Diary

Sarah Hearts Michigan, and so do Michiganders (so says a new $500,000 ad buy)

Cross-posted on Right Michgian at www.RightMichigan.com.

By now you’ve all seen this a thousand times but a thousand and one won’t hurt…

Right Michigan readers are smart cookies and I don’t have to tell any of you that a statement like that is unprecedented.  Vice Presidential nominees do not question the man at the top of the ticket and they certainly don’t do it in front of a television camera.  But there isn’t much that’s typical about Sarah Palin.  Is it any wonder this woman has given such an incredible shot in the arm to so many conservatives across the nation?

Now never mind the strategy and the war room politics that goes into a decision to yank your campaign operations out of a battleground state.  When John McCain’s campaign team made that decision last week, they were making, in their minds, a careful decision on resource allocation and they were playing the odds but they didn’t calculate the human toll here in the Great Lakes State.

Michigan is hurting.  Breaking news, right?  I won’t run through all of the same old sad statistics.  Eventually they can wear a brother down and make you want to bury your head under a pillow while you cry out for the pain to stop.  But no matter how loud you cry or how badly you wish things would change they just keep getting worse.  Today it’s rotten news out of Detroit area school districts.

We learned over the weekend that the Detroit Public Schools may or may not have made 300 layoffs in an effort to solve their $400+ million budget deficit.  Folks like bus attendants and part-time custodians.  

Things may actually be worse (!!!) over in the Wayne-Westland district where students this morning are waking up not knowing whether or not they’ll even have class.  The MEA says teachers aren’t showing up for school.  They’ll be breaking the law instead, leaving well over ten-thousand kids, literally, in the streets.  

Read on…

The Ivory Tower reports on a stalemate in contract talks between the union and the district:

There are more than 13,000 children in the district. Teachers have been asking for smaller class sizes throughout the talks.

Wayne-Westland Superintendent Greg Baracy said Sunday night he learned of the union’s plan from a reporter late Sunday. He said school was still scheduled for today, but the district will adjust accordingly.

“If the union does decide to give us a courtesy call, then we’ll cancel school and we’ll take the necessary action we have to take,” Baracy said. “If they are participating in an illegal strike, then we will cancel school.”

Is this Michigan or freaking Mississippi?  (No offense, Governor Barbour.)  We can’t even keep our kids in school anymore?  These are the problems and the crisis and the consequences that are now, still, uniquely Michigan’s.  And they’re worthy of a little national attention.  Which brings us back to Governor Palin.  

She followed up that statement on Fox News over the weekend with an appearance in Englewood, Colorado where she reiterated her desire to make Michigan a part of her campaign schedule.  The Associated Press reports:

The Alaska governor says she’d “sure love to get to run to Michigan” to make sure state residents know the Republicans haven’t given up in the state.

If you read other accounts it appears this wasn’t a one-off statement.  She flushed it out and backed it up and appears to be genuinely interested in seeing what’s happening here first hand.

(Contrast that for just a moment, by the way, with Barack Obama’s eagerness to avoid Michigan during the primary season.)

Seizing the opportunity to draw a little extra attention to the plight of local working-class voters, Congressman Joe Knollenberg fired off a letter on Saturday, urging Governor Palin to come visit, regardless of what the guy at the top of the ticket (and / or his campaign team) feels is good and right and proper.  (Letter follows.)  And while he waits for a formal campaign response, a few locals have grabbed the reigns at a national 527 and decided to make Michigan the primary focus of a half-million dollar anti-Obama ad campaign.  

The Our Country Deserves Better PAC made the announcement only hours ago that they plan to help fill the messaging gap over the next four weeks.  

The Our Country Deserves Better PAC is launching efforts against the Obama/Biden campaign in support of the McCain/Palin campaign in several key swing states including: Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  But Michigan has become the committee’s #1-priority, in the wake of the McCain campaign’s decision to pull resources from the state.

“Senator Obama doesn’t represent change at all for Michigan. His high-tax, anti-business policies have already been implemented by the failed regime of Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm, and we don’t need any more of that,” said Howard Kaloogian, Chairman of the Our Country Deserves Better Committee.

“Is it any wonder that the person who advised the Obama/Biden ticket on how to sell the same failed liberal policies in their debate prep was none other than the Tax Queen herself, Gov. Granholm?   To think Obama and Biden had Granholm playing the role of Gov. Sarah Palin in their mock debates, when Palin is a popular governor who has overseen economic growth, tax cuts, and prosperity for the people of Alaska, while Gov. Granholm has presided over a exodus of people, businesses and jobs from the state of Michigan,” said Kaloogian.

“We’ve seen the disaster that Michigan’s Democrat Governor, Democrat Lieutenant Governor, two Democrat U.S. Senators, and corrupt Democrat Mayor of Detroit have brought to the state.  The tax-and-spend, anti-business policies have helped to create a one-state depression, which we cannot allow to be turned into a national depression under the same policies supported by Barack Obama,” Kaloogian said.

Right on and well played.  Voters want change.  Voters need change.  National leadership modeled after what we’ve seen here in Michigan for the last six years is NOT change.  It’s more of the same.

OCDP is headed by Michigan folks with Michigan roots and they’re running heavily in Michigan.  As my boy Jay-Hova undoubtedly said during his free Obama concert over the weekend, “mad props.”

This race isn’t over, kids.  Now let’s grab our gear and get back in those trenches.  Four weeks and a day.

Knollenberg Letter

Governor Sarah Palin

c/o McCain for President

P.O. Box 16118

Arlington, VA 22215

Dear Governor Palin,

My disappointment over Senator McCain’s decision to not campaign in Michigan was immediately overwhelmed by my excitement upon hearing of your desire to come back to our state.

Consider this a formal invitation to join me on the trail in Oakland County. With hard work, you and John can win my pivotal county and then likely win Michigan as well.

As you know, I have a tight race of my own, but my message is resonating well. I think you’d be a perfect compliment to it.

I’m on television with women telling stories of how my work in Congress has helped them. One, Denise Little, discusses her battle with breast cancer and how funding I secured for a cancer research and treatment facility helped save her life. Another, Valerie Lane, discusses how a community organization I’ve helped secure support for has helped her daughter with special needs. I know that’s an issue particularly close to your heart, and I’d love to show you the work we’re doing at that organization – the Friendship Circle.

I’d also love to take you, as you suggested, to our carmakers and auto suppliers. I hear about their struggles every day, and our next administration needs to be perfectly tuned in to the needs of the auto industry and American manufacturing.

In Michigan, we’ve been suffering in a single-state recession for six years. You were absolutely right when you said: “the people there in Michigan who are hurtin’ because the economy is
hurtin’.” I’d love to show you firsthand the innovative ideas we’re working on to create jobs and attract new high-tech industries.

So I hope you’ll come and join me in Michigan, Governor. You can show the people of Michigan
that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on solving our economy and addressing
the needs of our families.

I look forward to talking with you again soon.

Best,

Joe Knollenberg

PS – Obviously our governor didn’t do a good enough job of impersonating you to get Senator Biden ready for your debate. I’m not surprised; she hasn’t done a very good job impersonating a leader as our governor. Michigan’s families would love to see a successful female governor who knows how to create jobs and solve problems. I hope you’ll come join us soon.