MI Morning Update

 75 Days until Election Day

 August 21, 2008


"We agree with the Attorney General that the proposal affects the "foundation power" of government "

– Court of Appeals in a 21-page opinion that orders the Board of State Canvassers to reject the Reform Michigan Government Now ballot proposal quotes Attorney General Mike Cox.


DEMOCRAT & TRIAL LAWYER STEALTH CONSTITUTIONAL RE-WRITE DEAD…as the Court of Appeals unanimously rejected their proposal ruling this was NOT an amendment, rather a cynical attempt to re-write our constitution in violation of the proper amendment process. This was little more than a clever, political attempt to circumvent a constitutional convention.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS…continue to take a beating as they take the summer off.  Republicans are asking for the House to come back and vote on critical issues facing our state…Democrat leaders would rather play politics…I hope voters remember.

MY COMMENTARY ON THE RUSSIAN BEAR…see my commentary on Detroit’s CBS TV as I address Russia’s savage attack on the sovereign nation of Georgia.

RUSSIAN AMBITIONS EXPLAINED…Dick Morris wrote an interesting article about why Russia is playing games in Georgia and Iran…oil prices…see below.

RUSSIAN AGGRESSION…WE CAN’T JUST IGNORE IT…here is a series of thing you can do to help. We are the Party of Lincoln and Reagan. This is our moment to stand with Georgia; it is our moment to make a strong moral statement and take action against Russia’s military invasion of a free and sovereign neighbor.

NATIONAL CONVENTION SPEAKERS…the RNC announced who will be speaking what evening at the Republican National Convention…see the details below.

CORRECTION…11th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT…  Abe Munfakh was elected as their new Chairman and Mark Garrison to fill a vacancy on the State Committee.  Congratulations to both and thanks for your willingness to serve our party!





Check…out…our…online Articles of Interest………News…you…can…use………






Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer who knows all about the inner workings in Moscow, calls the invasion, in part, "an effort to sidetrack Dmitry Medvedev," the newly elected Russian president who has focused on bringing to Russia the rule of law.  Determined to show real power and to trivialize the legalisms of Medvedev, Sechin and Putin ignored the Russian president in invading their neighbor.

But Amsterdam makes a larger and more important point:  The corporatist leadership of Russia, entirely dependent on oil and gas revenues for its economic viability, has an essential stake in promoting global instability.  A stable world encourages a drop in oil prices.  It is no coincidence that Russia is at the core of the two major threats to world stability: Iran and the invasion of Georgia.  Worried by a major drop in oil prices, creating severe economic problems for Russia, the Kremlin has a cosmic interest in promoting turbulence whenever and wherever it can.

Monday, Sept. 1 Service
Speakers will include:
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.)
Vice President Richard B. Cheney
First Lady Laura Bush
President George W. Bush

Tuesday, Sept. 2
Speakers will include:
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska)
Gov. Jon Huntsman (Utah)
Rosario Marin, California Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and former Treasurer of the United States
Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.)
Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.)

Wednesday, Sept. 3
Speakers will include:
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)
Meg Whitman, National Co-Chair for McCain 2008 and former President and CEO of eBay
Carly Fiorina, Victory ‘08 Chairman for the Republican National Committee and former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
Mrs. Cindy McCain
Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
Republican Party’s Vice Presidential Nominee

Thursday, Sept. 4
The evening will close with John McCain accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States.  Speakers will include:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.)
U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)
John McCain




The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.





Michigan remains tricky for Obama

Donald Lambro

Among all of the 2008 presidential battlegrounds, Democratic-leaning Michigan – with 8.5 percent unemployment and an auto-industry economy in deep recession – should be an easy slam-dunk for Sen. Barack Obama.

But the freshman senator from neighboring Illinois remains stuck in a dead heat in the state against Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who is "within striking distance of winning, strange as that may sound," veteran Michigan election analyst Bill Ballenger said Tuesday.

Mr. Obama narrowly leads his Republican rival by 3.2 percent, 46 percent to 42.8 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics Web site, which tracks the presidential campaign polls and maintains a running state-by-state average for all of them.

McCain hopes to turn the tide in Great Lakes area

Democratic dominance in presidential elections has been the norm for decades throughout much of the country’s union-strong industrial Great Lakes region.

Republican John McCain hopes to upset that history.

The GOP presidential candidate is mounting strong challenges to Democratic rival Barack Obama in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and eyeing Minnesota – four states that have thwarted Republicans in at least four straight elections. The Arizona senator is also fighting to hang on to Ohio, a bellwether that President Bush won twice.

Knollenberg and Peters in tough fight for Congress seat

Hot race in 9th District pulls in big cash, names

The battle for a heart-of-Oakland County seat not long ago considered among Michigan’s most reliably Republican has emerged as one of the state’s hottest congressional races as dollars pour in, charges fly and a changing political landscape threatens Joe Knollenberg’s bid for a ninth term.

On the day after the Aug. 5 primary, Oakland County Democrats gathered in front of Knollenberg’s office in Farmington Hills to encourage voters to give him the boot because of his support for the Iraq war and other issues.

On the same day, the Bloomfield Township Republican unleashed a barrage of automated phone calls touting his record in Congress.


Reform ballot proposal rejected

Appeals court rules initiative to remake state government is too broad
Charlie Cain / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

LANSING — A controversial and far-reaching plan to cut the size of the Michigan Legislature and courts, reduce the salaries of top elected officials and impose many other changes on state government was blocked from the November ballot Wednesday by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The court said the so-called Reform Michigan Government Now! ballot proposal, backed by Michigan Democrats and organized labor, includes so many provisions that it amounts to a "general revision" of the state constitution. And that, the court said, can only be done by calling a constitutional convention.

"This is a travesty of justice," said Dianne Byrum, a former Democratic lawmaker and spokeswoman for the ballot drive. She vowed an appeal to the state Supreme Court.


Court orders reform plan off ballot

Of The Associated Press

LANSING — The Michigan Court of Appeals said Wednesday that a broad proposal to change the size and makeup of the courts and the Legislature shouldn’t be allowed on the November ballot.

It said the Reform Michigan Government Now ballot measure is "of a reach and expanse never before seen" in Michigan constitutional initiatives.
The unanimous opinion from the three-judge panel said the state constitution contains specific language requiring that any proposal of the magnitude and enormity of the RMGN initiative petition be submitted to a constitutional convention, and then to the citizens for approval.


Granholm urged to stop removal hearing

August 21, 2008 • From Lansing State Journal

An attorney for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has made another plea to Gov. Jennifer Granholm to put the brakes on a hearing that could lead to the mayor’s removal.

Sharon McPhail says Granholm should be persuaded by a decision from a Wayne County judge, who found the Detroit City Council had no authority to oust Kilpatrick.

McPhail is urging Granholm to wait until Kilpatrick’s criminal cases have been resolved. But in response, council attorney Bill Goodman says there’s no doubt the governor has the power to remove an elected official for misconduct.

City’s troubles take a costly back seat to mayor’s scandal

August 21, 2008

The United States Conference of Mayors has launched a national crusade for the federal government to adopt a genuine urban agenda — a substantive program to give the nation’s cities their due, something this country has not embraced in almost 50 years. (The Free Press has been pushing a similar agenda in an editorial series, "Cities: Now and Tomorrow," which you can find at freep.com/cities.)

The Conference of Mayors, representing the leadership of more than 1,100 cities with populations of more than 30,000, will put a list of proposals for action on the desk of the next president in the first 100 days of the new administration.

The problems the mayors outline and the attention they deserve are all writ large in Detroit, which is in many respects the poster place for urban America’s ills.

McCain chides a newly feisty Obama as ‘testy’

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain chided his Democratic rival on Wednesday for getting "a little testy" as Barack Obama sharpened his tone amid a tightening White House race that gets nastier by the day.

"I honor his service. I don’t honor his policies. I don’t honor his politics," Obama said, taking on his GOP opponent with renewed vigor while some Democrats fret that their candidate has not been aggressive enough.

Both candidates also unveiled fresh attack advertisements ahead of their back-to-back national conventions.

Russia Makes New Threats Over U.S.-Poland Missile Deal

Plan Said to Defend Against Regimes Like Iran, but Some See It as Shield for Poland Against Russia

MOSCOW, Aug. 20, 2008

Russia’s foreign ministry today threatened to go beyond diplomatic protests in response to the signing of a U.S.-Polish deal to base part of an American missile defense system in Poland, which borders part of Russia.

The latest threat came after a top Russian general said Poland would risk a military strike if it allowed the base and as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed Russia’s saber rattling, saying the threats "border on the bizarre."

"When you threaten Poland, you perhaps forget that it is not 1988," Rice said, according to The Associated Press. "It’s 2008 and the United States has a … firm treaty guarantee to defend Poland’s territory as if it was the territory of the United States. So it’s probably not wise to throw these threats around."

Russia to keep soldiers in Georgia

By Sergei L. Loiko and Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
August 21, 2008

MOSCOW — Russia plans to establish a long-term presence in Georgia and one of its breakaway republics by adding 18 checkpoints, including at least eight within undisputed Georgian territory outside the pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia, a ranking Russian military official told reporters Wednesday.

The checkpoints will be staffed by hundreds of Russian troops, the official said, and those within Georgia proper will have supplies ferried to them from breakaway South Ossetia.