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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Center and From the Right of

Stopped at the regular Thursday 8am "Carmen Group" for Breakfast. I got there early and was done eating as people started coming in. A new friend Eric picked me up in front at 8:15 and we were off to a Center Right Meeting in Lansing. This is a monthly affair and a branch of Grover Norquest’s famous Wednesday breakfast in DC.

Well this was an interesting group that gathered. I got there late and just missed Jay Riemersma give a brief talk. But a little background first. The purpose of Center Right is to gather a coalition of people from different center right organization within the state. They are each given a short time (hopefully less than 5 mins.) to say their piece. Literature is passed around ahead of time. Next a few who have something current going on that they need to tell the others about, do so and a give and take then happens. Ie a little barnstorming of ideas.

There was an all-star group of people attending, plus some conservative lawmakers stopping in. This is Lansing remember and we are right next door to the legislative office buildings.

Jack Hoogendyke (Jack's Blog) presides over these meetings and also present were Scott Hagerstrom from AFP, Jack McHugh from the Mackinac Center, Ron Weiser the State Republican Chair was there too. I did manage to talk with him in the hall as he was leaving. I made a case for a Fix Michigan Center for Muskegon and he reaffirmed that they were rolling out satellite centers later; but only in areas where the races were tight and a Fix Michigan Center would help turn the tide. I then told him of the 34th State Senate seat and the chance of taking back the 91st state house not to mention the proximity of the 101st, along with the importance of it’s recapture. He then said Muskegon was definitely a contested area. Well I filled his ear along with others and I hope some of it stuck.

What he said of the Tea Party led me to think that the leadership at the state level was finally getting the Tea Party thing and how to react to it. I was pleased not to hear any condescending statements. Mr. Wiser has been doing his homework. More on the Tea Party nationally in a minute but I’ll continue with the meeting.

This Center Right meeting seemed to cover all the hot button issues facing the legislature currently. Experts were there. Last night the Muskegon Pundit -- turned me on to an organizational meeting of a Union for Day Care Providers which was to be held at the Holiday inn Muskegon. I found out about it while grocery shopping at Meijers. Well I rushed home and then went to it. I was barred from going in because I wasn’t a dues paying member. A friend was with me and he took a picture then a couple of union guys came over and tried to escort us out. We held our ground they got management and the bottom line was we stayed. There were only 5 people attending and 3 were working for the union. Big ball room, nice finger food, - but no ball. Lol

The odd thing was, there was a person at the Center Right meeting who was all about putting a stop to this union. In fact, this was the guy who put together the John Stossel Fox report on the subject last week. The lawyer was there too.

Here is a link to John Stossel’s report. Note the mention of Mackinaw Center and also the lawyer and Representative Amash who were all at the Center Right Meeting. !!! Did I say I had a ball at this Lansing meeting? lol


Next is a link to the actual Stossel interview on Forced Unionization.


After the meeting we drove back to Muskegon and Carmen’s Café, it was about 2:30 and I decided to have lunch. Today was a day of splurging. I ordered a cheese burger w/lettuce and tomato, and onion rings and to top it off one of their beautiful strawberry malts in the fluted glass with the whipped cream on top and the freezing metal mixing container next to it with another full refill inside. Then I went home and Goeff Hansen called and wanted to meet me so it was back to Carmen’s Café. They were closed by then but Scott was out walking his dog and invited me in to wait for Goeff to come. Free coffee. Kool. Anyway Goeff came and we ended up talking with Scott and Carmen for quite awhile. The topic always reverted back to buying and shopping local of which we all were huge fans. By the time I got home it was after 6.

My whole reason for going to the Center Right meeting was to get a feel for how they conducted the coalition meeting and how it actually worked. This is what I have been working on for awhile now. In fact the original inspiration for the Carmen Group came from Grover’s weekly Wednesday Breakfast DC group. I think I have the nuts and bolts down from this trip. I’ve previously talked with three Muskegon leaders of different groups so far and Scott Hagerstrom and Jack McHugh said they would be glad to come to Muskegon to attend on occasion. They said they were interested in having a Center Right thing in Western Michigan they were thinking of GR. I immediately assured them that GR was not West Michigan the only water they had was the filthy Grand River. We had a great time. Jack McHugh showed me a little presentation on his lap top which was much too funny and very McHugh like. Snark to the limit. I told him he can be our Breitbart. I still think of him as Michigan’s answer to William F.

Anyway on the ride home Eric the computer guy or as Kay Punter references him “The Facebook Guy” came up with some good ideas on Youtubing some of these to help get out the messages of the individual people to more people. This may be set up along the lines of a BNI format
Stay tuned as I flesh this out.

On the Tea Party front. This was what happened in NY’s Long Island.

Long Island's eastern 3rd Assembly District seat became vacant and a special election was held. The seat was previously held by a Democrat she quit. A Republican, who was a businessman and a Tea Party person, Dean Murray entered the race.
The Democrats tried to make Murray’s Tea Party affiliation an issue. The article linked below has the following quote.
“Murray's Tea Party affiliation became an issue during the campaign. A group called the Long Island Progressive Coalition said the loss by Attorney General Martha Coakley to Brown in Massachusetts "shows progressives that who is elected matters and that special elections can send a powerful message that resonate well beyond state or district borders. ... Dean Murray, is a Tea Party organizer. If he is elected to a seat held by a Democrat, it will only embolden the Tea Party right and hurt progressive causes throughout Long Island."
Well guess seems like it was the Tea Party people who were emboldened (read pissed off) enough by that statement because after a recount, Dean Murray won his assembly seat. The article went on to say;

“Murray said (he) hopes his special election triumph will indeed send a message beyond his district's borders”.

Well let’s just say I’m blogging about it in far away Michigan. Lol. Good job NY!!!

-----link for above-----

So all in all - a busy political day, with new stuff popping up all over. An organizational meeting for the Muskegon Patriots will be happening next week. We’ll see how and if this meshing of interests works.

The Sleeping Giant is stirring. Tonight I will sleep well; the Republic is doing its thing.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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