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Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Beautiful day in Michigan for “Politicin”

A Beautiful day in Michigan for “Politicin”

Woke up Saturday morning and the temp outside was in the low 50s, it was cold out. But this is Michigan and its weather changes as fast as (I hope) does its politics. Today would turn out to be a day with connections to the “Five Counties” as well as beyond and into state leadership.

But how was I to know that? As I tried to wake up I fixed some coffee, hit the shower and took off to Margaret Drake Elliot park by the SS Silversides at the Muskegon Channel to volunteer for the Muskegon County Alzhiemers Walk. I was there to volunteer along with Goeff Hansen at the registration table. I got there around 8:30.

Things started off slow and chilly, but by 9:30 the registration table was hopping and things were heating up. I talked with one of the organizers who said that they had around 88 pre registered walkers; by the end of registration – 10:00 - I would guess we signed up between 30 and 50 more.
Click on all pics to enlarge

There were lots of free coffee and donuts for the crowd plus there was homemade pie and other goodies that helped warm up the volunteers. After a brief opening ceremony in which Representative Goeff Hansen gave a short talk to further energize the crowd; the group then broke up into sections for the walk led by a bagpiper and the Alzheimer's march was in motion.

This also was Goeff Hansen’s 50th Birthday party back in Hart, so he had to get back to Hart and I followed later. He told me that his family had been up early working on his party before he made the trip to Muskegon. He said he was up late the night before doing party prep. His Wife Tammy had been putting this together for a couple of weeks.

As I arrived at the Och’s home/farm in Hart a crowd had started to form. I registered and found myself drawn to the food. Lol. There was plenty; brats, hotdogs, and sloppy joes. Tammy said she started with 50 lbs of hamburg to make them. There were all the side dishes also, my favorites were the fruit salad, salsa dip and bow-tie pasta. Plenty of drink from lemonade to Scotch. Face painting and games were aplenty for the kids.

Later everyone gathered under the tents to hear some talk from Goeff and his special guests; Republican Caucus Leader in the State House, Rep Kevin Elsenheimer (R – Bellaire) and State Senator Jason Allen (R-Traverse City) of the 37 district.

Goef's brother stepped up next and gave the crowd some good laughs at Hansen's expense filling the crowd with visions of Goeff's youth and some of the antics we all go through.

From their talk and a fill in from Goeff I learned that Elsenheimer and Goeff share an apartment in Lansing right across the street from Senator Allen and together they call themselves the Hayford Street Mafia.

I had a chance to sit and talk with Rep. Elsenheimer about the budget “negotiations” going on. Friday, several people had issued a Press Release saying a budget agreement was worked out between legislative leaders. It claimed a balanced budget without raising taxes. It was a vague PR. Eisenheimer was one of those legislative leaders and the Republican House voice in the mix. The deal was between Democrat House leader Andy Dillon and Senate Republican leader Mike Bishop. I had one question for Rep. Elsenheimer and that was how much of the Stimulus Money was going to be used to balance the budget in that plan? See link Below


Kevin was forthcoming and knew the subject well. He said as it stands the agreement uses $400 some million of Michigan’s share of Federal stimulus monies. I liked the straight answers. From further research I found the Governor wanted to put in all nearly all of it; $2 billion, to fill the $2.8 billion state budget hole. As Rep. Elsenheimer pointed out to me, in this legislative plan the majority of the Stimulus money could be used to for what it was intended for – creating jobs and not just to pay off debt.

He also talked of how the cuts in spending were real and would be painful, and was happy to see Andy Dillon sign on to the deal to avoid a state government shutdown.

As we were talking Marve Engle, Muskegon County Commissioner from the 5th District sat down with us also, and one of the two huge Saint Bernards came to say hello and I couldn’t resist taking a pic.

The dogs were a hit and served as official greaters.

I introduced Marve and he of course was all business about the budget and how it will effect revenue sharing. This talk to me was a perfect picture of what will be happening all across the state over this or whatever deal is made on the budget. Commissioner Engle is where the rubber meets the road. As he explained to Rep. Elsenheimer the County has already made deep cuts and he just doesn’t know where they can cut any more. But like he said if they have to they will find a way.

Kevin was justly proud of the work the leadership had done. As he said to me, when was the last time the state of Michigan actually cut its budget by 10%, especially without raising taxes? I too would be proud of that. I got out of debt awhile ago and I was proud of that. If my state leadership does the same I will be proud of that accomplishment and of them.

As the liberal wing of the Democrat party and the governor step back into the process, the process will again start to fail. Already the Detroit News on line is writing about it.


So the battle continues as the Granholm whirlwind returns from Japan at the last second to what ??? Save the Day ??? or Pull the last plug on our sinking ship?

Well forgive me, back to Goeff’s 50th B-Day. Rep. Bill Huizenga showed up with his family to picnic and later fish.

The Runnel’s were there from Lake County and the ever present always working Juanita Pierman the Oceana Chair was here also. Jane Drake, Marc Libant, and Jon Bumstead all candidates for the 100th Michigan District Seat were there. Many other notables were coming and going.

Later karaoke gave us all some entertainment which was followed by a live band.

Did I forget to mention the Dogs were a hit. lol

At this point I must say that the Ochs were gracious hosts and their Home/Farm was the perfect setting during a perfect day in which to appreciate what Michigan and its glory is all about; What Michigan’s verision of the American Dream is.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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