Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Exceptional House Freshmen

The two I have in mind are not exceptional in my opinion for any special speech or special award since becoming a member. They are exceptional to me because they won election into the US House from the grassroots efforts. Neither of them have ever been elected to any city or state office, and yet they won an election to a national office. The following paragraphs are brief biographies of the two I find exceptional.

Renee Jacisin Ellmers (born February 9, 1964) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district. She is a member of the Republican Party. Ellmers defeated seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge by 1,489 votes, confirmed after a recount. Renee Ellmers was born in Ironwood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When she was a child her family moved to Madison Heights, near Detroit, where her father took a job in the auto industry. He worked with General Motors until he retired.

After graduating from Madison High School, needing to work her way through college, Renee trained as a Medical Assistant. For the next eight years, working full and part-time jobs, she attended Oakland University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

A year later, working as a Surgical Intensive Care Nurse at Beaumont Hospital she met her husband, Brent, a graduate of the University Of Indiana School Of Medicine.

After their son was born, while visiting family in Cary, NC, Renee and her husband decided to move to North Carolina. She worked with her husband as Clinical Director of the Trinity Wound Care Center in Dunn. Renee Ellmers became involved in politics after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which she opposed.

Dan Benishek, M.D. (born April 20, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 1st congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. Dan Benishek was born in Iron River, Michigan. His father worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps and then in the iron mines of Iron County. Dan's father died in a mining accident in 1957 and Dan’s mother, with the help of family, raised Dan and his brother, Tim.

He graduated from West Iron County High School in 1970. Dan went on to earn a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan in 1974 and graduated from Wayne State Medical School in 1978. Dan completed a Family Practice internship in Flint at St Joseph's Hospital. He completed his General Surgery residency back at Wayne State in Detroit. He has served as a general surgeon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a private practice since 1983. He has worked part-time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain for the past twenty years. Dan and his wife, Judy, currently live in Crystal Falls. They have five children and two grandchildren. Dan Benishek formally announced his candidacy on March 16, 2010. Bart Stupak's "yea" vote for H.R. 3590 fueled an outpouring of support for Benishek, who had no internet presence aside from a basic website the day the bill was passed; he received more than $50,000 in unsolicited donations in the first 48 hours after Stupak's vote for the bill on March 21, 2010.

So you see I have picked two who are yoopers by birth and conservatives by choice. Each of them were not blessed with being born into a wealthy family. They worked hard and took advantage of opportunities no other nation has to achieve success as a surgical care nurse and as a general surgeon. The achievements would not have catapulted them into winning House seats without getting support from some good people. In Dr Benishek's campaign a friend of mine, rottdawg, assists him greatly. In Renee Ellmer's campaign another friend of mine, Lori Byrd, assists her greatly. Now I have never met in person either one of these people, but I know them from communications on the internet. I like and respect both of them, and believe the feeling is mutual. The work they are doing for Dan and Renee has limited the time they now have to write blogs, but it's wonderful that they are doing a terrific job for them.

In addition to being yoopers, they share something else in common. They both had to face some close votes that almost defeated them. There are some who believe in a set of unwritten rules that have to do with how you get accepted as an electable candidate. In my opinion these folks are elitists with a shallow view of core principles. They will tell you that only someone who has run for an office and been elected to that office in their city, county, or state need apply for any national office. Only after serving as an elected official at the local level can you acquire the proper skill set of knowing how to go along to get along, how to engage in 'pay to play' arrangements with special interest groups, and how to play 'let's make a deal.' If you disagree with their views about an electable candidate, then they mock you, suggest you are mentally ill, and accuse you of consciously choosing to get Ds elected by your support for any candidate who is a noob. As my Governor has recently wrote the attitude of elitists to the rest of us has gotten us Fed Up.

I hope you take a moment to watch the vids below. The first one is especailly good with reminders by Dan of what kind of folks lived in Michigan UP in a bygone era. Cold Warrior may also appreciate his observation that people have and need to become more active at the grassroots level of the Republican Party.

Cross-posted at

Saturday, October 09, 2010

That Was Then - This Is Now

Donna Brazile
In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees.  And you didn't see many of them win their elections.
J.C.Watts OK-04 is the only black GOP to serve from Jan. 1995 to Jan 2003. This district is R+18.

I do not like the condescending tone of Donna Brazile, but the history is what it is.  I want this election in 2010 to be be better than the 1994 tide.  I am going to be very disappointed if Tim Scott is the only black GOP candidate who is elected.  This year we have 14 black GOP nominees.  How many and which ones can we support and help them win their election?  I do not have all the answers.  Let me know what you think.  I think we can write about how worthy our nominee is for the seat or write about how unworthy the incumbent is to remain in that seat.  In either case when we do it often enough it will have an effect on the top links that you see with a Google search on the candidate's name.  The idea is to have positive links at the top for our guy, and negative links at the top for the opponent.

There is an undercurrent of sentiment among some black Republican conservatives that very few, maybe only 1, black GOP candidates are getting serious Republican support.  I do not want to believe this, but perhaps each one of us needs to do what we can do in support instead of relying on the NRCC and RNC.  We can't sit back and see if the NRCC and RNC make all the right moves, and then wring our hands blaming the NRCC and RNC on Nov.3 that only one black GOP candidate won the day before.  I have listed below each of the 14 nominees, and a short summation of how partisan the district is and when and circumstances of incumbent's first election to the seat. I want to believe that a really great candidate can overcome some obstacles, but I do realize the obstacles are just too great in some instances.

TimScottSC  Tim Scott SC-01 (Republican Congressman Henry E. Brown, Jr. 4 January 2010: Announced retirement open seat) This district is R +10

Florida congressional challenger Allen West  Allen West FL-22  vs Ron Klein (First elected: 2006)This district is D+1

Ryan Frazier  Ryan Frazier CO-07  vs Ed Perlmutter (First elected: 2006)This district is D+4

Bill Randall  Bill Randall NC-13 vs Brad Miller (First elected: 2002) This district is D+5

Charles Lollar  Charles Lollar MD-05  vs Steny Hoyer This district is D+11

Bill Marcy  Bill Marcy MS-02 vs Bennie G. Thompson (First elected in Special Election, 13 April 1993, re: resignation of Congressman Mike Espy, 21 January 1993) This district is D+12

Marvin-Scott-cropped  Marvin Scott IN-07 vs Andre D. Carson (First elected: 11 March 2008 in a Special Election called to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Congressman Julia M. Carson (his grandmother) on 15 December 2007) This district is D+14

Chuck Smith  Chuck Smith VA-03 vs Bobby Scott This district is D+20

charlotteBergmann  Charlotte Bergmann TN-09 vs Steve Cohen (First elected: 2006) This district is D+23

star_parker  Star Parker CA-37  vs  Laura Richardson (First elected in a special election to fill the vacancy resulting from the 22 April 2007 passing of Democratic Congressman Juanita Millender-McDonald: 21 August 2007) This district is D+26

pastor-stephen-broden  Stephen Broden TX-30 vs  Eddie Bernice Johnson This district is D+27

Robert Broadus  Robert Broadus MD-04 vs Donna Fern Edwards (First elected in a Special Election, 17 June 2008, held to fill vacancy caused by the resignation of Congressman Albert Wynn, effective 1 June 2008) This district is D+31

Rev_Isaac_Hayes_Republican  Isaac Hayes IL-02 vs Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr.(First elected: 12 December 1995 in Special Election re: resignation of Congressman Mel Reynolds, 1 October 1995) This district is D+36

Michel Faulkner  Michel Faulkner NY-15 vs Charles B. Rangel This district is D+41

Monday, May 10, 2010

Almost Heaven West Virginia

Almost Heaven West Virginia

When John Denver penned those words in his song I am sure he was not referring to the political landscape of West Virginia.  On Tuesday May 11th, West Virginia has its primary, and I intend to pay attention to the results.  I have met some people from West Virginia, but I have never lived in the state so feel free to correct any errors I make.  The West Virginia congressional delegation consists of four Democrats and one Republican.  After this November it would be nice to have a West Virginia congressional delegation of three Republicans and two Democrats, and I think that is unlikely to happen.

I would think from previous history that West Virginia is the safest place for an incumbent to run for office of any state in the country.  They have Senator Robert Byrd who was first elected in 1958, fifty-two years ago.  Next we have Senator Jay Rockefeller who was first elected in 1984, twenty-six years ago.  In the third congressional district we have Nick Rahall who was first elected in 1976, thirty-four years ago.  In the first congressional district we have Alan Mollohan who was first elected in 1982, twenty-eight years ago.  In the second congressional district we have Shelley Moore-Caputo who was first elected in 2000, ten years ago.  Shelley is the daughter of Arch Moore, a former three term Governor of West Virginia.

West Virginia reminds me of United Kingdom House of Lords in the appearance of being entitled to a seat by nobility.  This entitled mindset has been around for a long time, but the intent of the US Constitution is not to have membership in the Congress as a lifetime career.  Every two years each member of the US House, and one-third of the Senate can be voted out of office.  Membership in the US Congress is a tour of duty instead of a lifetime career.  West Virginia is a very pro-union state for unions like the UMW and the teamsters.  I am not so certain that the solidarity is that strong among the rank and file for the unions of the federal employee  IRS and ATF agents.  The folks in West Virginia do not care much for the authorities in the federal government or in the business community, and they have a Scots-Irish tendency of fighting against "the man".  In normal times the UMW leaders suggest the candidate to support, and they go along with it because the issues do not affect them.  These are not normal times, and the votes that make premiums for their health insurance go up, and make coal more expensive for power plants to purchase are issues that do directly affect them.  The fact that these are not normal times provides some hope that Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan will be voted out of office in either tomorrow's primary or in November.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Charles In Charge

Hawaii District 1 111th Congress as elected 4 November 2008

Charles Djou

Charles Djou is a Republican running for the vacant US House seat in Hawaii's first congressional District. The state Office of Elections called a Special Election for Saturday 22 May 2010 to fill this vacant seat. There is no primary. The candidate receiving the most votes in the Special Election will fill the remainder of Congressman Abercrombie's term which ends in January 2011. Actually ballots will be arriving at the state Office of Elections on May 1st because they are using mail-in ballots instead of voting sites to vote in this special election.

I encourage everyone who lives in this district to vote for Charles, and if you know someone else who lives in this district please encourage them to vote for Charles Djou. At first glance at the map it would appear the demographics of an urban Honolulu congressional district are just not good for a Republican. We really need to stop thinking like that. This particular House seat is winnable for Charles Djou because the constituents here see the same thing as everyone else sees. The Ds in Washington DC are not doing anything that is helpful to the folks living in Honolulu. More taxes are going to cause more damage to a tourist industry that is suffering enough already. Hawaiians live as far away as you can get in the US from Washington DC, and they do not want to have to give away more power to the federal government over how they live.

Jerry Burris wrote an interesting piece in the Honolulu Advertiser about this election. Here is an excerpt of it:
The intense interest of the national parties, most unusual for Hawai'i, is an indication of how close things are in Washington. One vote here or there can make a big difference. Republicans, particularly, are licking their chops because it would be a huge PR victory to win a GOP seat in a traditionally Democratic state and in the home state of President Obama, to boot.

Democrats are offering voters a nice choice between the generally more liberal Hanabusa and the somewhat more conservative Case. But this could be a problem, if the two split the vote (throw in another handful of votes going to other lesser-known candidates) and then Djou slips though the middle in this winner-take-all contest.

Watch for a more active presence by major Democratic figures, including Sens. Daniel Inouye and Dan Akaka, who have endorsed Hanabusa. Case, who doesn't have that kind of heavyweight backing, uses those endorsements to show he is not part of the "status quo."
It ain't over 'til it's over, so let's support Charles Djou

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Throw Da Bums Out...Or Not

There are a dozen sitting Republican US Senators running for re-election in 2010. As incumbents they have a built-in advantage of more money, more campaign support from Senate colleagues whose
term are not up this year, and more support from the RNC and the NRSC than any primary challenger will have. It comes as no surprise that incumbents almost never lose in a primary or in a general election. However tea-partiers have made enough noise already to make 2010 a different kind of election year.

I don't know if they will make enough of a difference to get any of these incumbents primaried, but I suspect they might. There are some who might think that it is as simple as electing in the primary the candidate with the best voting records that keep with the core principles of keeping the size and scope of the federal government limited, keeping the size and scope of the federal debt small, and keeping the size and scope of the federal taxes small. I wish it was that simple.

Everything starts with precinct committeemen. They are the folks who determine who are going to be slated for all local, state, and federal elections. The US Senators are supposed to be the
voice of their state, and to vote with the best interests of their states being their top priority. So you actually need to elect conservative Governors and state legislators if you want
the US Senators that are conservative.

It's true that many incumbent US Senators are not doing what they are supposed to be doing in terms of the best wishes of the Governor and state legislators from where they are elected. They get enamored with power and their measure of success is based on how many more people call them for help. A better measure of success would be based on how many more people are no longer in need of any help. The longer that a person serves as a US Senator the more prone they are to become remote and detached from their state and more enamored with personal power. I am only aware of two of these dozen even getting challenged in the primary, John McCain of AZ and Bob Bennett of UT. It is wrong to simply be against an incumbent senator if you have no challenger who you are for. Another thing to recognize is how difficult it is to have a very conservative senator from a state that has elected a very liberal governor and state legislators.

Here are the twelve incumbent Republican Senators running for reelection.

Bob Bennett

BENNETT, Robert, (1933 - ) Senate Years of Service: 1993-

Richard Burr

BURR, Richard M., (1955 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

COBURN, Thomas Allen, (1948 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

Mike Crapo

CRAPO, Michael Dean, (1951 - ) Senate Years of Service: 1999-

Jim DeMint

DeMINT, James W., (1951 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

Chuck Grassley

GRASSLEY, Charles Ernest, (1933 - ) Senate Years of Service: 1981-

Johnny Isakson

ISAKSON, Johnny, (1944 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

John McCain

McCAIN, John Sidney, III, (1936 - ) Senate Years of Service: 1987-

Lisa Murkowski

MURKOWSKI, Lisa, (1957 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2002-

Richard Shelby

SHELBY, Richard C., (1934 - ) Senate Years of Service: 1987-

John Thune

THUNE, John, (1961 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

David Vitter

VITTER, David, (1961 - ) Senate Years of Service: 2005-

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are We Looking In The Wrong Places?

I know it is way way to early to start talking about who will be the Republican candidate in the 2012 General election. The most important elections are happening in 2010, and we need to win seats in the US Congress and win offices in the states this year. Having said that, right now is a very good time look toward a process of grooming excellent candidates to run in 2012. I do not think that we do a very good job of looking in the right places for our future leaders.

In universities an athletic director looks at winning programs to find new coaches. The Kentucky WildCats basketball program was never going to get a head coach that had not been a successful coach elsewhere. The Republican Party should be thinking like this when they consider a presidential candidate, but they do not. They look at individual qualities a person has of making speeches and getting news written about them by the MSM. They do not consider if they came from a place that has a winning program.

Let's take for example the latest straw poll that was taken at the SRLC. Here are the names and political places they worked.

Newt Gingrich District of Columbia

Mike Huckabee Arkansas

Gary Johnson New Mexico

Sarah Palin Alaska

Ron Paul District of Columbia

Tim Pawlenty Minnesota

Mike Pence District of Columbia

Mitt Romney Massachusetts

Rick Santorum District of Columbia

The list of nine people includes four from the place with the longest losing record, District of Columbia. The state of Alaska has the worst debt level in the US, Massachusetts has the second worst debt level, and New Mexico has the ninth worst debt level. Minnesota is not a state that people are rushing to live in.

Now before I suggest some names of people to groom, here is a list of successful states.







I listed the fastest growing states in the US. Except for Texas, there are no sea ports and beaches luring people to move to these states. The states are attractive to people who do not want to pay high taxes and do not want to leave their children with high debts. A lot of people are waking up to realize the federal government needs to be going in a new direction where taxes and debts are not so high. Let's take each of these six states one at a time.

Utah is fastest growing state with a 2.5% rate of increase.
It ranks 38th in debt and 35th in taxes. The Governor of Utah is Gary Herbert.
Gary is a conservative Republican who received the highest ranking yet for a Utah Governor by a local conservative group, GrassRoots.


Arizona is the second fastest growing state with a 2.3% rate of increase. It ranks 45th in debt and 40th in taxes. The State Treasurer of Arizona is Dean Martin.

Dean is a fiscal conservative Republican who recently said
Unfortunately today, government defines success by the number of people they're helping. That's a mistake. Success should be defined by the number of people who no longer need our help.

Texas is growing at a 2.0% rate of increase. It ranks 48th in debt and 32nd in taxes. The Governor of Texas is Rick Perry.

Rick is a conservative Republican who recently had this to say in a speech to SRLC.
A fair tax structure, predictable regulatory structure, a legal system that doesn't allow oversuing and an accountable school system that yields skilled workers.
That's it. That's it. Then get out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does best. What is government's role? It's as the servant, not the master.


Idaho is growing at a 1.8% rate of increase. It ranks 37th in debt and 27th in taxes. The Governor of Idaho is Butch Otter.
Butch is a conservative Republican who became the first governor to sign into law a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government over any such insurance mandates.

After signing the law he said
What the Idaho Health Freedom Act says is that the citizens of our state won't be subject to another federal mandate or turn over another part of their life to government control.


Wyoming is growing at a 1.8% rate of increase. It ranks 32nd in debt and 25th in taxes. The Speaker of the Idaho House is Colin Simpson.

Colin recently had this to say when he announced his plan to run for Governor of Idaho.
I’m a financial conservative and understand the boom and bust cycles of Wyoming’s economy. I know the way to protect the state is to protect and build the financial reserves we’ve created.

Simpson said he would challenge the federal government’s use of the Endangered Species Act to block energy development in the state.

He said
there are ways to protect wildlife without hurting the energy industry.


Nevada is growing at a 1.8% rate of increase. It ranks 44th in debt and 39th in taxes. Former federal judge Brian Sandoval is running to become the next Governor of Nevada.
Brian Sandoval
He was asked by a reporter recently
What specific steps would you advocate to promote greater economic diversity and broadening of Nevada’s economic tax base?
The answer to promoting greater economic diversity and broadening Nevada’s economic tax base lies in keeping our tax climate attractive and our tax burden low. I think that most Nevadans would agree that our future depends on being a state where people want to do business. We have to be as good as or better than our competitors and that is especially true when it comes to economic development and diversification.

So now you have a different list of potential candidates for President than one normally sees. The only one on this list that has even been considered is Governor Rick Perry. It's OK because there still is plenty of time before we have to have a decision on a candidate. I just think we are doing it wrong when we only look at who is appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows and delivering speeches to decide. The most important factor is if the person has any experience in a winning program. All of the six people I have listed have experiences in winning programs for their state. Now we just need to apply the winning strategies that work for them at the federal level of leadership.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A Texas Six-Shooter and Florida Special Open Thread

Eddie Zamora

Rob Curnock

Jaimie Martinez

Quico Canseco

Jim Duerr

Steven Broden

Ed Lynch

These are maps of the US House congressional districts in Texas with a runoff election, and the US House congressional district with a special election. I provided the maps, photos, and names of the candidates that I want to see emerge victorious on Tuesday night April 13, 2010. All of these seven seats are currently held by incumbent Ds that I want voted out of office.