This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vote Run Get Involved, Get Informed -- It's our Job - We (are) The People

Voter info on local elections,
School boards to County Commissioners.

1. Be sure you are registered for the upcoming elections.
Upcoming May 3rd school Elections from SOS Mi. Ruth Johnson May 3rd elections in Oceana County. If you are not registered for this election it is too late, the deadlines to register are usually 30 days before the elections. BE SURE TO VOTE if you are registered. Get registered NOW for the next elections.

Get info. to register here.,1607,7-127-1633_8716_8726_47669---,00.html
Get registered on-line here.

Oceana County
a. Hart City
b. Hart Public Schools
c. Hesperia Community Schools
d. Holton Public Schools
e. Mason County Central Schools
f. Montague Area Public Schools
g. Pentwater Public Schools
h. Shelby Public Schools
i. Walkerville Public Schools
j. West Shore Community College

Below is a link to the above elections with candidates provided by The Oceana County Clerk Rebecca J. Griffin at the Oceana County Clerk’s website.

To find out where you vote (your precinct polling place) and if you are registered use this link from the Sec. of State Website. This will tell you what the next election in your precinct is for and show you a sample ballot specific to you and where you live.

2. Upcoming election dates and deadlines by which you must be registered in order to vote. Here is a link to the info below.,1607,7-127-1633_8716-184977--,00.html

July 5, 2011: Last day to register for August 2, 2011 Election
August 15, 2011: Last day to register for September 13, 2011 village election
October 11, 2011: Last day to register for November 8, 2011 election

Do You want to run for office? Here’s How.

General information.
First you should pick a race you would like to enter.

Every person lives in a certain precinct which is the smallest political geographic area. Each “district” is made up of at least one Precinct. You can choose to run for the School board, Township board, County Board, and a host of other elected offices as long as you live in that “District”.

The best thing to do is to get to know your County or Township Clerk, they will help you the most. If for whatever reason one doesn’t the other will. For the most part they will guide you through the process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that elections and the whole process of becoming a candidate has specific things to do and they are all time sensitive. There is a strict time line to accomplish each task along the way.

The first thing to do after choosing which office you feel you would be best at is to file an “Affidavit of Identity and receipt of Filing”.

There are a couple of specific Affidavits of Identity I’ll list below but for most of the elected offices the above affidavit is what you want.



Keep in mind that there are campaign finance laws. However there are exemptions see link below. Once you click on this link the exemptions are listed near the bottom of the page. They include Precinct Delegates also School Boards if enrollment is less than 2,400. However neither candidate if they spend over $1,000 for their campaign will qualify for that exemption.

Also you must file a petition with the required amount of signatures. Not to worry however, the numbers are small. For all the local races the # is between 6 and 20 signatures. If you want you can pay a non refundable charge of $100 in lieu of the signatures. Here is the link

All of these filing actions have deadlines. Next is a link that shows you the deadlines. This link has two information boxes; the first has the affidavits and the second has the deadlines.,1607,7-127-1633_8721_11839---,00.html

There are more elections than you may think. Village elections for example are coming up this Sept. See link below for all the deadlines for and dates of the 2011 elections.,1607,7-127-1633_48760---,00.html

I will post later about actually running for one of the hundred odd township,village,city and county boards.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Army of Davids or How the Mighty Fall

The Tea Party needs to focus. As always that focus is elections and it is through education that The Tea Party has effected elections. It has made use of the new media and has served as a platform through which conservatives can share and spread knowledge and through which action can be taken.

The Movement is not funded by Big Labor or Big Oil or Big Business or even Big Political Parties; at least not where I hang out. In my neck of the woods for example, we are trying to move our monthly meeting from a place that charges $25 to one where we can assemble for free; nor do we charge for membership or attendance. As “self-organizing” organizations each individual Tea Party group is free to go its own way. With this in mind, the effect we had on the last election was all the more outrageously incomprehensible in its extent when compared to all the high paid pencil pushers and graph makers of normal politics.

Why or how is this, possible? The answer is simple. We gather the people first then organize a plan around their desires. We put the People first. That is the common sense approach we use and the “Political Consultants” don’t, but it’s harder. Implementing a plan is always harder than putting one down on paper. To do that, one has to leave the cubicle in an office building in DC and go to a rotary meeting in some out of the way place nobody ever heard of.

The people that make up the Tea Party are already there at the Rotary, they are its members. The same is true in politics

I’m trying to get our group in Oceana County Mi. to go the way of getting involved in local governments. Others in the Tea Party Movement whom I know and communicate with always give this involvement lip service but for the most part fail to follow up with anything concrete to make it happen. Again, -- it is hard work.

This is a simple common sense attitude, absolutely necessary to have in place if you expect any endeavor to be successful. Rudely put; it’s the People Stupid.

No plan works without recruiting the people to carry it out. As one of my favorite quotes go. “Unless a decision has “degenerated into work” it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention” Peter F Drucker, “The Effective Executive” pp114 Harper Collins paperback edition, 2006.

What caught my attention in that quote was the ironic use of the phrase “Degenerated into work”. Drucker captured the disdain in which planners hold for the actual act of making one of their plans work. Especially implied is the disdain for those doing the work. (Lesser mortals). All planners (myself included) fall into that trap. Simply put the plan becomes more important than those working the plan.

The Tea Parties work when that is understood. When it isn’t they just become another bureaucratic organization. We must beever vigilant in this.

I once sat in on a “strategic planning session” of a large Tea Party trying to become a regional affair covering a larger area and made up of several individual groups. The plan was well thought out and very impressive. There were over 150 positions and volunteer slots that needed to be filled. The meeting lasted a few hours with power point and all. I drove 50 miles to attend. At one point I simply asked how many people actually attended their meetings and they claimed about 50. I didn’t say anymore. But I bemoaned the wasted effort.

I did think and reflect however that the behemoth which we call “the government” got that way out of the best of intentions and was thought out by planners with impeccable credentials.

On paper it was all great. In reality, just like any Ponzi plan they always fail. That is precisely what most of those who gravitate to the Tea Party understand instinctively and the thing they want to change. That is what fires our engines-that is something we need always to keep in mind.

Part of our local group’s mission statement states; “To influence policy and effect the election of government officials…”

I think it time to start to influence local elections. That is where people feel the effects first from the people they elect. The land owner first feels it in the property taxes they pay or the condition of the roads they drive on or the many other services their tax dollars pay for. I will be trying to do this at our next Tea Party meeting. We missed the May 3rd school boards but we could do a lot to get ready for the next ones. This is a trickle up type of thing. As we continually see in the news, real power exerted from the many on the bottom prevails over the dictates from a few at the top.

Some will say that this is the wrong way that we should concentrate on the “Big Races”. I say we can do both, but the system will not be really changed until it is demanded from the Bottom Up. For example the Michigan Secretary of State is more likely to listen to her county clerks who will listen to all their (township, village and city) clerks than they are likely to read a bunch of emails.

George Will wrote the following snippet in the Jewish World Review April 21st. He was talking about local school boards.
Unfortunately, the stubborn fact is that local control means control by the teachers unions. Most school boards are elected, often in stand-alone elections in which turnout is low and the unions' organization prevails. This, Kline says, "is exactly the conversation I'm having with my new members." He notes that in Minnesota, since school board elections were moved to regular election days, some people not supported by the unions have won.

Two keys in Mr. Will’s quote.

One is that by having school board elections in an off year “stand alone” setting there is a low turnout and that the school unions have (at least in the past) easily carried the day. That logic has proved true; however that was before the Tea Party. If the local Tea Partiers can focus and put their full weight behind each individual school board election and run some “good” candidates this perceived negative could be turned into an opportunity.

The second key within the quote also suggests this flaw can be changed by moving the elections to “regular” election days. Before that is tried however we should try to take advantage of this hidden opportunity. We would have the advantage of surprise on our side. If we started to prove successful, the unions might want to move them back to the regular election times for us.

This is something we can do now and at a cost we can afford. Neither is this something school board specific. In the 2012 election there will be a multitude of local positions (township, city, village and county offices) up for grabs.

The time is now, the job is focus.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Cold Wind With a Warm Heart

(Click on pictures to enlarge)
It was cold and the wind blowing off Hart Lake gusting onto Veteran's Park made it a bitter cold. A group of Oceana citizens braved the elements and marched from the Courthouse "carrying flags and carrying signs which mostly said hooray for our side." (Forgive me Bob Dylan).

Those citizens of course were members or friends of the Oceana Tea Party and they brought warmth to each other’s hearts in this March and this Rally. They braved the elements to show their strength of resolve in their beliefs in American exceptionalism. The speakers reminded us all that America and it's free people are what made America the envy of the world. It is simply up to us to keep it so.

We had some bright spots. Rebecca Wentzloff made a banner for us. Not just any banner either. This was a handmade quilt. A lot of work and love went into that, I should keep that in mind. I wish we had a better picture of it but this will have to do. We will proudly have this banner at our meetings to come.

BTW LOL Our next meeting is May 4th at the Golden Township Hall 5527 Fox Rd. Mears. 7pm.

At the Rally I gave a few words then Andrew Sebolt talked of Honor and other virtues which need to be behind all we do as a country. Larry Loree our guest speaker and Vietnam Veteran brought Honor front and center in his speech. As a Vietnam vet he knew well what honor meant and how without it men and women fail to do courageous things. His talk reminded us that courageous things need yet to be done.

State Representative Jon Bumstead ended the speach making part of the program. Mr. Bumstead tied it all together by speaking of citizen involvement and how that effort needs to be made and will help hasten change.

By then we were all freezing and ready to take off but we hung around for the last part of the event. Just as in the old tales, we threw a box of Tea into the lake. To keep the over zealous EPA off our backs, we tied a rope to it and the Box was empty. Oh well the life we live in.

Then we all skedaddled for the warmth and fellowship and gooe eats at Hart Pizza just across the Lake.

All told everyone seemed pleased with the results. Lots of things were talked of over Pizza such as Windmills, Booths in the County Fair, floats in the Asparagus Parade, Debbie Stabenow and some possible opponents to dethrone her like Peter Konetchy or Rob Steele. Pete we learned has bowed out.

Life goes on. But I was reminded by this day that life is indeed what we chose to make it.

And I was warmed.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Friday, April 15, 2011

Big Fun in Lansing

Five of us from the Oceana Tea Party carpooled yesterday to the "Keep Them Honest"/Tea Party Rally in Lansing. We had a great time and were energized for our Tax Day Tea Party Rally in Hart later today.(4:30 Fri. at Court House then a march to Veterns Park).

Luckily Senator Goeff Hansen and Representative Jon Bumstead were also getting out of session and were able to give us a guided tour of the Senate and House Chambers, before the rally started. Representative Holly Hughes from Muskegon's 91st district made an appearance also.

The speakers were all good. Ruth Johnson, Bill Schuete, Rev.Yulie, Herman Cain, Dick Morris, Kyle Olson, and Scott Haggerstrom. As far as I know, Herman Cain broke the news that he was forming an exploratory committee for his candidacy for the President of the US.

After the rally look who we saw walking down the street. As I was a "Ruth Captain" and Andy Sebolt who was with me was the Secretary of States "Secret Shopper"
We had a nice chat. Barb VanderVeen, Ruth's assistant was with her. It was nice to see Barb again.

This is a pic of a Mother and Daughter and their signs. I doesn't get any better than this.

Not to forget, below is a pic from our last Tues. Cozy Conservative Corner weekly breakfast we have every week Tuesday at 8am at LaFiesta in Hart.

Finally I took this at my old haunt in Muskegon. Morning Bear (sitting down)along with some others has started getting the raised garden beds ready for planting at our Community Garden.

Some things and people I do miss in Muskegon.
But then again I'm happy visiting. LOL

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative