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.

Friday, November 25, 2016

We Voted -------- We Won.

Local Stuff

We Did --- We Won

Did your vote count?

Finally news from Drudge Trump wins Mi.  But by fewer votes than originally thought.  Initially he won Mi. by 13 thousand plus votes now it is 10,704 votes after local canvass boards weigh in.  

I queried Barbara Vander Veen West Michigan & Upper Peninsula Liaison for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and she said there were 4810 precincts in Michigan.  Does you vote count?  I did the math.  If 2 and ¼ Trump supporters per precinct had stayed home, Michigan’s 16 electoral votes would have gone to Hillary.  I know for a fact that Sunny, Patrick and I changed more than that by ourselves.  Local “bottom up politics” does work if you work it.

Here’s How
Bottom Up Politics is a local political action blog.  It is meant to show people what is available for them to do if they are interested.  The importance of gaining one vote at a time cannot be overstated.  So let me tryJ.  

With the excitement of the Trump election, I have been finding it hard to not spout off about national things.  From that election I must admit their is a synergy between local and national politics, between local people and national leaders – one feeds off the other.  (Between Bottom Up and Top Down Both Ways)  Well enough said.  I now turn to local politics.
Monday November 21st at 11:30 State Rep. Jon Bumstead asked me to sit in for him at his, in district office hours at Daniels Restaurant in Hesperia.  I was more than happy to do that although a little intimidated at the prospect of meeting people wanting to talk to Jon and explain their problems to him and seeking relief from him and finding me instead.
I walked out to my car leaving myself an extra 5 minutes to make it to Hesperia.  Well if you remember there had been snow and cold previously and I hadn’t driven for a couple of days.  My battery was dead.  By the time my neighbor came over and jumped me I showed up ½ hour late.  

There were two citizens waiting.  I apologized for being late and started taking notes on what they needed Jon to do.  The lunch really turned out good and everyone myself included were happy at the end.  This is the second time I’ve sat in for Jon.  The first was in Hart at the Pink Elephant.  This is a good learning experience for me and I get a free breakfast/lunch, gas money and a little extra on top.

To turn this to the question of how to get involved in politics, I will simply say that for me it all started by joining the local party and then volunteering for a local candidate.  I started in Muskegon and found all along the way that there is very little offered directly to new members to do.  It is a pretty closed system.  

I found I had to just put my head down and charge in.  One really should try to be a self-starter, I had to learn.  It all started with me by asking “How can I help?”

That phrase served me well.  A lot of people come in and start demanding things or tell the people in the party what to do.  I don’t know about you but I wanted to learn from these folks first before I ventured out to change the world.  

It is important even if you want to change the world to know how the system works.  Any way I just looked up the Muskegon County Republican Party and found a phone # and talked with the Chair and asked him if there was anything he could use my help on; coincidentally he was looking for Precinct Delegates.  I volunteered to be one not knowing what that even was.  The “self-starting” started.

Then I started going to meetings and soon volunteered to run the Headquarters.  At the same time, I went on line for a local candidate and immediately found Karen Bui who was the Muskegon County Clerk.  I walked up to her at a parade and introduced myself to her out of the blue, and asked her “how can I help?  She was happy I did.  (Most candidates have very few unpaid volunteers and at the local level don’t expect to be paid at all)  

She asked if I could walk in the next parade with her.  I did then one thing led to another and at the end she was calling me her campaign manager.  I really wasn’t but I sure did a lot of stuff for and with her, walked in her parades, knocked on doors and helped organize events plus a lot of other stuff.  We became friends.

Bottom line is that to get involved in politics as with anything else, you have to not be afraid to jump right in and let it lead you where it will and be open to doing new and different things.  If you remember you are there to help and prove it by actually helping, you will be welcomed with open arms.

First things first you have to start someplace.  Politics can be very time consuming if you let it.  It is a perfect fit for me as I’m compulsive by nature and get way too involved in whatever I do.  This however need not be the case.  

Volunteers are needed all over the place especially during the election.  During off election times there are also County Party events that need volunteers to do the “grunt work” setting up and tearing down table and chairs etc.
Also there is an unlimited amount of ways to help if you just sit down and think about it awhile then research it some.  Talking with people gives you the parameters in which you can let your imagination roam.

Above, our Oceana County table at Fricano's
Sunny and Patrick with the red and white Trump hats on.
Below Scott Hagerstrom

Getting back to Monday and what I did after Jon Bumstead’s Office Hours.  

In Muskegon at 6:30 there was a “Meet and greet” put on by Diane Schindlebeck and Ted Fricano at Fricano’s Pizza in Muskegon.  The pizza was donated by Ted Fricano and there was a $10 door charge.  The person we were invited to meet and greet and give our $10 to was Scott Haggerstrom who is running for the Michigan Republican Party Chair.  

Scott was the Michigan Co-Chair for the Trump Campaign.  I am thoroughly behind Scott, along with that Jon Bumstead was the first Michigan Legislator to back Trump and I ended up going with him to the event.  

Plus two new volunteers (Sunny and Patrick) from Hesperia who are “Trump Super-Fans” came too.  Along with them Andrew and Jennifer Sebolt and the Greens came also.  We all sat together.  (See Pic above) Jon Bumstead paid all of our entry fees.  (Diane had let me and Jon know that she needed people as this was a spur of the moment thing.)  We did what we could.  

It was great fun for me as half the people there were old friends and activists from Muskegon.  Representative Bumstead was in his element. 

Did I say that there is a rumor that he may be running in the 2018 election for the State Senate Seat now held by Sen. Goeff Hansen?  

BTW I first met Sen. Hansen when he first decided to run nearly 8
years ago.  I met him ironically in Muskegon at a township social event I was backing and blogging about.  It was ironic because he was from Oceana County and I was in Muskegon, and after that election I ended up living in Oceana County.  I volunteered to help him in Muskegon that day and have been helping him in all the parades and knocking on doors ever since.  

It was through Goeff that I met Representative Jon Bumstead.  As Goeff’s last term is winding down, I’ve started helping Jon in any way I can.  Not being wealthy, I help in all the other ways I can.

There are innumerable ways you can think of on your own to help your candidate.  Just wearing a t-shirt or a hat with their logo on it or a button etc.  For Goeff Hansen in the beginning I took his logo and permission to “Shirts n Stuff” in Cloverville and had some hats made also they told me of a place down the street where I made bumper stickers for him at $1 @.  I sold them for a buck and got most my money back.  I wore that hat at every event for the next 6 years.  I became a walking billboard.  This I just thought up on my own from similar actions of others then researched ways to do it.

The main thing is do something.  One thing will lead to another if you open your mind and let it.   

Regards, Bob Carr

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