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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Catching up

Sat. 2/6/08.

My friend Morning Bear called me up because she needed help, specifically my pickup. Morning is an artist living with another artist and she is a community activist extraordinaire in my Precinct. Actually she just likes helping people especially kids and is always volunteering her services free of charge. Morning was the prime mover in getting Love Community Garden off the ground. I try to help her when I can.

She painted the picture above and volunteered to man it during the recent Polar Plunge in Muskegon. The idea was for the people attending to put their heads in the holes and take their pictures. All I did was take the piece down to The Shoreline Inn and pick it back up afterwards. I was happy to help and I dropped it off early when no one except the divers were there. I caught up later with her and her friend Albetta at the Tipsy Toad, Morning said a lot of people took their pictures in her creation.

When I came back at 3:00 for the “Plunge” I had to park 3 parking lots away and walk about 1/3 of a mile and man was it cold and windy. I could not believe all the people that came out. I would guess there was a thousand or more jamming the L shaped boardwalk between Rafferty’s and Shoreline with people above that boardwalk 3 or more deep. I couldn’t get a count on actual plungers but there was over 20 if not 40.
click on pics to enlarge

The costumes were hilarious; also teams of plungers were there. Everyone was just having fun. After the plunge they would quickly walk/run into the Shoreline inn to take another plunge; this time in their heated pool. The pool area was also packed with people. A great event altogether.
click on pics to enlarge

Sunday, 2/7/10 was my day off and I spent all of it at the computer putting the finishing touches on my Power Point Presentation “Precinct Delegate Training & How to Workshop” that I’m putting on for the Manistee Tea Party. I’m looking forward to this as it is my first time building a Power Point and my first public speaking engagement. It’s one thing to blog, quite another to speak.

Now to “Busy Monday”. 2/8/10.

We had our Muskegon County Republican Caucus with the regulars showing up along with some new faces to the caucus. Sam St. Amour the Fruitland Supervisor was there and Jeff Orzechowski from the Kent County “Fix Michigan” Center joined us for lunch. State Rep. Goeff Hansen and National Committee Woman Holly Hughes were there also. Scott Tillman the newest entry into the primary race for Goeff Hansen’s 100th seat came along with Derek Gray representing Bill Cooper Muskegon’s entry in the crowded 2nd Congressional Seat held by Pete Hoekstra.

Barb Vander Veen, Deputy Chair MiGOP Western/Southern Region was there and really busy. Her region is I believe covers 27 counties. In my “Five Counties” of Bottom Up Politics, I find it hard if not impossible to cover all the five. Her job must simply be overwhelming. I must add that she seems to handle it well and whatever she’s done to her hair – well she’s lookin good. Barb was the first one there and set up her traveling Office in the corner.

From talking with her after, I came to appreciate how the Party is changing it’s outlook towards the Tea Party Movement. They are actively and for the first time trying to listen to what the Tea Partiers are saying. The Tea Party has already started changing the Republican Party. I’m seeing it at the “Five County” meetings I’m attending. There are some TP people on the Executive boards to varying degrees and while they make their presence felt they are there to work and help out.

The sincerity is paying dividends. The lack of criticism I’ve gotten for putting on a Precinct Delegate Training Workshop for Tea Partiers tells me a lot. If I would of done this 6 months ago I’m sure I would of received a lot of flack. Barb V. even complimented me on my efforts without my having to explain the reasons.

On the Precinct Level after the Caucus, I took Goeff Hansen around to a few small businesses I know looking for used appliances and a little politicing.

This was all good stuff and leads into the next event that Monday.

The Michigan House Republican Caucus put on a meet and greet hosted by by L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems and the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.

There were 12 State Reps from as far away as 3 hours. State Senator Jerry Van Woerkhom was there also. This was a pretty prestigious affair and I was out of my pay grade but managed to mingle reasonably well. US Congressman Pete Hoekstra showed up as well and everyone was getting geeked.

After an introduction with a nice history of how Continental has changed and morphed over its history into it’s current L3 form; the politicians took over.

The 12 and Jerry were there with one purpose in mind, which was to win back the Michigan State House. Each one very briefly introduced themselves with the emphasis not on the individual but on themselves as a group united in message and purpose.

The message was a conservative one of helping small business grow jobs and getting government out of the way. (read as anti-regulation) Also to live within our means. The purpose was to win the House back and strengthen the Republican majority in the Senate.

Then I was truly inspired as Pete Hoekstra came on and echoed that possibility by recounting how in 1994 as they were sitting around watching the returns the media came up with 200 Republican seats, then 205, then 210, then the announcement that the Republicans had actually done the impossible (according to the media anyway) and won the US House. On top of that they won a lot more seats by the time the tally was done. Great stuff.

My conclusions were obvious and simple. We need to get out the vote. We need to re-invigorate all our previous coalitions from ‘94’ and forge as many new ones as we can. The Tea Party is one important part. They have boots on the ground and a solid conservative foundational belief system.

This bring one of my favorite quotes to mind from Peter F. Drucker. Newt btw highly recommends this book.

“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 paper back edition, 2006.

The McCain campaign in ‘08’ was all about memos seemingly written by planners about theoretical ways to win elections. It lacked the actual personal component. It was set up by spreadsheet gurus and graph grapplers. These guys I had the feeling would freak if confronted with a real voter. This year I’m sensing something different. This is something that is harder and can’t all be done from a lap top. Politics is personal. If we are in the business of changing people’s mind then we must get to the people and actually talk and show them through good works what we mean.

That is the work ahead of us. It starts with a simple solid common sense message from the top that I on the bottom can use with real people. Fix Michigan well ok but the message needs to be more specific something that Joe and Juanita can hang their hat on. I suggest something along the lines of as your state legislator -- your representative I will abide by the laws we pass; and when elected we will pass a law to that effect. or I will do onto myself as I do onto others. You get the drift.

Well today is a big day for the Congressional Candidates. The Zeeland Tea Party is having a Forum for all the Candidates for Pete Hoekstra’s seat. Not only the four Republicans, but the Libertarian and the Democrat. I might add the doors will be opened at 6:30. See link below for specifics. Careful driving if you go, the snow is piling up.


That’s it, I’m going to the Zeeland thing and will report tomorrow.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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