Pages

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Update: DeVries Falsely Claims "Only Delegates Were Allowed To Vote" At Ottawa Convention

After a West Michigan Politics article raising questions about his involvement in the Ottawa County Republican Party convention, State Sen. Arlan Meekhof's chief of Staff took to Facebook with false claims about what happened at the convention.


DeVries, after calling me a quote"idiot," claims he received a guest pass and that only delegates were allowed to vote at the convention, implying he couldn't. (He did not deny standing in line to receive a ballot though.)

His claim that only delegates could vote is absolutely not true. Multiple people who are not delegates not only voted, some even had their names on ballots. This is an undisputed fact, why he would challenge it is very interesting.... He almost immediately deleted his comments.

Questions continue to pile up, leaving many puzzled as to why, at the behest of people like Congressman Huizenga, the Ottawa County Republican Party executive committee would refuse to investigate the situation and so quickly decide to fire executive director Faith Steketee...


Dirty Deeds: Did Meekhof Chief Of Staff DeVries Vote At Ottawa GOP Convention Despite Living In Kent County?

The Chief of Staff to State Senator Arlan Meekhof, Bob DeVries, is a Kent County resident, proudly posting on Twitter he recently voted for Congressman Justin Amash and State Rep. candidate Donijo DeJonge in the August primary.

A little residency issue didn't stop him from being significantly involved with the Ottawa County GOP convention however – potentially going as far as casting a vote that is at best against the rules and at worst illegal.

When the convention split up and individuals went to their geographic quadrants, DeVries caucused in the northwest quadrant, subsequently giving a speech advocating for candidates that were endorsed in the infamous orange flyer. Speeches were only to be given by candidates Who lived in that quadrant and were candidates for the state convention. So, why did he give a speech?

DeVries then stood in line after people were done speaking to collect a ballot. I can't remember if he actually cast a ballot, but I vividly remember him standing in line waiting to receive one, as I could not stand to be near him, I wanted to know where he was.

Northwest quadrant co-captain Chad Bassett told West Michigan Politics he couldn't recall whether or not DeVries turned in a ballot. The other co-captain,  Michael Kuras, was unavailable for comment.

Bassett remembered DeVries giving a speech and caucusing in the quadrant. Bassett also recalled seeing DeVries' name on ballots that were voted on, but that is LIKELY his father, who shares the same name and who was also in attendance at the convention.

This is in addition to controversy surrounding DeVries and his boss, State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, over their involvement in the orange flyer, problems with Ottawa County's delegate and alternate list, and the stunning termination of executive director Faith Steketee.



Rep. Bill Huizenga, and State Representative Joe Haveman also have ties to the controversy.

Jeff Fuss, A long time party activist, implied  Huizenga's Half brother Jim Barry said  at a meeting shortly before the county convention that he wanted to keep certain delegates from attending the state convention. Barry was named interim Executive Director Thursday night after the firing of Faith Steketee.

Joe Haveman was on site when Steketee was fired, smiling as a lock company came to keep the newly deposed executive director from reentering the premises...

Read more below:

http://westmipolitics.blogspot.com/2014/08/breaking-meekhof-admits-responsibility.html

Firing Squad: WMP Reveals Ottawa GOP Executive Committee's "Faith Vote" 

 

Ottawa County GOP Chaos: Meekhof + Huizenga Involved? What You Need To Know 

 

Meekhof's Scapegoat? Ottawa County GOP Executive Director Faith Steketee FIRED




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Breaking: Meekhof Admits Responsibility For Controversial "Orange Flyer"

Ken Cooper, a precinct delegate from Ottawa County who attended the Ottawa County Convention, says his wife approached State Sen. Meekhof at the convention and asked who was responsible for the "orange flyer."

Meekhof replied gleefully "I am!"

Cooper's wife Jill Cooper then expressed further disgust, to which Meekhof replied "thank you."



Read more about the controversy brewing in Ottawa County at the links below:

Firing Squad: WMP Reveals Ottawa GOP Executive Committee's "Faith Vote" 

 

Ottawa County GOP Chaos: Meekhof + Huizenga Involved? What You Need To Know 

 

Meekhof's Scapegoat? Ottawa County GOP Executive Director Faith Steketee FIRED



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Firing Squad: WMP Reveals Ottawa GOP Organizational Committee's "Faith Vote"

**Technically This was a vote of the Ottawa GOP Organizational Committee, not the Exec. Committee as previously thought. WMP apologizes for the error.**

West Michigan Politics has obtained information regarding how individuals on the Ottawa County Republican Party organizational committee voted regarding the termination of Faith Steketee as executive director.

Voting in favor of termination:

VanEssen
Tountas
Remenschneider

Voting against termination:

Gene Welch

Abstaining from the vote:

Jack Holmes
Dianna Johnson

Read more about the situation at the links below:

http://westmipolitics.blogspot.com/2014/08/ottawa-county-gop-chaos-meekhof.html

http://westmipolitics.blogspot.com/2014/08/meekhofs-scapegoat-ottawa-county-gop.html


Ottawa County GOP Chaos: Meekhof + Huizenga Involved? What You Need To Know

With the controversial firing of Ottawa County GOP Executive Director Faith Steketee after a recent firestorm involving delegates to the state convention as well as a flyer promulgated by Rep. Bill Huizenga, State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, State Rep. Joe Haveman, and others, here are 13 points to help you catch up on what is happening.
Joe Haveman

1. The Ottawa County GOP Convention was held on Thursday, August 14.

2. An orange flyer was distributed advocating for the election of certain delegates to the state convention.

3. The flyer was backed by Rep. Bill Huizenga, State Senator Arlan Meekhof, and State Representatives Haveman, Price, and Victory.

4. Somehow, the creators and distributors of this flyer knew that delegates Dave Davis and Carly Nelson would not be listed in the Northwest Quadrant as required by County Party rules, they were listed in wrong quadrants.

5. I checked in with Dave Davis at the same time, we were both supposed to be in the NW Quad. His name was not listed and he was sent to another quad where he subsequently won election as a delegate. Carly Nelson also went to an incorrect quad and was elected a delegate.

6. Bob DeVries, Chief of Staff for State Sen. Meekhof, was in my quad and said in his 30 second speech "we've compiled a list of delegates for you people to vote for" and he then touted that they were backed by various elected officials... This leads me to think Arlan and Bob were significantly involved in all of this... Why aren't Arlan Meekhof or Bob DeVries answering questions??



7. In the aftermath of the convention, in addition to issues with the delegate list, multiple people were improperly left off the alternate list completely. Richard Garay, a first time precinct delegate, drove all the way to Novi, excited for a chance to get his alternate pass and mingle with fellow Republicans at the State Convention. When he arrived, he found out his name was not on the list as it should have been. Garay said he received no call, email, or any other type of contact.


8. The Ottawa County GOP issued the following statement a couple days before the Convention:

"Dear Ottawa GOP Precinct Delegate,

Attached is the formal slate of convention delegates and alternates approved by the state party for the upcoming convention. We are providing this list later than we originally anticipated, and apologize for the delay. We also apologize for the content of the alternate list, which is, admittedly, partially at odds with the result of our county convention.

Last week, we discovered that the alternate list originally submitted by our organization to the state party was inaccurate, and did not reflect the results of our recent county convention. Not only was it inaccurate but it was in violation of MRP rules jeopardizing all of our delegates. The cause of those inaccuracies is currently under investigation. However, upon learning of the issues with our alternate list, we immediately informed the state party and took steps to rectify the problem by recreating, as best we could, the list of alternates generated at the convention.

Our reconstruction effort was undertaken without access to every relevant document or the Ottawa GOP office. Instead, we spoke with over two dozen individuals, including many of the people who captained an individual quadrant, in order to reassemble, essentially from scratch, an accurate list of alternates. We received a lot of vague feedback and some specific feedback. Some accounts of the order were conflicting among people. We had a photo of one quadrant but the rest was constructed by twenty plus different memories. We did the best that we could with the resources that were available in a very short amount of time. This was no easy task and an extensive, frustrating undertaking done with extreme diligence and commitment to the rules.

We understand that this is frustrating. We can only imagine how discouraged you may feel, especially if you are new to the process. To those of you that were negatively impacted, we are sincerely sorry. We don't know how we can make it up to you but we will try our best. If you were negatively and unfairly impacted by the second list, please let us know at the next meeting. We will work to campaign for you to be a delegate at the next convention or will lobby the next chair of the slate committee to extend a flex spot to you. We hope you know how terrible we feel that the list was incorrect and hope that you know how committed we are to correcting this issue for you and ensuring that this never happens again.

Sincerely,

The Ottawa County Republican Party
"

Meekhof
Steketee, left, with husband Steve

11. Team Huizenga involved? Well known Ottawa GOP member Jeff Fuss wrote on Facebook after Steketee's firing:

Jeff Fuss "To Jim Barry.... Who "may have" asked in the slate committee meeting on the Monday before the County Convention "how can the slate committee keep certain delegates off the slate list" did he take part in the vote today?....... I could go on. We will get to the bottom of this."
Jim Barry is a prominent member of Bill Huizenga's team, along with Chief of Staff Jon DeWitte, Greg VanWoerkom, and a few others. Barry's also Huizenga's half brother...

12. A meeting s being held to address the orange flyer, delegate controversy, and Steketee's firing. It will take place Thursday, August 28 at Ottawa GOP Headquarters in Holland. (513 E. 8th St.)

13. Many questions about DeVries/Meekhof's involvment-and the complicity of others- remain unanswered.
DeVries
Steketee's firing doesn't answer a single one. It will be interesting to see what goes on tomorrow night...


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meekhof's Scapegoat? Ottawa County GOP Executive Director Faith Steketee FIRED

With Ottawa County GOP Executive Director Faith Steketee apparently being fired this week, many Republicans in Ottawa County want answers.

Steketee's apparent dismissal will be the hot topic at a meeting this Thursday, August 28, 7 p.m. at Ottawa County GOP Headquarters in Holland.
Faith, left, with husband Steve

Jack Holmes, a Hope College Professor and leading figure in the party for decades said at a Precinct Delegate meeting in Grand Haven Tuesday night the situation is a "personnel issue" and that "there would be opportunity on Thursday to make public comments," according to a witness.

Ottawa County Patriots Chairman Jim Chiodo said on Facebook:

"Obama has Bush, Republicans and Tea Party to blame for everything. More locally, the Ottawa County GOP had to place blame for leadership screw ups. That scapegoat was fired today."

Speculation over a controversial orange flyer promulgated by Arlan Meekhof and Chief of Staff Bob DeVries, Joe Haveman, and Rep. Huizenga, as well as problems with Ottawa County's delegate and alternate list, seem to be the reason for Steketee's "departure."

In situations like this, it's often conveinent for someone like Faith to be blamed regardless of their involvement. Is that the case here? It's too early to say, but one would surmise it's very much a possibility.

An editorial note regarding Faith:

I have known Faith Steketee for about 12 years. She has answered every question I had in a timely manner, she helped me meet President Bush, Rand Paul, and many, many others, and has always been courteous and respectful even when others were not. She is a class act.

Faith's record of service over the years is one to respect and admire, she has worked IMMENSELY hard to advance our party here in Ottawa County. If she was bullied by the likes of Arlan Meekhof, I for one believe she deserves a second chance. If she is a scapegoat, she shouldn't have been dismissed.
The orange flyer is key here-that issue MUST stay alive, answers MUST come regarding: that orange flyer."



Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Where Are The Moderate Muslims?" Gov. Snyder Found Them (ISNA Is No ISIS)

Recently, some individuals have taken to Facebook with claims regarding Gov. Snyder's speech before a Muslim group this fall.

The individuals claim that the group, Islamic Society of North America, is an unindicted co-conspirator in in a case involving the Muslim Brotherhood, and that subsequently, ISNA supports their cause. However, a little research tells a lot.

ISNA has condemned ISIS and the hideous beheading of journalist James Foley:

"We condemn this un-Islamic behavior," said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. "ISIS actions have never been representative nor in accordance to the mainstream teachings of Islam. This act of murder cannot be justified according to the faith practiced by over 1.6 billion people."

ISNA also condemned ISIS for slaughtering Christians in Iraq:

"ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, 'Let there be no compulsion in religion' (Surat al-Baqara 2:256) ," said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid.  "Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches."

Also of note: "In 2005, ISNA was also a signatory to the Fatwa Against Terrorism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America. This expert legal opinion (fatwa) clearly stated that it is forbidden to commit terrorism and violence against civilians. Those who take part in acts of terror are criminals. "

That document says, in part:

"In the light of the teachings of the QurӒan and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:
1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.
We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Quran, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad Җ peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners.
We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and all around the globe. "

ISNA also works with many Christian and Jewish churches and synagogues to foster interfaith cooperation. Some partners include Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The United Methodist Church, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and American Baptist Churches USA.


Also, the concept of an unindicted co-conspirator is a controversial one. Many legal scholars have raised concerns about this facet of jurisprudence. The old saying that one can indict a ham sandwich seems to be true, just look at Gov. Perry. 

Being an unindicted co-conspirator seems to be another BS tactic of the police state. In this case, it seems like a couple chaplains loosely affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood- there wasn't even enough evidence to procure an indictment.   

A judge later ruled the government didn't even have ample evidence to list them as an unindicted co-conspirator in the first place.
According to WikiPedia: 
"ISNA was one of a number of Muslim groups investigated by US law enforcement for possible terrorist connections. Its tax records were requested in December 2003 by theSenate Finance Committee. However, the committee's investigation concluded in November 2005 having found no evidence of ties to terrorists. Committee chairman Charles Grassleysaid, "We did not find anything alarming enough that required additional follow-up beyond what law enforcement is already doing."[17]
In the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case, the United States Department of Justice named ISNA, along with Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the North American Islamic Trust, as an unindicted co-conspirator and one of a number of "entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood."[18][19][20] ISNA, along with NAIT and CAIR, filed motions seeking to be removed from the UCC listing, and the District Judge found that the government had violated the organizations' rights by listing them as Unindicted Co-Conspirators.[21] Judge Solis, as affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, held that the government should not have listed CAIR and ISNA."
If one has a problem with all Muslims, and simply wished Gov. Snyder would not speak to any, say so. However, when it comes to his speech in October, merely saying the group supports terrorism is not a contention supported by the facts in totality.
Some individuals still contend the Islamic Society of North America supports terror, but with the billions of dollars spent on surveillance, counterterrorism operations and intelligence methods, why hasn't a single meaningful case against ISNA come to fruition?
If ISNA isn't moderate, who is?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Breaking: WMP Obtains List Of Ottawa County GOP State Convention Delegates

A Confidential source has provided West Michigan Politics with the list of delegates from Ottawa County for the state convention on Saturday.

The source will not be named, and was not someone from the county party.

WMP stands behind the credibility of this list. If WMP is wrong, We will find out on Saturday. 
Dustin Attema
Liza
Barry
James
Barry
Elizabeth
Barveld
Kevin
Berens
Roger
Bergman
Rita
Bird
Thomas
Bird
Cathy
Boote
Sue
Buitenhuis
Steven
Burman
Joseph
Bush
Jill
Cooper
Kenneth
Cooper
Allen
Dannenberg
Cynthia
Davis
David
Davis
Donald
Disselkoen
Calvin
Dykstra
Linda
Dykstra
Mark
Ellermets
Kenneth
Eriks
Matthew
Fenske
Kristina
Ferris
Anne
Foote
Jeffrey
Fuss
Daniela
Garcia
Jose
Gomez
Michael
Hewitt
Linda
Holmes
Jack
Holmes
Daniel
Horning
Michael
Hovinga
Dianna
Johnson
Paul
Johnson
Ervin
Keeter
Ryan
Kelly
Charles
Kolean
Dirk
Kraai
Robert
Land
Emily
LeBlanc
Ronald
Lindquist
Thomas
Martinie
Megan
McCluskey
Tom
Medendorp
Jesse
Meerman
Luke
Meerman
Sue
Meerman
Jose
Mireles
Dale
Mohr
John
Nash
David
Nyitray
Rodger
Price
Justin
Roebuck
Robert
Schellenberg
Andrew
Schutte
Bradley
Slagh
Carol
Slagh
Janessa
Smit
Faith
Steketee
Steven
Steketee
Leon
Stille
Dennis
Swartout
Jason
Tanis
Mary Beth
Timmer
Adam
Tountas
Sylvia
Tubergen
Chad
Tuttle
Dennis
Van Dam
Sharon
Van Dam
Nickolas
VanderVeen
Deborah
VanDyk
Todd
VanDyk
Amanda
VanEssen
Kurtis
VanKoevering
Larry
Ver Hage
Geraldine
Vruggink
Dennis
Wagner
Eugene
Welch
Zachariah
Wendt
Matthew
Wiedenhoeft
Norman
Woltjer
Robert
Worthington

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breaking: Complaint Filed With Attorney General Schuette Over Fake 90th District Robocall

Here is the copy of the complaint filed with Attorney General Schuette this afternoon regarding the controversial fake robocall in the 90th State House District:

The Honorable Attorney General Bill Schuette
525 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909

Mr. Schuette,

On Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, a pre-recorded voice message (or “robocall”) was sent to the residents of the 90th House District in Hudsonville, Jamestown, Holland, and Zeeland.

This “robocall” lists as its purveyors a non-existent group, the “Ottawa County Progressive Alliance.” This group is not registered with the State of Michigan, nor in Ottawa County, nor with the FEC.

More information about the call can be found in the Holland Sentinel article from Monday, August 4:

“The "Ottawa County Progressive Alliance" name has not been registered with the Federal Election Commission, Michigan Bureau of Elections or the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office.

State Sen. Arlan Meekhof sponsored a change to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act that requires disclaimers on all robo-calls within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election, his chief of staff said.

Committees organized to support or oppose a state candidate are required to file with Michigan's bureau of elections, but they are not listed with the state or the county, Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said.”

(Read more: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/article/20140803/News/140809740#ixzz39jZNOhjv)

Audio of this call can be found here:
http://chirb.it/nhfc2b

The phone number associated with this call is: (616) 258-6007

This “group” is seemingly in violation of Senator Meekhof’s legislation, Senate Bill 661, which was passed by the House and Senate and subsequently signed by The Hon. Governor Rick Snyder in December of 2013, becoming law as Public Act 252 of 2013.

Public Act 252 of 2013 states:

Section 46:
(8) A prerecorded telephone message that in express terms advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question, shall contain the name and telephone number, address, or other contact information of the person paying for the prerecorded telephone message, and shall be in compliance with subsection (4).

(Subsection 4: (4) Except for a communication described in subsection (5) and except for a candidate committee’s printed matter or radio or television paid advertisements, each identification or disclaimer required by this section shall also indicate that the printed matter or radio or television paid advertisement is paid for “with regulated funds”. Printed matter or a radio or television paid advertisement that is not subject to this act shall not bear the statement required by this subsection.)

Also See:
(5) A communication otherwise entirely exempted from this act under section 6(2)(j) is subject only to the identification required by subsection (1), (2), or (8) if that communication references a clearly identified candidate or ballot question within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election in which the candidate or ballot question appears on a ballot and is targeted to the relevant electorate where the candidate or ballot question appears on the ballot by means of radio, television, mass mailing, or prerecorded telephone message.

(6) A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or imprisonment for not more than 93 days, or both.

I am not the only one outraged by this illegal fake call. In my disappointment, I join Congressman Huizenga, who wrote wrote on Facebook Monday morning:

"Last night, a deceitful and illegal robo call went out to Republican voters by the "Ottawa County Progressive Alliance." Do not be tricked and do not stand for this type of dirty politics.

Please join me and vote for Daniela Garcia tomorrow, someone that actually fought against ObamaCare and for local control of our schools."

Ottawa County Clerk Roebuck also took to Facebook to speak out against the call:

"Frustrating when things like this happen. When people disregard the law and attempt last minute tricks to confuse voters - nobody wins. "

I agree with the Congressman and the County Clerk- beyond words, it's time for substantial, meaningful action. This Robo call must be investigated.





Monday, August 4, 2014

*BREAKING* Joe Haveman Denies Involvment In Fake Robocall, WMP Confirms He Sent Suspicious Second Call Immediately Blaming Geoff Haveman


The Detroit News has been covering the robocall controversy this morning, with reporter Chad Livengood taking to Twitter.

" Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, just called...denies any involvement in robo call claiming Republican he endorsed is really a Democrat. #miLEG"

In another tweet, Livengood wrote:

"BULLETIN: Anonymous person offering $1K reward for info on robocall in Ottawa County's 90th House district"

West Michigan Politics has also confirmed that Joe Haveman did indeed send a second robocall very shortly after the first suspicious call went out.

(A press release this morning had claimed Joe Haveman immediately sent out a second call blaming Geoff Haveman for the first call)


*READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND LISTEN TO THE CONTROVERSIAL ROBOCALL HERE*

Livengood also posted a picture of part of the press release multiple entities received: