100%...), one of its goals should have been to get Michigan more of that sort of influence. The power grab failed, and Michigan is back where it was before in terms of federal spending, i.e. bupkis.


       —Fred Zimmerman    Jun. 5 '08 - 05:52PM    #
  86. In addition to the primary fiasco attributable in large part to Levin, Dingell, and Gettlefinger and the lack of an equitable distribution of federal revenues, let us also look at the news headlines in recent months where governmental officials with Democratic Party connections in Michigan have gotten unwanted bad publicity:(A) Senator Stabenow’s husband and former congressional aide is named as a police informant against a 20-year-old accused of soliciting prostitution from him;(B) the son of Democratic U.S Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice(Kwame Kilpatrick);(C) Democratic Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy owes thousands of dollars in delinquent property taxes to the Wayne County Treasurer and also has An IRS lien on her home;(D) Democratic Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans owed the same treasurer $11,000.00 in delinquent property taxes ;(E) 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Geoffrey Fieger faces potential civil penalties by the Federal Elections Commission following the acquittal in his criminal case;(F) Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Beverly Nettles- Nickerson, who contributed thousands to the Jennifer Granholm campaign and who donated to the Obama presidential bid, is currently subject to a Judicial Tenure Commission recommendation pending in the Michigan Supreme Court for her removal from office and assessment of $128,000.00 in costs due to judicial misconduct;(G) Democratic Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings,III is facing a Republican challenge this fall election after his office had to release a man wrongfully convicted of murdering a Lansing Community College professor;(H) Democratic former Macomb County Sheriff William Hackel lost a bid to a federal judge to have his 3rd degree rape conviction overturned. I could go on further, but I believe the point has been well-established: The tendency of elected Democratic Party officials,officeholders, and supporters to habitually screw-up will result in “McCain Democrats” going to the polls in copious numbers this fall and helping the Republican Party retain control of the presidency. The recent polls have already shown McCain is ahead in Michigan and it could be the first time in many years the Democratic Party presidential nominee will lose Michigan. Put more responsible people to lead the state Democratic Party and back competent and ethical nominees and the Republican Party would not have a chance of winning in Michigan, especially in a bad economy.


       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 6 '08 - 09:52PM    #
  87. I now see Barack Obama wants to get back all of Michigan’s delegates. It really does not matter at this point as he has already won the nomination as a practical manner.


       —Kerry D.    Jun. 15 '08 - 10:32PM    #
  88. It is baffling to me that Obama’s current attempts to get full voting rights for Michigan’s Democratic presidential delegates is still getting front-page news when the nomination process is all but a formality.


       —Kerry D.    Aug. 18 '08 - 12:39AM    #
  89. It looks as though this story is finally over as the Demoratic National Committee has just accepted Mr. Obama’s exhortation to give full voting rights to covention delegates from both Florida and Michigan. However this cannot undo the fact that the original primary elections in these states were flawed in the first place.


       —Mark Koroi    Aug. 25 '08 - 01:31AM    #
  90. Last January I predicted that Michigan would have full voting rights at the convention. God, I’m good. 8-)


       —David Cahill    Aug. 25 '08 - 02:06PM    #
  91. David, you may recall earlier in this thread, where Larry commented that the new primary law was unconstitutional in that it privileged the two major political parties by giving them exclusive control of the voter list. Larry also pointed out that the voter list section made the entire law vulnerable to being overturned because of its non-severability clause, and that he was very confident that the federal court would do just that.

    You disagreed with Larry, and voiced your confidence that the new law would be upheld. I was surprised that you took the same side of this issue as the rightwing neocons on our supreme court, but didn’t Chomsky say something about the political far left and right eventually meeting up with each other on the other side? It makes sense that both partisan extremes share an interest in keeping everyone else out of the contest.

    Judge Nancy Edmunds overruled the MSC and declared the law constitutionally invalid, citing the same “equal protection” grounds as Larry predicted. David, if you had any specific cases in mind to support your comment that the courts have “repeatedly held” that preferential treatment of the two major parties is legitimate—then you should have shared these cases with the state attorneys. The court’s ruling would seem to indicate that such cases do not exist.

    So there’s a big prediction you got wrong, David. But who’s keeping track, right? This law was overturned back in March but the mainstream media (and this thread) hardly noticed. One could conclude that the status quo prefers the two major parties at the exclusion of all others, too.

    I know you’re the one with law license, but from now on you might just want to have Larry go over your papers and make sure you’re interpreting the law correctly before you file them with the court. 8-| (-8
    (That’s supposed to be me looking googley-eyed back at you…hehehe…)


       —Michael Schils    Aug. 26 '08 - 02:37PM    #
  92. I believe that the federal judiciary is more independent than state court judges and feel less constrained to uphold such a statute that provides a benefit two the two major parties. Most state supreme and appeals court judges got their positions through party loyalty and, unlike federal judges, need to rely on partisan support to ensure their re-election.


       —Kerry D.    Aug. 29 '08 - 12:18AM    #