Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dualing Snyder Positions on Right to Work?

What is Governor Snyder's position on Right to Work?

Read this. 

Below is an excerpt:

Snyder: right-to-work is “not on my agenda.” “It is a divisive, polarizing issue that will drive people apart when we need everyone at the table working to reinvent Michigan.” Mr. Snyder plans to consult labor and business to “work on what will make us more competitive as a state.”

Then watch this. 

Governor Rick Snyder

Rep. Price Now Claims She Never Had a Private Conversation With Governor Snyder Over Right to Work

According to Ottawa County (Tea Party) Patriots leader Jim Chiodo, State Rep. Amanda Price is denying ever making comments that she had a private talk with Governor Snyder about Right to Work.

West Michigan Politics first reported Price's comments in a post yesterday.

"During the Ottawa County Patriots meeting there was confusion on Gov Snyder comments regarding "right to work" / whether he would or would not sign a bill," Chiodo said. "However, I don't remember hearing Amanda Price say she had a private conversation with Snyder. A call from Amanda about the blog...confirmed she had no such conversation with the Gov."

However, Price DID say she had a private talk with the Governor. Her full quote was "I've seen the Shirkey bill and signed it, but I had a discussion with the Governor and he said he will not sign it. It's off the table." Multiple attendees of the meeting back WMP's reporting.

We are in contact with Rep. Price's office and will update you as soon as we know more.

OF NOTE: We recently profiled what Amanda Price has been up to, and we were fair as always.

WMP Responds to Baseless Claims of "...Until Love is =" Leader Erin Wilson

Recently, WMP wrote a piece noting the political reality in Holland regarding the fierce gay rights debate that has engulfed the city. The fact is that even if a member of council changes their mind, opponents of the gay rights measures will get the signatures to put the issue up for a vote.

That being noted, we advocated for a vote of the people. After all, that's where this issue will be decided-at the ballot box. WMP deals in political realities. We don't live in the Twilight Zone, we don't live on Fantasy Island.

Erin Wilson, a prominent leader of "Boycott Holland Until Love is Equal," said the following of that piece:

"The point of this post is not that a referendum is going to happen, it's that we should remain quiet on this, which isn't going to happen, because it's unjust. The City Council has yet to vote on the merits of the ordinance. They effectively voted on whether they should vote on this at all: several said on the record they voted "no" in order to prompt a popular vote."

WMP wants those advocating for gay rights issues in Holland to stay quiet? Are you kidding? That's one of the oldest tricks in the book: when someone differs from your path, use extreme language to paint yourself as a victim, saying the other side wants to shut you up.

Wilson's claim we're trying to keep them quiet is a baseless accusation that is as untrue as it is ignorant.

First of all, let's take a trip back in time to our post previewing the Council's vote. We got it wrong, we predicted a 5-4 passage with Mayor Dykstra deciding the vote. Mayor Dykstra did decide the vote, but voted against it. Here is the excerpt where we preview Councilman Shawn Miller's vote:

"Miller is a complete coin-flip. For him, the question will be "can government help in this situation?" Given that empirical evidence, as referenced in the Grand Raids Press editorial, shows cities without protections for gays have more instances of discrimination than those without, we think Miller will come down as a yes vote. Miller is big on individual liberty, and if this measure will help uphold the liberty of some of Holland's citizens, Miller won't look at the issue as an inappropriate role for government. Just the opposite-the measure reasonably uses government to attempt to insure the liberty of Holland's gay residents.

In clear and in no uncertain terms, WMP wrote that the measure "reasonably uses government to insure the liberty of Holland's gay residents." Does that really sound like WMP wants to keep these groups quiet?

Second, we have given the group a lot of coverage and have been extremely fair to them. We wrote a vote preview, wrote about the aftermath, and interviewed their spokesman Drew Stoppels, along with some other coverage.

Also of note, City Council members can cast their vote for ANY REASON THEY WANT. Any. Wilson's arguments about forcing the council members to vote through the prism he demands just doesn't hold water. This is why we have elections.

Mr. Wilson is clearly a smart man who passionately believes in this cause. He would do well to step back, take a deep breath, and remember that "my 90% friend isn't my 10% enemy." An old Apache saying tells us "their are many paths to the same place." The movement will never succeed if it refuses to engage people who don't fully agree with them. Former candidate for US Congress Field Reichardt said it best in one of his comments: "Better to do an initiative campaign ... and if you lose, do it again ... then again. Each time you will educate more people, and eventually you will win."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

State Rep. Amanda Price's Private Chat with Governor Snyder Surprises Colleagues

The Ottawa County Tea Party Patriots hosted five West Michigan state legislators at a lively meeting Tuesday night in Zeeland.

Patriots leader Jim Chiodo asked questions of Republican State Representatives Holly Hughes, Amanda Price, Dave Agema, Bob Genetski, and Joe Haveman in front of a packed house at the Herman Miller Library.

Legislators were mostly in sync during the meeting, but were noticeably surprised when State Rep. Amanda Price spoke about her private conversation with Governor Rick Snyder regarding Right to Work legislation.

"I had a discussion with the Governor and he said he will not sign (Right to Work legislation)," Price said. "It's off the table."

Some legislators were confused, thinking the Governor was at least open to it.

"Promises he made to the Carpenters Union," Agema said. "That's why. I'd vote for Right to Work. I was a union member but too many unions have pushed too far"

Haveman seems willing to challenge Governor Snyder and anyone else in Lansing to pass Right to Work.

"The Governor doesn't get everything he wants," Haveman said. "Governor Snyder is reluctant. He sees the Wisconsin uproar and doesn't want that divisiveness in Michigan. This is the last big labor thing. We've had a successful few months of taking care of labor issues. (State Rep. Mike) Shirkey is the go to guy on this. You will without a doubt see a resolution introduced. We will start quietly but work diligently. Who do we have? Whose arms need twisting?"

Chiodo led off the night asking how legislators could fight the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare," from Lansing.

"It stinks," Agema said, "I don't like any part of it in any shape or form. Politicians determining what health care you get disgusts me."

Hughes said a resolution is all that can be done.

"I don't want to be a part of it, but the best we can do is pass a resolution," Hughes said. " The 2012 Senate elections are very important on this issue because Debbie Stabenow is 100% behind Barack Obama and Obamacare."

Genetski agreed.

"Send Pete Hoekstra or whoever it ends up being to Washington," Geneteski said. "As far as Lansing goes, a resolution... and supporting Attorney General Schuette's lawsuit is what we can do."

Haveman said State Rep. Tom McMillin is taking charge of this issue and legislators need to "be following McMillin's lead as much as we can."

When it came to illegal immigration, their was no doubt who the "go-to-guy" in the room was.

"Can I defer to Agema?" Price asked. "I'm behind his e-verify bill. I support that."

Agema was eager to tackle the topic.

"Only 3% of illegals work in agricultural jobs," Agema said. " "97% work in hospitality, manufacturing, construction...Illegal immigration cost Michigan 929 million last year. Those who are against me on e-verify don't understand the system. It takes a secretary a half hour one time to check millions of documents, including visas. This isn't just a Hispanic issue, Indians have been coming to the borders. The Northern border is even scarier almost. I t took me three temp agencies to find a legal worker.E-verify has the same requirements as the federal government for contracts. It's nearly 100% accurate."

Haveman supports E-verify and wants to pursue other avenues as well.

"I have reached out to the Hispanic community to see if we can reach a point in the middle," Haveman said. "Shame on the United States Congress that we can do 1,000 things the Constitution doesn't provide for but they can't do anything on this important issue. And as far as Lansing goes, dog gone it, if we can do a resolution about Obamacare we can do one about illegal immigration."

When legislators were asked about "Agenda 21," (read more here) Genetski told a story about the Humane Society of America.

"They came to Michigan threatening our state with a ballot initiative," Geneteski said. " After California, Michigan and Ohio have the easiest states to do a ballot measure. They were threatening us with cows living in condos, chickens living in estates. It was one of the most heavily lobbied bills last term. Eventually we passed a compromise between the Humane Society and the Farm Bureau."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chiodo: Tell us what your plan is, Mr. President

Mr. President,

Recently you said “we weren’t paying attention and we can’t understand debt complexities” (are we too stupid?). You said 80% want tax increases (a surprise to 79.9% of us). Now you publicly appeal to raise the debt ceiling and scare seniors by suggesting they will not get SS checks.

We do pay attention and understand. It’s not complicated. Debt is due to spending more than you have. Yes, Bush spent too much and we weren’t happy with him but you doubled Bush’s rate of spending and debt.

Despite Bush blamers, numbers don’t lie. Your spending increased the debt $4T from $10.3T when you took office. The failed stimulus, dubious bailouts and increases to every area of government resulted in a 25% spending increase. Worse, it spawned job killing regulations and meddling into the lives of all of us.

As for the debt crisis, you denigrate Republican proposals yet nothing is forth coming from you or Democrats. You say, “Now is the time”. Why wasn’t it time when you submitted a budget early this year, which the CBO said increased spending? Do you still think we can spend our way out of debt?

You’re willing to “discuss” cuts but give no specifics. Please don’t tell us federal salaries will be frozen like you did last year, yet an average of 270 white house staffers enjoyed an 8% pay increase. Don’t tell us we need to sacrifice while you, Michelle and relatives live like royalty with servants, vacations, parties and use the ultimate “corporate jet”.

You talk of taxing the rich, calling them “millionaires”. Tell us please, who are millionaires? Are they small business owners making $250,000? Do closing tax loopholes mean eliminating mortgage tax deductions which you think are only for the rich? Are corporate jet tax deductions (part of your stimulus) any different than deductions of millions of other business? Also, explain how taxing “rich” investors and small business which create jobs will put Americans back to work?

Lastly, reducing discretionary spending is not enough (even if you cut back on parties and vacations). There is no mathematical solution without changing SS and Medicare. Republicans put forth a solution but it was met with jokes and name calling. Pushing grandma off a cliff is an outright lie. The proposal would result in zero change for anyone over 55 yrs old.) Is your “plan” to do nothing (Nero fiddled while Rome burned) and talk about raising taxes?

Please Mr. Obama, tell us exactly what your plan is. Americans want to know why you want to raise the debt ceiling. Is it simply to spend more like Greece, Spain (and California).

JIM CHIODO is the leader of the Ottawa County (Tea Party) Patriots

Let Holland Voters Decide Gay Rights Measure

In announcing gay rights groups would avoid a referendum to repeal the Holland City Council's decision not to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city charter, Bill Freeman opined “Dr. (Martin Luther) King (Jr.) did not ask the people of Alabama to vote for the rights of black people."

That may be true, however, he was seeking someone else's approval-the votes of the US Congress.

Unless we've missed something, pro gay rights groups aren't lobbying Congress, they're focused on Holland-and the council representing the people of Holland has spoken.

The bottom line in this situation is that even if a council member could be convinced to change their mind, even if these gay rights groups were successful in their lobbying efforts, opponents WILL start the campaign to repeal it the next day. They WILL get the signatures needed to put it before voters, and a referendum WILL occur.

Field Reichardt, former candidate for US Congress in the 2nd District, recently commented on one of our posts: "Better to do an initiative campaign ... and if you lose, do it again ... then again. Each time you will educate more people, and eventually you will win."

Reichardt has it right-it's time to go to the people.

Gary Glenn opined that any ballot measure would fail, citing 64% of Hollanders supported the 2004 "Marriage Amendment" that banned gay marriages and civil unions in Michigan. That was 2004 however, concerned marriage, and didn't have the support of Holland's Reformed Church Classis. This measure's original language did have the HRCC's support, concerns employment and housing, and 2011's politics are different than 2004's.

Frank Sinatra said "if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere." In Holland, "If you can make it with the Reformed Church Classis, you can make it (just about) anywhere." Utilized in the right way, the HRCC's support could make it a very close election.

Use the HRCC's support in every possible way you can, take it to the people of Holland, and engage business owners and those in the religious community who are skeptical but could be won over. Use social media, letters to the editor, phone calls, door to door canvassing, whatever it takes.

One of the pro gay rights groups calls itself "Holland is Ready." Let's find out what the citizens of Holland have to say-the answers may surprise.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rep. Amash Pays Tribute to Betty Ford on the Floor of the US House

10 Memorable Quotes From Former First Lady Betty Ford


"The search for human freedom can never be complete without freedom for women."

"I was an ordinary woman who was called onstage at an extraordinary time. I was no different once I became first lady than I had been before. But, through an accident of history, I had become interesting to people."

"You never know what you can do until you have to do it."

"We were in a position where my husband had been sworn into office during a very, very difficult time. There had been so much cover-up during Watergate that we wanted to be sure there would be no cover up in the Ford Administration. So rather than continue this traditional silence about breast cancer, we felt we had to be public."

"My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?"

"It's always been my feeling that God lends you your children until they're about eighteen years old. If you haven't made your points with them by then, it's too late."

"I figured, okay, I'll move to the White House, do the best I can, and if they don't like it, they can kick me out. But they can't make me somebody I'm not."

On being asked how often she and President Ford would "sleep" together? "As often as possible."

On Premarital Sex? "It might lower the divorce rate."

On abortion rights? "Any woman should have the right to a safe and legal abortion."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What has State Rep. Amanda Price been up to?

 Price is Making Moves

Freshman State Rep. Amanda Price has had a steady start to her first term in office.

Price, elected in November of 2010 after an impressive win in a crowded primary, is the Majority Caucus Vice-Chair and serves on the following committees, according to her website: Education; Energy and Technology; Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs; and Oversight, Reform and Ethics. She represents the 89th District, all of which is in Ottawa County, replacing Arlan Meekhof, who went on to replace State Sen. Wayne Kuipers.

Price was the Chief of Staff to State Sen. Patty Birkholz and Superviser of Park Township before taking office in January of 2011.

Price's primary piece of legislation thus far targets the horrendous toll meth has taken on parts of Michigan.

According to The Grand Haven Tribune: "
Price is the sponsor of House Bills 4749 and 4750 — which aim to clarify and streamline limits on the amount of pseudoephedrine available for purchase; log the purchaser’s information in a confidential, online, real-time system while at the same time maintaining consumer access to cold and allergy medicines that have proven to be safe and effective treatments. The bills would also update sentencing guidelines for those convicted of violating the new state laws."


"This bill attempts to prevent criminals from accessing a substance that is used in dangerous and criminal activity," said Price. "It places a limit on the amount of pseudoephedrine product a person can purchase and requires the purchaser to show a valid ID."

In the state Senate, Sen. John Proos has introduced a companion bill. The Proos bill requires retailers or pharmacies to consult an online system before selling products containing pseudoephedrine ensuring that the buyer has not exceeded a set limit.

"Together, these bills are a modern, real time way of combatting this problem in our communities while still guaranteeing that people who actually need cold medicine for its intended purpose have access to it," Price said.

Price has already passed a resolution through the House and Senate, "urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider a recommendation that will cost Michigan residents disproportionately for energy transmission upgrades."

You can read more HERE.

The resolution will now be sent to the US Congress.

Price has also been awarded a fellowship from the Council of State Governments to participate in "the annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD)." Those selected are State Legislators from accross the country who show significant promise and leadership potential. 

Price's press release says the following of the program:

"Thirty-seven lawmakers from the Midwestern states and the central Canadian provinces were chosen to participate through the competitive, nonpartisan selection process. The participants will travel to Madison, Wisc., Aug. 12-16 for the program, which is intended to develop leadership skills and assist lawmakers in analyzing public policy issues from economics to corrections."

Price caught the ire of some for supporting a measure that would prevent public entities from providing benefits to same sex couples, but mostly from people outside the 89th. Michigan Messenger described the vote this way.

"The House Oversight, Reforms and Ethics Committee on Tuesday approved, on a party line vote, two pieces of legislation that would prohibit public employers from offering partner benefits to unmarried employees as well as prohibit unions from negotiating such benefits in contract negotiations."

Furthermore, Price has passed a bill that designates a section of US-31 the "Medal of Honor Recipients Highway." The legislation, sponsored by Price, passed the House with unanimous support.

"Supporting our troops is unquestionably one of the most important obligations we have as Americans," said Price. "Any way we can publicly recognize their sacrifice is just a small token of gratitude we can offer to show appreciation for the freedom they protect and guarantee for us."

Price used her experience in Lansing as a Chief of Staff to win the primary-to show she could "hit the ground running." It's clear she knows how the town operates and is working hard for her constituents -now it's time for her to put her legislative abilities to work on the heavy hitting issues facing Michigan.


"I want to hear your ideas about Michigan’s future. Give me a call on my cell phone at 616.540.7222."


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First Monday of every month in Allendale from 8-9 a.m. at Murphy's Family Restaurant, located at 4963 Lake Michigan Drive.
Third Monday of every month in Holland from 10-11 a.m. at Park Township Hall, located at 52 152nd Ave.
Third Friday of every month in Grand Haven from 9-10 a.m. at Coffee Grounds, located at 41 Washington Ave. #180.