Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zylstra: The Holland Energy Plan - Coal vs. Renewables

This past June 20, Peter Garforth came to Holland to present the most recent version of the Holland Community Energy Plan that was commissioned the City's Sustainability Committee.  You can see the slide show here, and the video presentation here.

The plan consists of two basic propositions, one, creating a more energy efficient consumption future for the City, and two, seeking to find the right mix for energy generation and sourcing for the upcoming half-century. The Community Energy Plan (CEP) foresees that a certain level of energy efficiency will be pursued regardless of how the City sources its energy. Thus the real decision lies in the possible ways to power our future.

To that end, the CEP proposes four different scenarios, all with different sourcing options, levels of investment and greenhouse gas emission targets.

A brief overview:
Scenario A
1. Energy Efficiency renovations for both residential and commercial buildings throughout the city.
2. 20 MW of Combined Heat and Power for the Battery Cluster.
3. District heating for core city area.
4. Maintain current Solid Fuel capacity to 2050 (JDY, Cambell, Belle River)
5. Introduce 55 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine in three phases by 2026

Scenario B

CEP Scenario A plus
1. 24MW of Solar PV to eliminate summer peak –
start in 2012 complete by 2050
2. Add 20MW Biomass Generating Block after 2030
using bio-gasification
3. Blend bio-gas/natural gas starting in 2013 and
leveling off at 10% by 2023 for CHP and CCGT
4. Add 37 MW(nom) Wind by 2020

Scenario C

CEP Scenario B with
1. Add 70 MW Solid Fuel with 30% biomass by 2050
2. CCGT not implemented

Scenario D

CEP Scenario C without PV, Wind and Blended Bio-Gas
All of these scenarios come down to the simple question of how much energy should we be consuming versus how much we should be producing and from what sources.  We, as a city, can either decide to reduce energy consumption a lot and invest heavily in ways to do that,  as well as limit the amount of energy we plan to produce, and make that from as many renewable sources as possible. Or, we can try a little bit of energy efficiency and focus our investments on building up energy production from mainly carbon sources to both supply our own future energy needs but also, and just as importantly, those of outside communities as a future profit center for the city.

In picking through these scenarios,  Holland City Council will be answering the question of what energy consumption and distribution will look like here for the next half century. It will do so with a lot of decent rationales on either side and I'd like to take a look at them, using as base scenarios B and D, which I believe best exemplify the two poles of the equation.

Scenario D

Scenario D involves basic energy efficiency measures, Combined Heat and Power for Battery Clusters, coupled with the replacement of the current James de Young with a new Circulating Fuel Bed with a 78 MW capacity. This scenario easily covers currently forecast demand with additional to spare. It is permitted for a fuel source of biomass, traditional coal as well as more controversial Petroleum Coke.
1. Obviously, money. A 78MW CFB fueled in its majority by pet coke would produce relatively inexpensive electricity not only for its current customer base but also for outside customers via the grid.
2. Supply seems relatively assured, at least in the short term. The planned CFB is permitted to employ 50% of its fuel source from Pet Coke, which is capable of producing lower-cost electricity due to its low price as a refinery by-product.

3. PA295 - Holland BPW still has to meet PA 295 requirements, which stipulates that 10% of its power come from renewable sources. Currently the BPW projects that we can fulfill requirements without additional new capacity out to 2019. One of the stated advantages of the CFB is that it provides fuel diversity. It will be able to burn biomass, biosolids from the waste water treatment plant. Whether that will be enough to get to PA 295 compliance is unsure, but it would be a help.


1. Obviously, greenhouse gas-producing CO2, which is the result of burning coal and pet coke for both the city and downwind communities.

2. Although the BPW has been given its permit by the DEQ for the CFB, the Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against the state in Ingham county to rescind it. Even if the lawsuit fails, groundbreaking will have to begin by (18 months from date).

3. Concern about expanding DeYoung — located on Holland’s Lake Macatawa shoreline — and its impeding future redevelopment of that shoreline from the historical industrial use to a more recreational, residential, or commercial use.

4. At over $300M, the initial investment is costly, and adds a level a risk to the BPW portfolio that other options don't because it's a one build, one time option instead of smaller builds over time. Also, if demand does not materialize, and energy efficiency proves more inexpensive, this could put the city in serious imbalance.

5. Allegan Wind Study - The results of the Allegan study should come in this summer. If they are positive, the project itself could produce 80 to 130 megawatts of power. That's obviously enough power and would obviate the need for the CFB and would obviously take care of the PA 295 requirement.

6. The EGO Analysis that the BPW is undertaking will give us a good indication It would be a more expensive source of power than the CFB.

7. CFB excess production - Part of the rationale behind the CFB is that the excess energy it produces could be sold back to the grid, creating a potential profit center for the city. But, unless energy demands rise substantially, both in Holland and elsewhere, grid prices will not be all that high, cutting into profitability. Add to the equation the fact that Wolverine Power also has a state permit to build a new coal plant, and they will also be putting excess capacity on the grid, which could exacerbate the price problem even more.

8. Combined Cycle vs CFB option - In the Original Black and Veatch study, the Combined Cycle Natural Gas option came in at a slightly lower cost than the CFB option. The CC option does have the advantage of being more scalable downwards, plus the advantage of producing drastically less greenhouse gas emissions. As stated above, CFB would be able burn biomass, biosolids from the waste water treatment plant, which CC would not.

9. Construction costs - Estimates of $300 million would make this a massive project for the city. Interest costs on estimate of $225M alone would be near $10 million. Currently, the BPW has some $80 million in expenses and slightly more than that in revenues. Add in interest costs  as well as other fixed costs, and the power plant will represent a serious financial risk. If fully successful, total city revenues would go from $160 million to approximately a quarter billion dollars and BPW will be responsible for more than $200 million of projected revenue. That's a big increase in BPW's influence within the community.

Assuming a construction cost of $300M, annual revenue of $50M, and a net income, pre-borrowing costs, of $5M, the coal plant would have a return on equity of 2%. That seems incredibly low, given the risk of fluctuation in fuel input costs.

Note - Revenues are based on estimated $.08 per kwh and 10% net margin per 2010 Annual report on electricity operations.
Scenario B
Scenario B likely involves more intense energy efficiency measures, Combined Heat and Power for Battery Clusters, coupled with Solar PV, Biomass Natural Gas Combined Cycle Gas Turbines and significant sourcing from wind.

1. The word 'renewable', says it all. Fossil fuels are perishable sources of energy whereas renewable energy sources are non-perishable and can be easily replenished. Being non-perishable energy sources, one doesn't have to worry about these energy reserves declining or getting exhausted in the future.

2. Most renewable energy sources do not involve the combustion or burning of fossil fuels or other substances, which otherwise result in the release of toxic chemicals or other harmful atmospheric byproducts. Therefore, renewable energy is a clean source of energy and one that offers numerous environmental benefits.

3. Scalable. The plan calls for a diverse portfolio of renewable options, envisioned in such a way that investments are made over time.

4. Most of these energy sources have low maintenance costs associated with them. Also, renewable energy sources such as solar energy, can be tapped very easily and conveniently for domestic use by individual home owners. In addition, Solar can be used as a peaking energy source during summer months.

5. Renewable energy sources are increasingly competitive with new carbon-based construction, in some cases already significantly so.
6.  Renewables, because they involve the creation of new technologies, have a greater potential for job creation in West Michigan than carbon based generation.
1. Reliability and consistency is a significant drawback with respect to renewable energy. Atmospheric conditions and geographical locations make a huge impact on the efficacy of these energy source. 
Going through the pros and cons of each scenario, it seems fairly evident that Scenario D, which is basically the CFB Coal option has substantially more drawbacks and much less in its favor than Scenario B, the more alternative, renewable energy heavy option. I think the strongest case against the CFB plant is just the amount of financial risk and negative incentives - for efficiency and conservation - that it introduces into the equation. Likewise the greatest argument for small scale renewables is the mirror opposite, that the investment scalability gives it a greater flexibility and involves overall less financial risk and greater incentives for conservation and positive environmental outcomes.

Douglas Zylstra is a small business owner, Vice-Chair of the Ottawa County Democratic Party, and a contributor to West Michigan Politics. Connect with him on Facebook HERE

Doug Zylstra

Monday, August 29, 2011

Price and Right to Work

We first reported on Amanda Price's comments about Governor Snyder and Right to Work HERE.

Rep. Price subsequently denied ever making those comments- CLICK HERE.

Chiodo has since clarified his comments from that post: "In truth, I can't remember exactly what Amanda said.   When I saw the blog, my first thought was, "it's pretty accurate." When Amanda called me, she was emphatic that she hadn't said it.  I said I'd look into it and would post what I remembered from the meeting.   If you have confirmation, I guess you'll have to take it up with her."

On that note, what is Gov. Snyder's position on RTW?

Price's denial is clearly a sign of the political theater ahead as Right to Work is debated.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gary Glenn Makes it Official: He is a Candidate in the 2012 Republican Senate Race

After months of toying with the media, controversial leader of the American Family Association Gary Glenn announced Tuesday he would seek the nomination of the Republican Party for US Senate.

""Over the last 20 years, Debbie Stabenow and Pete Hoekstra have both voted for budgets and debt ceiling increases that resulted in trillions of dollars of increased debt on our economy and our children," Glenn said in a release.

From  Michigan Public Radio:

The 53-year-old from Midland says his views on a variety of issues are very different from Senator Stabenow’s.

“I have championed the issue of worker freedom in the past, supporting right-to-work legislation. Debbie Stabenow is on the opposite side of that issue. I was a champion of protecting constitutionally marriage between one man and one woman. Debbie Stabenow is on the opposite side of that issue.

Glenn also says he wants to repeal the new federal health care reform law.
He also believes America can become energy independent if it drills its oil reserves and uses fracking, a process that removes oil and gas from rock formations.

Glenn recently suffered political defeat in Holland, leaving one MLive commentator to ask " "If Gary Glenn can't muster a couple hundred votes in Holland, how does he expect to beat Debbie Stabenow?"

Controversial leader of AFA Michigan and US Senate candidate Gary Glenn

Was Tuesday's Holland City Council Vote a Loss for Gary Glenn?


So....Was Tuesday's Holland City Council Vote a Loss for Gary Glenn?

WMP would argue it very much was.

WMP broke the news last night before any other media outlet, declaring "Holland's Second Ward tells Gary Glenn to get lost, re-elects pro gay rights incumbent Jay Peters by a wide margin."

First of all, turnout was very low. Pathetically low. Even then, Gary Glenn couldn't motivate just two or three hundred people to go to the polls. Only 365 out of about 5,000 voters voted, and most of those votes were absentee, cast before Glenn's robocalls. 200 went to Peters. If the voters of the Second Ward were as outraged as Glenn claims, one would think they could muster a couple hundred folks out to the polls and send Jay Peters packing.

His outrageous, spin filled robocalls (and ramblings to whatever media outlet will talk to him) sound more like the ramblings of someone who hasn't taken their meds than someone who should be taken seriously as a candidate to represent the people of Michigan in the United States Senate. Did a single person vote for the only candidate in the race who was against the gay rights measure BECAUSE of Glenn's robocalls? If you're one of the 45 who voted for Tonini because of Glenn, email us at We won't hold our breath waiting on those emails...

One reader said : "Why the narrow characterization Jay Peters and those who voted for him? Perhaps he just did a good job, and those in his ward can see that."

WMP is confident that is why most Second Ward voters went with Peters: because of his record of service on Council over the years. That's still a loss for Glenn and a message to him as well. It's a message that says Jay is doing a good job, we don't need you Gary, the Second Ward can govern itself without the influence of "outside agitators."

Glenn issued a statement afterward, out of which one would never know the Holland Reformed Church Classis stands behind the gay rights measure, and that it has religious exemptions:

“We appreciate Jerry Tonini for taking a principled stand against homosexual activists' discriminatory gay rights ordinance that threatens religious freedom and the institution of marriage,” CMF Chairman Gary Glenn said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to oppose that agenda before the City Council and at the ballot box, should the issue ever be put before Holland voters to decide directly.”

One Mlive commentator summed it up well: "If Gary Glenn can't muster a couple hundred votes in Holland, how does he expect to beat Debbie Stabenow?"

Holland Councilman Jay Peters

Ottawa County Patriots Look to Engage Young People: "Not Your Typical Tea Party Meeting"

The Ottawa County (Tea Party) Patriots will host Amy Jayne Hawkins, Executive Director of "Citizens for Traditional Values," at their next meeting.

The meeting takes place at the Herman Miller Library and Community Center in Zeeland, and starts at 7 p.m.

"This isn't your typical Tea Party meeting," said Jim Chiodo, leader of the group. "This meeting is about youth and why we must reach them.  Better yet, how we, as a generation have failed our children and grand children by waiting too long to wake up and get involved.  It may be too late for many of us, but not too late for them to save our country."

Chiodo has a challenge for those attending.

"Bring an 18 to 25 yr old," Chido said.

In a release for the event, Hawkins is featured in a "Q and A" piece.

Q: How do you define the younger generation, or the Millennial Generation? 

A: "The Millennial Generation is defined differently among different sources. I use it as a term to capture the young adult crowd, including those born in the late 70's to those who are now around voting age and were born in the mid 90's."

Q: Why is paying attention to the Millennial Generation Important? 

 A: "The average age of those participating in the Republican Party, or Tea Party Community (aka the more conservative conversation) are probably in their 50's, 60's and older. The older population knows the young adult's presence is needed but have little clue about how to get their attention, much less their action.
It's vital that this generation be understood, and engaged because: we are the ones who are - and will be - carrying the brunt of the current leaders' decisions; as individual citizens, teachers, parents, tax payers, business owners, and community leaders, we live in a culture that is the manifestation of the previous generation's inactivity and choices; and we are tomorrow's leaders that could be the answer for preserving the Founding Father's America for future posterity."  

Q: Why should young adults care about what is happening in the government arena?  

A: "Because the sacrifices men and women have made for our freedom for over two centuries demands our stewardship; because our children will benefit in a free society where the individual has value; and because there is blessing in a country where God, not government, is the answer for salvation and prosperity."

Q: Why should the younger generation attend the August 9th meeting? 

A: "Because you need to meet and get to know the men and women who are sorry for what their inaction has done to your America and who are working to make it right. And you need to understand the truth of how we've been duped all these years as a generation. A conversation needs to start. This is an opportunity to influence your community, state and nation but it's a discussion that is only for the bold of heart."
CTV Executive Director Amy Jayne Hawkins

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Other Peter in the US Senate Race: Konetchy Discusses and Debates with West Michigan Politics Readers

  • Ken Cooper Hoekstra or Stabenow; what's the difference...really?
    Sunday at 3:24pm ·

    Jeff King The fallout for Amash has been largely positive. Huizenga, you tell me, but I can't think it is that good.
    Sunday at 3:47pm ·

  • Ken Cooper Huizenga is disappointing. Give him another credit card to max out, and then another. Hoekstra would have voted the same way, he has a voting record to support it.
    Sunday at 4:03pm ·

  • Monte 'Andrea Regan' Blachford Reid's Plan and Obama's Plan have NO support, yet we always have to Compromise? The idiots in charged 'caused the mess, Let the people with guts resolve it.
    Sunday at 4:37pm ·

  • Dennis Lawrence Take a look at Peter Konetchy
    Sunday at 5:54pm ·

  • Ken Cooper Dennis, Peter is very similar to John McCain on occupation, and infiltration, as well as invasion of other countries without a declaration of war. No thank you!
    Sunday at 6:00pm ·

  • Monte 'Andrea Regan' Blachford John McCain? Ken, I think you have the wrong Peter.
    Sunday at 6:03pm ·

  • Ken Cooper Nope, I Have the right one. Unless he deleted our correspondence on his FB page, it is all there.
    Sunday at 6:10pm ·

  • Peter Konetchy I support Justin Amash 100%. I would never vote to raise the debt ceiling. The only way this country will survive in the short term is if we cut spending and balance the budget. Once this is done we need to phase out all non-constitutional federal influence from society and allow the people, through the free market, to address societies needs. Congress has proven time and time again that they are unable to cut spending. Please help elect me so that I can be the "Amash" voice in the Senate.
    Peter Konetchy, Candidate US Senate 2012, Michigan

    Yesterday at 11:02am ·

  • Peter Konetchy Ken, Please post my correspondence in full for all to see. I do not delete correspondence and cannot find any addressed to you. For the record this is how I feel about the military:
    I believe the military should be used to defend the US when we are physically attacked. I do not believe in nation building, a world police force. or use of the military for humanitarian purposes. The primary purpose of the Federal government is to provide for the common defense. I want the most powerful military in the world capable of defending the US if needed. I want a strong military force to deter attacks against the US through the knowledge that such attacks would incur the full force of the US against the attacker. If you disagree with this concept, so be it.

    Yesterday at 11:09am ·

  • Jeff King Peter, OK good reasons to vote for you over Hoekstra . But the Republican party animals are going to want someone who they think can win against Stabenow. Tell us why you are a better person then Hoekstra to win against Debbie?
    Yesterday at 12:13pm ·

  • Peter Konetchy Jeff, of course I want support from the GOP, but don’t expect to receive it till after the primary – if at all. The GOP is often a great part of the problem by supporting candidates they feel can win regardless of ideology. (Remember the Arlen Specter debacle where he received the GOP endorsement hours before he switched parties).

    This election will be a referendum on the status quo vs tea party type reform. To win I need an educated electorate with the courage to vote in the primary for the candidate which best represents their values. Those wanting to rein back, cut, government back to its constitutional limitations will vote for me. Those wanting a safe candidate will vote for the establishment. Franklin's correct when he states” Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I will win if those desiring liberty vote for liberty over safety.

    Yesterday at 1:17pm ·

  • Jeff King OK, but didn't answer my question. It was again: "Tell us why you are a better person then Hoekstra to win against Debbie?"
    Yesterday at 1:25pm ·

  • Peter Konetchy I'm a better candidate for Senate than Hoekstra because I would not have voted for TARP, Cash for Clunkers, or for the Auto Bailouts. I will actively work to phase out all functions not authorized by the constitution including the departments of Labor, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Education, Energy, and the EPA. As these programs are phased out, I would like to have a complimentary decrease the direct taxes against the individual.

    My long term focus would be to return federal spending to its historical level of less than 5% of GDP. At this level we could eliminate the income tax and once again allowing the fed govt to be indirectly financed as our founders proposed.

    I feel that whoever receives the republican nomination will probably beat Debbie.

    I disagree with your choice of words. Pete Hoekstra is as good a "person" as I. He simply doesn't have the desire to limit government as muhc as I.

    Yesterday at 1:39pm ·

  • Jeff King Perhaps the reason you are disagreeing with my choice in words, is I've asked the same thing twice, yet you didn't answer it, other then suggesting any Republican can beat Debbie.

    Which is not to say your reasons you are better then Pete are not valid, they are, but being able to clearly tell the Republican party animals why you can beat Debbie is going to be real important in getting support. Don't underestimate this...

    Yesterday at 1:51pm ·

  • Peter Konetchy Jeff, I think I've answered the question clearly. The bottom line is that I have a tough up hill battle. We have a year until the primary and I'll work to get me message out. I can't guarantee a win. I don't understand how else I can answer.
    Yesterday at 2:27pm ·

  • Jeff King I was trying to be helpful Peter. Republican party animals are going to be on their hands and knees.... saying how Pete can raise more money then yourself, for example, and how that will be key to beating Stabenow. FUD.... Fear Uncertainly and Doubt. They will also try and marginalize you.

    I really wouldn't treat Hoekstra with kid gloves... your reasons for running against him are dead serious and very focused. With regards to his fiscal performance, I would hope you are a much "better" person then he is. I'm not suggesting he tortures small animals, but I am suggesting principles and fiscal restraint have to matter... alot... and if you need to throw some punches, you should.

    I still don't get it why he quit congress and is running again, the only thing I can figure is he wants to be President someday, and he knew only one President came from congress (most come from either the Senate or Governor). While I didn't agree with some of his positions, he did have good constitute services and he seemed to have alot of power within congress. He was my second choice for Governor, and I'm sure if Cox hadn't been in the race, he would have won (I was a Snyder supporter and the COX/Hoekstra standoff was a gift).

    Yesterday at 2:58pm ·

  • Robert Wells Well as a Pete Hoekstra supporter let me say no one is perfect and we must stop expecting 100% ideoloigical purity in every office older if we do that is how we end up iwth wingnuts only as candidates. Now we have a good field in this primary good rational men who want to help save there nation but I am supporting Pete Hoekstra because not only does he have a clear conservative record but he can get win, he can take a message across the state, raise the money needed, go after Stabenow on her horrible record. I would remind some of you that we control one half of one branch of government so Amash and Huizenga made there choices to Govern. We all want spending reduced and the budget balanced but the reality is we cannot turn a shit 180 degrees quickly it will take time. So let us get the cuts we can get, hold the line on taxes then when we have a Republican Senate, a Republican house and a Romney/Rubio Administration we can make the real changes.
    Yesterday at 3:32pm ·

  • Jeff King So someone trying to live by principles makes them a wingnut? I see.

    I suggest that anyone that thinks Mr. Hoekstra had a "clear conservative record" is the wingnut themselves. He *did* vote for every big goverment program, and more, that Mr. Konetchy mentioned.

    Peter, *this* is a good example of the muddled thinking you are going to be facing.

    Yesterday at 3:37pm ·

  • Robert Wells No I am not saying that anyone who has clear principals is a wingnut I have clear principals what I am saying is this idea that "he once voted a way I didnt like hes a socialist" is silly its the reason that good people dont get into politics, look at Pete H record over his 18 years in congress anyone who is intellectually honest will say it is clearly conservative. Yeah so you would rather have someone you disagree with 95 % of the time like Stabenow then 5% oif the time like Hoekstra that makes sense. What I am saying is we must stop with the idea that 100% compliance with ideology is a deal breaker you have to win an election to govern and Id rather have a guy I m gonna disagree with 5% of the time then feel good beat my chest about nominting a perfect ideoliog and LOSE!
    23 hours ago ·

  • Jeff King First of all Robert, we need to operate from the facts and be speaking the same language. Who said Pete was a socialist? Please answer this question as I saw no reason to make this huge jump.

    Second, I did look at Mr. Hoekstra's record over the last 18. He got a very good start. At one point, he was called one of the more Libertarian like congressman on the hill. But he faltered seriously in recent years. To reiterate Peter's points, TARP, bailouts, cash for clunkers. Tell me, EXACTLY what is the difference between Hoekstra and Stabenow? Sounds the same to me, in fact I understand Stabenow even voted against one of the Bailout bills.

    Robert, if Mr. Hoekstra is your "95% solution" we are doomed. Principles and voting records have to matter. You can call it "wingnuts" or whatever you want to spread fear, but the fact of the matter is, this nation is in trouble, and Mr. Hoesktra was at the helm when it happened. He was in the congress, the Republican congress, that voted us the largest deficient in our history until Obama. That for all their false talk of conservative values, just couldn't stop spending.

    No, I contend to you we must stop with these 5% solutions, and instead of party and the special interests, we must think of our country and children.

    22 hours ago ·

  • Robert Wells Pete is not perfect he made some mistakes in his voting record that is for sure he admits that but his record would look noting like stabenows, he would vote for cut cap and balance, for term limits, to protect the second amendment, to cut spending dramatically, to end base line budgeting, and aside from all that he can actually win the election and have a chance to cast those votes. Rocky in 2002 and Bouchard in 2006 and Jack in 2008 where perfect nearly but they lost so all the take was moot. Pete H can win and will be a good conservative Senator
    22 hours ago ·

  • Jeff King Unfortunately his recent record doesn't support your claims. He had 18 years to cut spending dramatically yet failed.

    According to the Congressional Record, Congressman Hoekstra:

    Voted for over $1 Trillion in new federal spending; (Congressional Roll Call Votes, 1995-2006)
    Co-sponsored the “Bridge to Nowhere”; (HR 3, July 29, 2005, Roll Call Vote 453) and
    Voted for the $850 Billion Wall Street Bailout (HR 1424, October 3, 2008, Roll Call Vote 681)

    The year before he decided to run for Governor, the Club for Growth, a group that tracks up-or-down votes on many individual earmarks, gave Congressman Hoekstra an abysmal 20 percent rating on its annual “RePork Card.”


    22 hours ago ·

  • Ken Cooper Peter K: I'm not going to dig through your public posts on your FB page. I am no longer your "friend" either. I asked you about your foreign policy, and we discussed our involvement in these undeclared wars. In short, you told me that you supported what we were doing overseas. That is a deal breaker for me. Other than that, you sound like a good candidate, and I wish you luck, but without my vote.
    21 hours ago ·

  • Peter Konetchy Ken,
    You don't need to dig through old fb postings. I did support the war on terror. We did have a declaration of war in that Bush did get congressional approval before going to war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We had been under attack for many years by Muslim, Al-Qaida, terrorists. For 20 years prior we ignored them as an uncoordinated series of random attacks, in spite of the fact that Al-Qaida repeatedly stated that they were at war with us. 9-11 crystallized the situation. Bush took, what I consider, appropriate action. I wish that we had used overwhelming force, subdued Afghanistan, and then allowed a non-Taliban to form. Same in Iraq. I’m disappointed that during the entire length of the war the Democrats and press vilified Bush for his effort to defeat this enemy, then miraculously stopped the criticism when Obama became Commander in chief.

    20 hours ago ·

  • Ken Cooper Peter, thank you for maintaining your original position.
    19 hours ago ·

  • Peter Konetchy Bob,
    Sorry for the long post.

    If my biggest problem is that I’m an idealist then so be it. I revere other idealists such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, to name a few. They could not live under tyranny, and neither can I.

    Our current government has morphed into as tyrannical a government as was England prior to our revolution. Fortunately, we have a Constitution which secures our liberty - which our congress not only ignores but thoroughly tramples. The only long term solution to our nation’s problems is to purge undue federal influence from every aspect of society, and return this power to the people. When I say “purge”, I mean phasing out the depts of Labor, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Education, Energy, and the EPA to start.

    I agree with our founders that the people, through the free market, or the states (if people desire governmental control) can address these problems much better than the federal government. I do not expect it to happen overnight, but we must start the dialog now. There are currently voices in congress striving to limit government – Justin Amash & Ron Paul to name a few, and I will support these individuals 100%. For the record, my allegiance is to the Constitution, not to party.

    Government desires control, and our constitution is the only safeguard against tyranny. I am in no way inferring Pete Hoekstra was the cause of this problem, but neither was he part of the solution during his term in congress.

    We are a nation of free men with a government of the people. I’m tired of professional politicians, especially status quo republicans, compromising away our liberties. All I ask is a chance to express my opinions throughout this election cycle and let the people of this great state decide who they want to represent them in the Senate. If the people of Michigan support with my “idealistic” views, I’ll win the primary, then go on to win the general. Otherwise, I’ll continue to be a voice of conservatism to whomever will listen.

    Also Bob, Thanks for your friendship. I know you are a good man.

    19 hours ago ·

  • Jeff King Peter, your position on Iraq doesn't make any sense at all. There were no terrorist elements to speak of in Iraq. In fact, it will be one of the most expensive blunders we have made. Iraq was the best counter to terrorism we had in the middle east, and that is why Daddy Bush didn't roll on bagdad in Gulf War 1. Now Iran is our problem, something Reagan knew and played well in propping up Iraq in their 8 year war against Iran.
    16 hours ago ·

  • Robert Wells Pete I think its great that you are idealistic that is a good thing we need more Americans like you to seek public office. I agree with much of what you have to say and I agree we need leaders to stand on principal but I also think that as a leader first you have to govern and second you must understand that while we need serious reform in our Government we cannot expect it to happen over night we must understand that right now we control one half of one branch of government we won the debate in the fact that for the first time in a very long time if not ever we are actually talking about cuts ( I think your idea to get away from base line budgeting is brilliant and must be done by the way)
    9 hours ago ·

  • Robert Wells All I am saying is to the people who say NO NO NO all of it now! That is not realistic. As for our Senate race you are a fine man and would make a great U.S. Senator I simply am Supporting Pete Hoekstra because I have supported him in the past and I believe of the field he is the most qualified of the candidates. You know
    9 hours ago ·

  • Robert Wells that should you be the nominee I will work my guts out for you. I value your friendship and keep running hard and speaking up, viberant primaries are good for everyone.
    9 hours ago ·

  • Peter Konetchy Bob,
    First of all, when did I ever say "NO, NO, NO, all of it now"? I have never said that. All I've ever said is that we have to Immediately - balance the budget. Immediately means that the budget proposed for the next fiscal year should be balanced. Thereafter, in years forthcoming, I support cutting federal spending in real terms. I would like to cut non-constitutionally authorized spending by 8-10% so we can eliminate these programs in a short while - 9-12 years, but I realize I'm working with congress and I need to persuade people to follow the constitution. We cant be content with simply slowing the growth of government. The major problem is that virtually none of our current elected officials think cutting. Your arguing that anyone wanting to cut spending and government influence isn't qualified - a "wingnut", and shouldn't be considered. I can't accept the premise.

    7 hours ago ·

  • Peter Konetchy Robert Wells
    Second, If I'm elected to the Senate, my focus will be to secure life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - (allowance of the people to choose their destiny). I will be an obstructionist in that I will fight to halt the unconstitutional control of government into our lives. This is very much a full time job. Also, holding 1/2 of congress can stop anything. It could have stopped the debt ceiling increase, it could have forced spending cuts, and it can insist on a balanced budget next year. It's just that the democrats and Obama know that the republicans are so weak that they have no fear of being stopped. I, as one person cannot stop them, but I will be a voice they will need to roll over.

    7 hours ago ·

  • Jeff King A sad day when someone who vows to follow the Constitution and live within their means is labeled as "idealistic".
    5 hours ago ·

  • Jeff King Still like to hear your rational on Iraq however Peter.
    5 hours ago ·

  • Robert Wells I wasnt referring that you said those things Pete it seems that is the message being sent by some of my fellow tea party people thats all.