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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Joey Gamrat Withdraws From Youth Chair Race, Vows To Continue Working

Gamrat, left, talks to Michael Banerian, right, at The Pow Wow in Mt. Pleasant. (Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson)


By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)


Joey Gamrat has withdrawn from the race for MI GOP Youth Chair, Michael Banerian is now likely to win the post, as he is unopposed.
Banerian

>>>Read the background HERE: Joey Gamrat Addresses Eligibility Concern, Says Convention Delegates Should Decide The Issue

No members of the MIGOP Policy Committee returned WMP's request for comment.

Gamrat told WMP he will continue to be involved and doesn't need a title to roll up his sleeves on behalf of constitutionally conservative values and youth outreach.

"I have been on the radio in Petoskey and Ann Arbor, and continue to attend meetings in counties all across our great state," Gamrat said.

"Am I a little disappointed the Policy Committee ruled the way they did? You bet-but it won't stop me! I will continue to do my part to help lay the groundwork for constitutional conservative candidates to score big victories in 2016, and I will continue to interact with young Michiganders in every corner of our state to grow our party and engage our youth in the political process."

Gamrat released the following statement this week:

Friends, Supporters, and Fellow Republicans,

After much discussion, it has come to my attention that the Policy Committee will likely side with the State Party Legal Counsel and deny my eligibility to be a candidate at the February 20-21 State Convention. I have reached out to each member of the Policy Committee personally, and it is clear that I would have several votes in favor of allowing me to run, and giving the Delegates an option in the Youth Chair race. It is equally clear that there would likely not be enough votes to override the Legal Counsel’s opinion.

We have been moving full speed ahead with our campaign, and I am grateful for the endorsements and support I have received from dozens of TEA Party Leaders, State Committee Members, County Chairs, and Elected Officials – to say nothing of the hundreds of Precinct Delegates who have pledged their support as well.

However, I am interested in building our Party, not putting it through a TEA Party versus Establishment battle. I want to spend my time advancing the Cause of Freedom and Liberty through finding, recruiting, training youth across the state, and building relationships. I want to be an emissary for the Principles our Founding Fathers labored so long and hard to make a reality, the very Principles our Party was founded on: Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, and a system of Government that recognized the power rested solely in the hands of the People, through God's design.

So even though I am withdrawing from the race for Youth Chair, I will not stop working all over the state. I will attend County, District, and other Youth functions. I will work to continue advocating our Principles in all environments: College, High School, Middle School, and even Elementary School.

I included some information below, for those of you curious about how we got to this point. While reasonable folks can disagree about my conclusion(s), the fact remains that it is not as set in stone as some have portrayed it. Ultimately the Policy Committee is charged with making that determination. Regardless, there is some interesting precedent in our Nation’s history. I also link to a recent Politico story about how successful Presidential campaigns will be recruiting 16 and 17 year olds in the coming year, since they will be eligible to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Please do not hesitate to call have any questions or comments. I am always available to chat!
Thank you for your past support, and prayers along this campaign trail, and I look forward to continuing building up with you a foundation for youth to get politically involved

Sincerely,


Joey Gamrat

When I first decided to run, I went to my local Clerk and filed the necessary paperwork to register to vote. However, because I am 17, and don't turn 18 until July 3, they accepted my paperwork, but were not prepared to issue a voter registration card until a later date. The next regularly scheduled election in my Township wasn't until a date in late 2015 that occurred after my 18th birthday.

I then proceeded to gather the necessary District Chair signatures, and submitted my paperwork in a timely fashion to the Policy Committee.

In the interim between my registration/obtaining the signatures, the Legislature put the Gas Tax on a statewide ballot for May 5. This means I cannot be issued a voter registration card until after the Gas Tax vote on May 5th. So, sometime shortly after May 5, I will be issued a voter registration card.

A thorough review of the By-Laws, as amended February 4, 2012, Article IV, Paragraph (A) reveals there is no specific preclusion about how young someone can be to serve in the role of Youth Chair, only how old.
There is a requirement in Article III, Paragraph (E) that a Regular Member (someone with voting rights) be a Registered voter. This Paragraph deals specifically with membership as relates to voting matters, and financial contribution requirements. It does not state when someone has to be registered to vote, only that they must be registered to be considered a "Regular Member".

Furthermore, there is no restriction in the February 20-21, 2015 Convention Rules, as adopted May 3, 2014, on how old someone must be to RUN, or even that they be registered to vote to RUN.

So my arguments were:

1. I met the qualifications at the time I sought and obtained Congressional District Chair approval.
2. The By-Laws only speak to my ability to SERVE (said another way, be SEATED) as a Regular Member of the State Committee, not to the qualifications to RUN. It is the purview of the Policy Committee (and subsequently the Rules Committee of the Convention) to determine someone's qualification to RUN.
3. Section 16 of the Rules for Feb Convention state: "Participation in the Republican county and State conventions shall in no way be abridged for reasons of sex, race, religion, AGE, or national origin, and the county and State conventions shall encourage the broadest possible participation by everyone in party affairs."

Said again, there is no age limit for how YOUNG someone must be in order to RUN, only a requirement that they be registered to vote to take a SEAT as a Regular (Voting) Member of the Committee.
If I was successful in seeking the office of Youth Chair, I could properly take a seat as a voting member of the Committee sometime shortly after May 5, 2015, once my previously filed voter registration was then issued.

The Delegates should make this decision for themselves (after all, no one is required to vote for me in the Youth Chair race if I am on the ballot) and I should therefore not be denied ballot access, as we attempt to build the Party and reach out to Young voters. (There is precedence, by the way, for this occurring in the US House of Representatives. Multiple times, candidates have been ELECTED who are younger than the Age requirement in the US Constitution to SERVE. The House handles the seating of the Member accordingly, but the voters are not denied the right to choose whether they wish to elect that person.)

Below are three examples pertaining to Age, there are others based on other items, but these three are pertinent.

Source: http://history.house.gov/…/O…/Constitutional-Qualifications/
Accessed on January 13, 2015

Age
The founders initially set 21, the voting age, as the minimum age to serve in the House. During the Federal Constitutional Convention, though, George Mason of Virginia moved to make the age 25. Mason said that there should be a period between being free to manage one’s own affairs and managing the “affairs of a great nation.” Convention Delegate James Wilson of Pennsylvania objected to the suggestion that any further restrictions be placed on House membership, and cited the service of William Pitt as a counterexample. Pitt, who held office at the time of the Convention, was the youngest prime minister in British history at the age of 24. Nevertheless, Mason’s amendment passed seven states to three.

The House and Its Members
Article I, section 5 of the Constitution provides the House with the authority to determine whether Members-elect are qualified to be seated. For instance, William Claiborne of Tennessee became the youngest person to ever serve in the House when he was elected and seated in 1797 at the age of 22. The House also seated Claiborne at the age of 24, when he won re-election. The House, however, has not always been so lenient. Representative John Young Brown of Kentucky was first elected to the House in the 36th Congress (1859–1861) when he was 24, but the House refused to administer the oath of office to him until he was 25—after the first session of the Congress was over.

Politico Article about Campaigns courting young voters:
http://www.politico.com/…/young-voters-campaigns-114141.html

_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson



Monday, January 19, 2015

What The Heck Is Going On In Lansing?

By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)

Here are 10 things going on in Lansing:



-The new legislature took office...

-MEDC corporate welfare will trigger budget cuts for Michiganders...

-After just 5 years in a building they never wanted, State Police are moving out of their HQ in downtown Lansing...

State Rep. Lee Chatfield with wife Stephanie and family

-Committee assignments were handed down this week for the new State House members. Lee Chatfield, who sent incumbent State Rep. Frank Foster packing last year, was one of only two freshman to Chair a committee-the Local Government Committee...

-Also of note: Speaker Cotter picked Pam Faris over Brandon Dillon for Vice Chair on a committee despite his seniority, reportedly leaving the Grand Rapids Dem FURIOUS...

-After prevailing wage repeal legislation strongly favored by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof was introduced, Gov. Snyder, in a rare move, came out and said he does not support the change...

-Lansing is abuzz over the Governor's State Of The State address to be delivered tomorrow night...



-Gov. Snyder vetoed gun legislation that would have changed the CPL process in Michigan.

-Snyder also vetoed laws pertaining to "E-Cigs."

-Gov. Snyder has set his budget release for February 10...

-Lark finally booted from Lansing Utility
_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Joey Gamrat Addresses Eligibility Concern, Says Convention Delegates Should Decide The Issue


Joey Gamrat, right, with his Mom, Cindy


By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com) 


After WMP broke the news that the Michigan Republican Party was taking issue with Joey Gamrat's candidacy for Youth Chair, Ron Dwyer and Kevin Rex Heine have weighed in.

Joey Gamrat responded to concerns raised by delegates with this statement Monday afternoon:

"The rules actually specify that to serve as a member you must be a registered voter. They are silent on the issue of running as a candidate and being elected but not "taking office" a few months later. It's a decision I feel should be up to the voting delegates."

Kevin's article is quite good and worth a read. Here is an excerpt:

"Now, by this point, I suspect that most are now wondering why I’m going into such detail regarding exactly
 when someone qualifies to be a registered voter, and how that might apply to membership on the MIGOP State Party Leadership.

Here’s why.

A week ago, Brandon Hall over at West Michigan Politics broke an interesting little story (that was picked up on Friday by Ron Dwyer at Setting The Record Straight, but apparently nowhere else so far as I’ve noticed) that one Joey Gamrat appears to now have himself an eligibility issue with his candidacy affidavit for Youth Vice Chair.

Evidently, Joey Gamrat (son of Cindy Gamrat, for those of you a little slow on the uptake) in preparation for his run at the Youth Vice Chair seat being vacated by Blake Edmonds, at some point between mid-November and mid-December, pre-registered to vote (his 18th birthday is apparently July 3rd). But for the finale of the 2014 lame duck session, it would probably have been no big deal. However, now we have a statewide ballot proposal that, assuming that I’m correctly inferring from Hall and Dwyer, temporarily invalidates Mr. Gamrat’s voter pre-registration (until May 6th, the day after the vote on Proposal 15-1), and thus the Policy Committee will, at their meeting later this week, rule Gamrat’s affidavit of candidacy void (because he no longer meets the qualifications to be a registered voter in Michigan). And unlike the “Nakagiri Signature Scramble” from a year ago, all the signatures on the planet can’t override this one.

That’s a bugger, because Joey’s a great kid, has absolutely busted his butt for the cause this election cycle, and would make, in my opinion, and excellent Youth Vice-Chair. However, as I pointed out in a comment on the West Michigan Politics FaceBook page, between Michigan Election Code section 168.492 and Michigan Republican Bylaws paragraph 3E, the plain language of the law is the plain language of the law . . . period."

His mother, State Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell), said the folowing about the issue:

"I appreciate all the work the grassroots does for Liberty. The Joey Gamrat thing is about a young man who saw an opportunity to make a difference and he took it. He didn’t stay on the sidelines but put it all on the line to step forward and do all that comes with such a big decision. He invested his time, money, and energy and has campaigned hard, traveling the state every night, arriving home usually around 2:00am. Since his campaign has started he is rarely home as he has worked tirelessly to meet as many delegates as possible. 

He was all in from the beginning and had put a lot into a full fledged campaign when the lame duck added a new election and Joey was caught in that midstream. Even so he has continued to go the course as the logistics get worked out. I am proud of the effort he has given and the experience and growth he has gained through this endeavor. He was and is “all in” and a new lame duck session hasn’t changed his heart. He has shown integrity and courage through it all and I am honored to be called his mom." 


_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Agema Ally David Wells Fires Back Against Racism Charges


Wells, left. Photo by Darlene Dowling Thompson

 By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)

Dave Agema is controversial, that has been the case for decades. And don't forget-he has many supporters. After all, he beat Saul Anuzis to become RNC Committeeman with an impressive 70% of the vote not too long ago.

One of Agema's staunchest allies is a Tea Party activist named David Wells.

With Agema being censured by the RNC last week and passions raging over issues stemming from an article Agema shared on Facebook, Wells has had enough of Agema and supporters like himself being called racist.
He took to Facebook defending Agema and himself with a powerful personal story this weekend:
Wells, right, with Agema, second from left. Photo by Darlene Dowling Thompson

"Many who Know me have heard this Story before:

 I have been heavy my entire life. When I was about 12 years old, my dad dropped me off in Harrisville Harbor to fish for salmon all night. I had on Waders, and when a short fat boy wears waders, the legs are too long, bunch up, and fill with air. I had waded too far out and a wave picked me up. Picture me head down bobbing in the water, with My feet in the air. Middle of a dark night, only a few people around.
I was drowning. I can remember struggling trying to push off the bottom, or grab something.
I then felt a hand grab my leg and I was lifted straight out of the water into the air.
 

The man turned and carried me all the way into shore with one hand. He performed cpr, getting the water out of my lungs, and after assessing me, built a fire, got me out of my wet clothes and gave me a large coat. The mans name was Ray, but he told me to call him Goose (CB Handle). We talked until daylight, and my dad showed up to take me back to the cabin.
 

I had exchanged numbers with Goose, and he started picking me up to go fishing, Salmon, Smelt, suckers, pike, and others. We also had 40 acres and Goose would come up Rabbit and Deer hunting. I attended Holiday dinners with his family in Flint while in college.

See my Maternal Grand Father died when I was a baby. My Paternal Grandfather disowned the Family over a stupid fight with my father when I was 8 years old.

Growing up, Goose was the closest thing I had to a Grandpa. God put Goose on the shore of Harrisville harbor that night to save my life.

I cried when I got the call that Ray had passed away. Goose was a retired Flint Police officer, over 6 and a half foot tall, and A BLACK man who taught me to look beyond the color of someones skin. To all you agenda driven opportunists calling me or anyone else a RACIST for defending Dave Agema, Go pound sand!"

Michigan RNC Committeeman Dave Agema

_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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MIGOP Chair Race Update



By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)

The Michigan Republican Party's State Convention is just a few weeks away- here is a snapshot of what the heck is going on.
Ronna Romney McDaniel

In the race for party Chair, Ronna Romney McDaniel continues to rack up endorsements from party elite.

She recently announced the support of over 40 county chairs, as well as Jeff Sakwa, Pete Lund, John Moolenaar, and many others.

Romney's chief opponent is Dr. Kim Shmina, a nurse and Wayne St. University instructor. 

>>>KimPOSSIBLE? Romney-McDaniel Gets Her First Challenger As Kim Shmina Declares Bid For MIGOP Chair

Shmina is campaigning hard at events across the state, even gaining favorable coverage from MIRS for attending the 4th District Round Up and Pow Wow while Romney was sick.

Romney managed to recover and attend events in Washington for the RNC, where she has posted pictures with people like Ben Carson and Rick Perry, saying she wants to bring them to Michigan.

In a rare glimpse of policy from Romney, she implied she was against "Common Core" in a picture with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Shmina, center, with AG Schuette, left, and husband Michael, right

Shmina faces an uphill battle, but she is working hard and has a good message. With Lund and Sakwa out, all eyes are on whether or not Norm Hughes gets in the race.

If Romney continues refusing to answer questions about where she stands on the May 5th vote, the Agema situation, how she will engage grassroots activists, and a host of others, she may find herself under increasing pressure from the media and delegates.

Also-who Romney would pick as a Vice Chair has been a hot topic. One name that just won't go away is Jeff Sakwa. Stay tuned to see where this goes...Shmina supporters at the Pow Wow wanted her to pick people like former State Rep. Tom McMillin, who has not yet endorsed anyone, and if he stays out of the race himself, Norm Hughes.

Party rules demand that the Vice-Chair be the opposite gender of the Chair candidate.

Another possible Romney Vice Chair is Pete Lund. Lund issued the following statement Sunday:

Lund
"As many of you know, I have been weighing a run for MIGOP Chair. I have spoken with grassroots activists from around the state, and have received a very positive response. To all the people that have called and sent me e-mails urging me to run, you have my heartfelt thanks. Having served on the Macomb County Executive Committee for 22 years and having held public office for 17 years, I am an unwavering supporter of the GOP. I want to continue to help grow the party, win elections and push the conservative beliefs that have driven me for all these years. 

At this time, however, I have decided not to seek the office of GOP Chair. Michigan has Republican governor, and Republicans have been steadily increasing their majorities in both the state house and senate.

With the upcoming elections in 2016 and 2018, it is important that Michigan Republicans be united, not divided. Therefore, it is best for the party to get behind one candidate for Chair, and I believe that candidate is Ronna Romney McDaniel. I look forward to the convention in February and casting my vote for Ronna. As a party we need to unite and work together with Ronna so that we can elect Republican candidates that will move our state and our country in the right direction."

_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Calley Shows Guts At Pow Wow While Mackinac Center Caves

State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, left, with LG Calley. Photo by Darlene Dowling Thompson

By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)


Lt. Governor Brian Calley has been receiving praise from tea-party detractors after attending this weekend's Pow Wow to give the oath of office to State Rep. Cindy Gamrat.

Also, apparently the Mackinac Center missed years of Dave Agema controversies and didn't follow his time in the legislature, because they bailed on the Pow Wow last week because of Agema's latest "issue."

Agema came under fire by some because he shared an article put out by Allen West entitled "The Most Racist Article You Will Ever Read."

While the article may well be inappropriate, it's pretty absurd for the Mackinac Center to withdraw from the Pow Wow because of it. Where have they been the last few years? Why now? And the Pow Wow is a pretty mainstream event these days, with people like John Yob and MIRS head Kyle Melinn playing prominent roles this year.



The Mackinac Center said:

"The Mackinac Center’s focus is policy, not politics. But since all policy moves through a political process, even a policy institute must exhibit sensitivity to important political developments...shortly after MI Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema posted offensive material to his Facebook page, the Mackinac Center withdrew from a Jan. 9-10 activist event headlined by Mr. Agema.

We had intended our withdrawal to speak for itself. But instead of letting our action speak louder than words, we granted interviews that produced reports that confused, rather than clarified, our apparent position. This statement is to set the record straight. The reason the Mackinac
Center withdrew from the event was Mr. Agema’s prominent role there."

Calley did not bail, giving the oath of office to State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, lead organizer of the event and one of the most watched members of the new legislature coming to Lansing this week..

"It is a very special and significant moment for both the state and the individual when they are sworn in to office. It is a privilege I consider to be sacred and I was flattered when asked to be a part of it," Calley said.

Tea Party activist Tim Bos is one of many who were quite impressed with the LG. He applauded Calley taking the time to attend, despite a few tea party folks not so happy to see the LG:

"Some of my ideological soul mates were, shall we say...... disappointed, that Lt.Gov. Brian Calley was invited to the Pow Wow to swear in Cindy Gamrat as one of the Conservative grassroots Representatives in the State House.

For starters, I want to personally thank Brian Calley for accepting the invitation, for taking time away from his family and list of things he'd much rather be doing, driving through the winter wonderland up north to Mt. Pleasant, doing a good deed, and then spending more of his precious time getting back to where he would rather be.

To me, that was a Class Act and appreciated.

I believe Cindy's desire to share an important and symbolic moment was genuine and right on the mark.
The whole concept of Limited Government has been given short shrift for many decades in our state and country....And having the Governor's Right Hand Man show up to perform a swearing in ceremony at our annual celebration of Founding Principles, in our event and on our terms- is a perfect way to elevate the significance of our accomplishments."

Kudos to Calley for showing guts, sticking to his word while the Mackinac Center acted like Agema's Facebook post was somehow more worthy of withdrawal than past issues.  The time to beat Mr. Agema was at the convention, and he won in a landslide with almost 70% of the vote.

_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Edge of 17: MIGOP Policy Committee Tells Joey Gamrat To Get Lost, "Ineligible" For Youth Chair

Joey Gamrat, left, with Mom Cindy, right

  By Brandon Hall


(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)


Once again, the MIGOP Policy Committee is making it difficult for young people to be involved in the party.

A few years ago, they hassled Blake Edmonds over some paperwork in his bid for Youth Chair-they are now telling Plainwell's Joey Gamrat he is ineligibleto run for the same spot.

The controversy developed after the legislature set May 5th as the date of the next election. Because he is 17 until July, Gamrat can not register to vote until May 6th, and the policy committee claims that makes him ineligible to run.

"It's really sad-almost stunning- to see such hostility towards young people who are working hard and trying to get more involved," said a long-time political operative who preferred to be anonymous. "Joey Gamrat is fully eligible to be a candidate for youth Chair, he just can't be a voting member until May 6th-he wouldn't miss any MIGOP meetings."

Gamrat refuses to say anything bad against anyone, and is focused on running a positive race for Youth Chair against opponent Michael Banerian. He issued the following press release Monday morning:

"17-year old Joey Gamrat has announced he will be running to fill the position of Youth Vice Chair within the Republican Party. The position is currently filled by Blake Edmonds who has decided to vacate the seat after one term. If elected, Gamrat would be the youngest Youth Vice Chair to ever serve within the Michigan Republican Party.


“I don't view age as a roadblock in life. I have never allowed it to stop me from making a difference. I believe youth are, many times, much smarter and more passionate than we credit them to be. I am running to demonstrate to them, that it is possible to get involved at a younger age. Don't hold back, embrace your full potential, and strive to make a difference. I was privileged to have family and friends encourage me to get involved in politics at a young age and realize there are many who do not have this opportunity. Students across this state deserve not only a leader, but someone who can connect with them, and pour into them. My passion is to reach the younger generations and provide to them the same opportunities and encouragement I was able to receive and help build the leaders of tomorrow.”


Gamrat is the son of Cindy Gamrat, State Representative in the 80th District, and served as her Campaign Manager during the 2014 election cycle. He has been active in many races across the state, including serving as an instrumental leader on Ron Weiser’s campaign for University of Michigan Regent, and volunteering throughout Michigan on dozens of other races.


“When working on campaigns, there is one thing that stands out the most to me about a candidate who is a leader, and that is how accessible they are. The Vice Chairs have a tremendous responsibility in representing the entire state. This is why I plan on visiting and serving in all 83 Michigan counties, working with high schoolers and college students to establish and sustain a system that reaches out to youth and provides them needed leadership.”


The election will take place at the Michigan Republican Party State Convention in February. The Youth Vice Chair race has been said to be one of the most controversial in party history, and Gamrat has pledged that his campaign will not be going negative in the race as that only leads to more separation within the party.


“If you look back at my past work, it is very clear that I have worked with all facets of the Republican Party. I have done this without compromising my morals and values and plan on continuing this work. We need to unite as one force, especially with the upcoming State House and Presidential races.”


>>>For more information regarding Joey Gamrat’s campaign for Youth Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, please visit www.gamratforyouthchair.com or contact Joey directly at joey@gamratforyouthchair.com or 269.370.9489

_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Breaking: Grand Haven Cross Issue Could Be Decided By Voters May 5th After Recall Papers Filed



 By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)


 Tonight, I released the following statement:

"It's time for Grand Haven to stand up to atheist extremist and anti-Christian bully Mitch Kahle-decades of tradition in our City is something worth fighting for.

That's why today, I filed with Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck's office the papers required to initiate the recall process against Grand Haven City Councilman Bob Monetza. If the efforts are successful, after the May 5th election,  a  new Council member will join the two existing votes, and the Cross could be back up as it has every May for over 50 years.

Giving Grand Haven residents a chance to vote for the direction they want the City to take on this issue lets Grand Havenders have a real voice in this process.

Capitulating to bullies like atheist extremist Mitch Kahle isn't what Grand Haven is all about, and I believe the vote on May 5th will reflect that fact.

That Cross isn't coming down without a fight-a fight the Grand Haven City Attorney said the City would likely win. That shouldn't be a surprise, as Kahle has been wrong multiple times before on issues of Constitutional Law and Separation of Church and State doctrine. He has a lot to learn.

I am not affiliated with the "Keep The Grand Haven Cross" group's effort to buy Dewey Hill, though I wish them all the best.

>>>Updates will continue at "Save the Grand Haven Cross: Vote May 5th" Facebook page, viewable HERE.

###

>>>Read more of WMP's coverage on the Cross issue in Grand Haven below:

>>>City Manager McGinnis Says Grand Haven Won't Remove Dewey Hill Cross <<<

>>>Breaking: Grand Haven Cross Critic Has A Disturbing History Of Bullying Christians-And Profiting From It

 Supreme Court Rulings Against Kahle Are Positive Sign For Grand Haven Cross Supporters


_________________________________________________________________________

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Breaking: Grand Haven Cross To Be Removed After City Council Vote, Will Become Anchor

 By Brandon Hall

(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)

Dillon Davis
Davis

The Muskegon Chronicle's Dillon Davis reports:

"The Grand Haven City Council has voted for a resolution limiting equal access on Dewey Hill and the cross will become an anchor. The vote is 3-2 with opposing votes coming from Mayor Geri McCaleb and councilman Dennis Scott."

(The Anchor coincides with Grand Haven's Coast Guard Festival)

That would make the "yes votes" Fritz, Monetza, and Hierholzer...

This is absolutely nuts to me, I am sure more will come of this in the future-the issue is not over....

You can contact Council Members at the info BELOW:

City Council


Geri McCaleb
Mayor
616-844-0425 (H)
616-402-5620 (C)
GMcCaleb@GrandHaven.org

Michael D. Fritz
Council Member
616-842-2409 (H)
616-846-5006 (O)
MFritz@GrandHaven.org

John Hierholzer
Council Member
616-846-5863 (H)
JHierholzer@grandhaven.org

Robert Monetza
Council Member
616-846-3027 (H)
BMonetza@GrandHaven.org

Dennis Scott
Council Member
616-638-9828 (C)
DScott@grandhaven.org  

>>>Read more of WMP's coverage on the Cross issue in Grand Haven below:





>>>City Manager McGinnis Says Grand Haven Won't Remove Dewey Hill Cross <<<

>>>Breaking: Grand Haven Cross Critic Has A Disturbing History Of Bullying Christians-And Profiting From It

 Supreme Court Rulings Against Kahle Are Positive Sign For Grand Haven Cross Supporters


_________________________________________________________________________


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com 

Facebook


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Read Complaint Filed Against Bill Huizenga

>>>CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLAINT FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE AGAINST BILL HUIZENGA

Formal Complaint Filed Against Rep. Bill Huizenga For Illegal Campaign Statements

Formal Complaint Filed Against Rep. Bill Huizenga For Illegal Campaign Statements

January 5th, 2014
 

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" 
CONTACT: BRANDON HALL VIA Email at 
WestMIPolitics@GMail.com

>>>Also contact Brandon via:
Twitter

"Today, I filed a formal complaint with the Michigan Secretary of State's Office against Rep. Bill Huizenga for multiple violations of Michigan Campaign Finance Act law.

I am calling on Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to do what should have been done 10 years ago:  investigate Bill Huizenga's illegal campaign statements.


Whether it's an anonymous $8,000 PAC donor, $6,000 in campaign money that's missing, thousands of dollars in payments to Bill himself, or campaign loans he won't explain, Bill Huizenga has refused to answer multiple questions about his "Huizenga House Fund" for years.

At best, Huizenga needs to answer these questions and face a substantial fine.  At worst,  the law says Huizenga could face up to 93 days in jail given his role as treasurer.

Make no mistake, every single allegation in my complaint is fully backed up by official documents, and my complaint also points to multiple, specific sections of the Campaign Finance Act Bill Huizenga has seemingly violated.

I look forward to Attorney General Schuette and Secretary of State Johnson's inquiry into this vital issue. I am confident they will put Michiganders first and get these questions answered."

>>>>>For those who would like to view the full complaint against Huizenga, online CLICK HERE. 

(ALL ATTACHMENTS THAT WERE INCLUDED IN THE COMPLAINT ARE AVAILABLE ON SOS WEBSITE HERE

Read BELOW for more information about where the process goes from here:

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Huizenga has 15 days to respond once he gets official notice the complaint was filed.
Also,  "The secretary of state may extend the period for
submitting a response an additional 15 business days for good cause. The secretary of state shall provide a copy of a response received to the complainant.

 Within 10 business days after the response is mailed, the
complainant  may submit to the secretary of state a rebuttal statement. The secretary of state may extend the period for submitting a rebuttal statement an additional 10 business days for good cause."
The Campaign Finance Act also says that, after that:

"The secretary of state shall investigate the allegations under the rules promulgated under this act.

If the
violation involves the secretary of state, the immediate family of the secretary of state, or a campaign or committee with which the secretary of state is connected, directly or indirectly, the secretary of state shall
refer the matter to the attorney general to determine whether a violation of this act has occurred.

(10) No later than 60 business days after receipt of a rebuttal statement submitted under subsection (5), or if no response or rebuttal is received under subsection (5), the secretary of state shall post on the secretary of
state's internet website whether or not there may be reason to believe that a violation of this act has occurred.

If the secretary of state determines that there may be reason to believe that a violation of this act occurred, the secretary of state shall, within 30 days of that determination, post on the secretary of state's internet website
any complaint, response, or rebuttal statement received under subsection
(5) regarding that violation and any correspondence regarding that violation between the secretary of state and the complainant or the person against whom the complaint was filed.

If the secretary of state determines that there may be reason to believe
that a violation of this act occurred, the secretary of state shall endeavor to correct the violation or prevent a further violation by using informal methods such as a conference, conciliation, or persuasion, and may enter
into a conciliation agreement with the person involved. Unless violated, a conciliation agreement is a complete bar to any further civil or criminal action with respect to matters covered in the conciliation
agreement.

The secretary of state shall, within 30 days after a conciliation agreement is signed, post that agreement on the secretary of state's internet website. If, after 90 business days, the secretary of state is unable
to correct or prevent further violation by these informal methods, the secretary of state shall do either of the
following:

(a) Refer the matter to the attorney general for the enforcement of any criminal penalty provided by this
act.
(b) Commence a hearing as provided in subsection (11) for enforcement of any civil violation.

(11) The secretary of state may commence a hearing to determine whether a civil violation of this act has occurred. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in chapter 4 of the
administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.271 to 24.287.

If after a hearing the secretary of state determines that a violation of this act has occurred, the secretary of state may issue an order requiring the
person to pay a civil fine equal to triple the amount of the improper contribution or expenditure plus not more than $1,000.00 for each violation.

(12) A final decision and order issued by the secretary of state is subject to judicial review..."

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Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com
:)
Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson