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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Breaking: Taxpayers Funding Boersma's Legal Fees After Secret Spring Lake Township Board Meeting Vote

Boersma, right, with former SLT Trustee Rick Homan (Grand Haven Tribune/Marie Havenga)


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


A confidential source tells WMP that the Spring Lake Township Board recently met in closed session, outside of public view, to discuss the controversy over Spring Lake Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma's involvement in multiple yard sign heists related to the Ferrysburg Mayor's race.

WMP has learned the board voted unanimously, with Boersma abstaining, to authorize township tax dollars be used for any legal fees Boersma may incur as a result of criminal charges in the case.

It's unclear if the Scholten and Fant law firm will be used as is typically the case with SLT, or if another firm will be utilized.

WMP broke the story a few weeks ago, reporting that Boersma was in the middle of a police investigation and may face criminal charges after a series of sign heists from a home supporting Ferrysburg Councilmember Regina Sjoberg, who is currently running for Mayor.

Police found signs inside the Boersma's vehicle after identifying the car from trail cam video and eye witness reports...

Boersma told the Grand Haven Tribune the whole issue was a misunderstanding.
"“This is just a simple misunderstanding," Boersma said. "Neither Tim nor I are in the habit of stealing political signs. I hope to have the issue explained and resolved very soon. But, until then, I really can't say any more.”

Boersma has yet to elaborate why she violated established procedure for sign removal, and no charges have been officially filed yet... Stay tuned!

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Epstein Reports Nearly $800k On Hand As Race To Replace Trott Heats Up


Epstein, right, with Ted Nugent on Fox News


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

Detroit area business owner Lena Epstein has announced she has nearly $800,000 on hand for her campaign to replace Rep. David Trott, who announced his retirement last month. 


That figure was powered by nearly half a million in donations from the latest reporting period.

Epstein's announcement comes as two new candidates have entered the race in recent days, former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, and Plymouth Twp. Supervisor Kurt Heise.

Epstein, a former co chair for President Trump's Michigan campaign, says she is happy with how the race is going so far.

"“I feel humbled and blessed by the outpouring of support we’ve received since I announced my candidacy for the 11th Congressional District," Epstein said in a statement. "I want to express my thanks to the business leaders and grassroots supporters who have made contributions to our campaign. It is critically important that Republicans nominate a candidate who can defeat the Democrat next year because this will be a highly targeted seat. We must put our best candidate forward.”

Epstein also faces businessman Rocky Raczkowski, who was the leader of President Trump's Veteran outreach efforts in Michigan.

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Developing: Senate Majority Leader Meekhof Takes Over Colbeck's Office



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)


Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof didn't just boot Senator Patrick Colbeck off all his committees, Meekhof is also taking over management of Colbeck's office.

According to a letter from Jordan Hankwitz, Meekhof's Director of the Senate Business Office:

"effective immediately, the Senate Majority Leader will directly oversee all personnel actions for staff assigned to your office, including, but not limited to, hiring, rehiring, transferring,status changes, leaves of absence, terminations and separations of employment, timecard approvals, and intern registration. Approvals regarding personnel actions must be submitted to the Senate Business Office Human Resources Department for appropriate routing."

But wait, there's more!

The letter also says that "effective immediately, all office operations expenses and eligible reimbursement for your office require approval of the Senate Majority Leader."

(Read the full letter below)

Meekhof says the actions are punishment for Colbeck attending a Right To Life dinner in Holland a few weeks ago without notifying his office he'd be in Ottawa County. Swamp protocol in Lansing dictates legislators must tell their peers when they are visiting the district they represent.

Colbeck and Meekhof have been feuding for years, with Colbeck being the only re-elected Senator not to receive a prominent committee chairmanship in 2015 after upsetting Meekhof, who took the reigns as Senate Majority Leader that January.

One aspect of the story has been surprising: not a single Senator has defended Colbeck in the wake of Meekhof's punishment. Sen. Rick Jones even said he would have kicked Colbeck out sooner! While Colbeck's base has been energized big league, the impact outside of that orbit seems to be minimal, though Colbeck has received a flurry of well needed earned media for his Gubernatorial campaign. 

Can one imagine what the reaction would be if Tim Greimel or Jim Ananich rebuked someone in their caucus for attending a Planned Parenthood fundraiser?! 

The outrage would be deafening.

For Colbeck though, crickets. I guess that's what happens when you don't repeatedly bend over for the Lansing cartel, it can be a lonely road.


 __________________________________________________________________
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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Guns, Booze, And Cigars: West Michigan Republicans Host "ATF Party" November 4th



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The West Michigan Republicans are hosting an "ATF Party" fundraiser on November 4th in Ada.

The event will take place from 3-7pm at the Kent County Conservation Center.

From 3-5, attendees will take part in gun range activities featuring a wide variety of firearms.

From 5-7, attendees will enjoy "cigars, fine whiskey, and fellowship."

The cost of the event is $75. Tickets are available at ATFParty.EventBrite.com

>>>Those interested in sponsoring the event can reach Diane Schindlbeck at schindysplace@gmail.com.



 __________________________________________________________________
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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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Casey VanderWeide Launches Campaign For MIGOP Youth Vice Chair

VanderWeide, left, with husband Samuel


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

The race to replace outgoing MIGOP Youth Vice Chair Michael Banerian has started, and one candidate is already receiving a lot of buzz. 


Her name is Casey VanderWeide, and she's hoping the Michigan Republican Party's State Committee, who will decide Banerian's replacement, chooses her. Banerian left his post after announcing he's running for State House...

VanderWeide, a recent Michigan grad, worked with Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser last year during his run for U of M Board Of Regents. She was also the Southeast Michigan Chair of the College Republican National Committee.

Also worth noting: VanderWeide is a military wife, her husband Samuel is a Marine.

According to a Facebook statement, VanderWeide says she's ready to serve.

"As you may have heard, Michael Banerian is stepping down as Youth Vice Chair in order to run for the Michigan State House," VanderWeide said. "After much consideration and encouragement from fellow Republican activists, I have decided to run for Youth Vice Chair. I am running because of my passion for grassroots politics, not because I view it as a resume builder or as a means of advancement to run for higher levels of office."

Her statement continues:
"My past experience interning for Ambassador and Chairman Ron Weiser, during his race for the University of Michigan Board of Regents and for his Chairman's race, has demonstrated to me the importance of grassroots involvement.
I also served as the Southeast Michigan Chair of the College Republican National Committee during this past election cycle, in which we turned Michigan Red again and showed the nation that Michigan is a priority. My goal as Youth Vice Chair would be to continue our success and to grow the amount of young activists in our party by developing a statewide program that involves our teenage, college, and young republicans that shows our party's real values.

The Democrats are expecting 2018 to be their year for success. I do not. I believe that we can repeat the same midterm election success that we experienced in 2010 under Chairman Weiser's leadership, with me serving as the next Youth Vice Chair.

However, I cannot do this alone. I will need your support in order to accomplish our goals of keeping Michigan Red by unseating Senator Stabenow, winning the gubernatorial, attorney general, and secretary of state elections, in addition to maintaining our majorities in the Michigan Senate and House."

So far, the only other candidate who has declared is Mike Sullivan of the Grand Valley Republicans... Stay tuned!

 __________________________________________________________________
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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Veteran And State Rep. Tom Barrett BLASTS House Dems For Shocking Prayer+Pledge Of Allegiance Protest

State Rep. Tom Barrett with wife Ashley and family


By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

As National Anthem hysteria continues to spread across America, the Michigan House Dems have decided to join in on the action with their own version of "taking a knee."


Earlier today, many members of the House Dems caucus protested during the opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, refusing to participate in a decades long tradition of the Michigan Legislature.

State Rep. Tom Barrett, who has served in the Army for many years (and continues to serve while in the House) absolutely shredded his peers in a Facebook statement.

Barrett called the move "pandering," adding "of course I believe in the right of free speech. I also believe in my right to express my disappointment in their decision."

 Barrett is the leading State Senate candidate to replace Sen. Rick Jones in 2018.

Read Barrett's statement below:

"Today, in a clear attempt to pander to some constituency, members of the House Democratic Caucus protested the Pledge of Allegiance on the floor of the House of Representatives. Each day as we gavel into session we open with prayer and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. It is a completely non-controversial and unifying reminder of the gravity of the decisions we make on behalf of our constituents. 

Today, however, members of the House Democratic Caucus decided to protest that. 
Here is the reality-we are not entertainers, celebrities, or athletes. We don't make ESPN highlight reels, we make laws that affect the lives of our neighbors, our kids, and our communities. 


Unlike NFL football players, each and every legislator took an oath of office pledging to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Michigan. The Pledge of Allegiance serves as a reminder of that oath that we all took on our first day in office. It brings to the front of my mind each day the gravity of the decisions we make in our State Capitol. None of us are forced to come here and represent our districts. This is a voluntary position. Any member who protests the unifying message of our Pledge of Allegiance-and to the republic for which it stands-should examine their priorities and decide if they are fit to serve. Do we not have any shared values anymore in our society? Is there nothing we can find as common ground with one another, not even our Pledge of Allegiance to our flag? 

Some of you are familiar with the story of my great-grandfather, Louis Rabaut. He was a congressman from Michigan who is best known for adding the words "under God" to our Pledge of Allegiance in the early 1950s. Amazingly he was a Democrat. I never met him because he died 20 years before I was born. I'm sure he is rolling over in his grave today from the embarrassment of what has become of this sad display.

And before anyone asks-yes, of course I believe in the right of free speech. I also believe in my right to express my disappointment in their decision."

According to MIRS:

"Ten members of the House Democratic caucus linked arms on the House floor today as opposed to putting their hand over their heart for the Pledge of Allegiance as a way to draw attention to racial injustices..." 



__________________________________________________________________
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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Senate Candidate John James Killed Terrorists While In The Military (And He's Happy To Tell You About It)



By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)

John James, a decorated Vet, West Point grad, and successful businessman, is running for the Republican nomination for Senate. James is hoping Debbie Stabenow to the unemployment line.

Earlier this week, James released a strong video that has many people talking.

In it, James openly brags about killing terrorists during his time in the military.


“I flew 750 hours of combat in Baghdad, and on exactly zero occasions did anybody ask me my age before I put a hellfire missile down a terrorist’s throat,” James said.
>>>Check out the ad HERE

 __________________________________________________________________
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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