Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Raphael Cruz, Popular Pastor+Father Of Ted Cruz, Visits Michigan This Week

Raphael Cruz, right, talks with his son, Sen. Ted Cruz (Daniel Acker/Landov)

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

Pastor Raphael Cruz bring his powerful story to Michigan this week, and Cruz will keep a busy schedule.

From lunch Wednesday with Sen. Patrick Colbeck to a breakfast Friday hosted by Cindy Gamrat, as well as an event at the Kent GOP to wrap things up , Michiganders will have multiple opportunities to see Cruz once he kicks off his Michigan tour tomorrow. Other stops include Milford, Taylor, Utica, and Fowlerville.

Cruz is the father of 2016 Presidential candidate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Here is Raphael Cruz's full schedule. Any questions can be directed to Wendy Day at 517-652-5855.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Noon-1:30 Lunch with Patrick Colbeck and Supporters
George’s Coney Island
39430 Dun Rovin Drive
Northville, MI
Host: Patrick Colbeck

4:00 – 5:00 Macomb Co Meet & Greet
Macomb County GOP
13441 Hall Rd
Utica, MI (between Buy Buy Baby and Long Tall Sally)
Host: John Wolfsberger

7:00 – 8:30 Preach to Regular Wednesday Night Service
Speak for 45 mins and then 20 mins Q & A
Metro City Church
21080 Penn St
Taylor MI 48180
Corner I75 & Eureka Rd
Host: Pastor Jeremy Schossau

Thursday, July 30, 2015

3:00 – 4:00 Speech at Mason Road Baptist Church
Speak for 45 mins
Mason Road Baptist Church
9981 West Mason Road
Fowlerville, MI
Host: Ryan & Stacey O’keefe

Keynote Speaker God and Gov’t Group – ongoing speaking series
7:00 – 9:00 Speaking
Hickory Ridge Community Church
1360 N Hickory Ridge Trails
Milford, MI
Host: Kathy Chesnut

Friday, July 31, 2015

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast Event with State Rep Cindy Gamrat
Trestle Stop
3366 Lincoln Road
Hamilton MI 49419
Host: Cindy Gamrat

10:00 –11:00 Meet and Greet
Southside Inn
192 W 35th St
Holland, MI 49423
Host: State Rep Cindy Gamrat

12:00 – 1:30 Meet & Greet with 30 min speech
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Kent Co GOP Headquarters
725 Lake MI Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI
Host: Ginger Westerman

Cruz's bio describes him as:

"Rafael Cruz was born in Matanzas, Cuba. As a teenager in the 1950’s he supported the overthrow of the oppressive Batisa regime—which landed him in prison, where he was tortured. At the time, Castro seemed the better alternative, but Rafael soon learned that the future dictator’s rosy promises were different from the brutal realities of Communism. In 1957 he secured an exit permit and immigrated to the United States.

With little more than $100 to his name and barely able to speak English, he studied mathematics and chemical engineering at the University of Texas. Working seven days a week, he managed to earn a degree and start work in the energy industry. Life has not been easy, but his faith has carried him through. Rafael has passed the lessons of his sometimes-hard life onto his only son, Rafael Edward (Ted) Cruz. They include belief in American liberty and respect for its Constitution—which secures and protects that liberty for all of us."

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


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Richard McLellan: Hope For Cuba

Richard McLellan (Via Twitter)

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

The following is from Richard McLellan, posted online a few days ago:

"If you are wondering whether the opening of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba will lead to improving human rights and freedoms in Cuba, let’s hope the experience in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria can be repeated.

25 years ago, President George H.W. Bush sent me to Bulgaria as a Presidential Observer to the first free election since 1931. The People's Republic existed from 1946 to 1990, when the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) ruled, as part of Comecon, a Soviet ally during the Cold War, and a member of the Warsaw Pact. In 1968, Bulgaria participated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and was generally regarded as the Soviet Union's most loyal Eastern European ally. In 1984, the dictator, Todor Zhivkov, launched a campaign of forced assimilation against the ethnic Turkish minority, who were forbidden to speak the Turkish language and were forced to adopt Bulgarian names (even changing names on graves).

But moderate elements in the Communist Party saw Zhivkov’s action as leading to making Bulgaria a pariah state, removed him and called for free elections.

President Bush and the European Union sent official observers to the elections as a sign of confidence that the Prime Minister, Petar Mladenov, and the ruling Communists (who renamed themselves Socialists) were genuine about a free election. We traveled throughout the country and saw the emerging desire to join Europe and leave the crumbling Soviet bloc.

Bulgaria rapidly joined the West, and while its politics don’t meet the highest democratic standards, it remains today a free, democratic country, a member of the European Union, NATO, and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and has taken a seat at the UN Security Council three times.
Bulgaria hosted six KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and 200 support personnel for the war effort in Afghanistan in 2001, and allows the U.S. to use air bases considered as among the most important overseas facilities used by the USAF due to its proximity to the Middle East.

If Cuba decides to follow a path to freedom and economic engagement, Bulgaria offers a model."

According to Wikipedia, McLellan, a top adviser to Gov. Snyder, has a deep history of  community involvement:

"McLellan is a participant in many community service organizations. He is a member of the Board of Governors for the Cranbrook Institute of Science; McLellan is a founding member of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank operating in Michigan for over 30 years, and sits on the Board of Directors. He currently is on the Board of Directors for the Cornerstone Foundation, the Native Nations Foundation, the Oxford Foundation, the Mackinac Center for public Policy, and the Michigan Political History Society. He is the former President of the Library of Michigan Foundation and the Michigan/Japan Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation Michigan Chapter, and the City Club of Lansing.[32] He is a former Member of both the Lansing Mayor's Regionalization Initiative and the Lansing Mayor's Council of Economic Advisors.[33] He is also a former Chairman of the Board of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce."

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


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Congressional Candidate Paul Mitchell Blasts Planned Parenthood

Paul Mitchell celebrates the defeat of Prop 1 (Tanya Moutzalias |

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

Congressional candidate Paul Mitchell blasted the recent videos featuring Planned Parenthood, and the "conservative job creator" known for killing Prop 1 is calling on elected officials to use every tool possible to fight Planned Parenthood.

“Our elected officials need to use every tool at their disposal to investigate Planned Parenthood’s involvement in these disgusting practices and ensure that our laws definitively stop these atrocities from occurring,” Mitchell said in a release. “I applaud Congressman Fred Upton, Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for leading the congressional investigation on this topic.”

Mitchell continues:

“I believe strongly that every life is precious, particularly innocent life. We shouldn’t be trafficking the destruction of innocent life,” stated Mitchell. “These videos are sickening, the practices are sickening, and I urge lawmakers to do everything they can to stop these abhorrent practices from occurring.”

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


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

WMP Ads Begin

You will begin to notice the start of ads in WMP stories from now on, as well as in some past stories. While some may not like the ads, it is by far the best option.

If you are interested in placing an ad, email Rates are very reasonable.

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


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Ottawa GOP Hosts Lt. Governor Calley At Spring Lake Fundraiser Thursday

LG Calley at a 2014 press conference

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

Lt. Governor Brian Calley will be in town Thursday for a fundraiser at the Spring Lake Country Club. The event costs $50 and benefits the Ottawa GOP. It is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and goes until 6.

According to a Facebook release:

"Join us for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and an intimate and informal gathering with Lt Governor Brian Calley. Proceeds will go directly to supporting the Ottawa GOP

Come by after work or on your way to Coast Guard Festivities!

Cost is $50 per person. Call the office for Club Member pricing."

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


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

Thursday, July 23, 2015

103rd State House Race BOMBSHELL: Lansing Shocked As Dr. Kumar Charged With Teen Sex Crime, May Face Medical Fraud Charges
Kumar, center, with Gov. Snyder, right

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

The race for State Rep. in the 103rd District took a dramatic and disturbing turn this week when a popular favorite to win the seat, a Doctor with deep connections to Lansing, was arrested for sex crimes with a teen and may face medicare fraud charges.

Six months ago this week, Dr. Vijay Kumar sat on the floor of the Capitol side by side with Michigan legislators as Governor Snyder gave his "State of the State" address as the guest of State Senator Darwin Booher. This morning, Kumar sits in a Northern Michigan jail cell accused of sexually assaulting a child over 13 but under 16, and using his role as a care provider to facilitate the attack.

Prosecutors allege Kumar, who is also Chairman of Michigan's Board of Physical Therapy after being appointed by both Governors Granholm and Snyder, "coerced the underage victim to submit to his authoritative position."

Kumar has been around Lansing for years, even helping get legislation passed by Governor Snyder, subsequently earning Dr. Kumar a coveted invite to the Governor's signing ceremony-and a seat right next to the Governor.

According to Community Rehab Services:

"Dr. Vijay Kumar, DPT, PhD, MD as chairperson for the Michigan Board of Physical Therapy, was invited on July 1, 2014 by Governor Rick Snyder for the signing of Senate Bill No. 690 Direct Consumer Access... Direct Consumers Access allows patients to go directly to a Physical Therapist for evaluation and treatment without a physician’s referral. We are very excited to become a Direct Access state."
Kumar, center, holding a newly signed Public Act with Gov. Snyder

"Vijay is an outstanding professional and has shown great commitment to the practice of physical therapy in Michigan," said Snyder in a 2011 press release re appointing Kumar. "I am thankful for his willingness to continue service on the board."  

The release also says "The 11-member board plays an advisory role, and assists the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs with overseeing the practice of physical therapists."  

Gov. Granholm also praised Kumar upon appointing him in 2006.

 "It is a great and noble privilege to serve the people of Michigan," Granholm said. "I know that you will do the people's work with excellence and integrity and that you will never take lightly the responsibility the people have given you." 

According to 9+10 News:

"Dr. Vijay Kumar was arrested yesterday for sex crimes against someone under the age of 16. In a separate case, State Police seized evidence from all of his local clinics. Kumar is also running for the Michigan House.
Endorsers say the news is shocking.

"I was rather surprised," says Gary Klacking. "Really shocking to hear about the charges yesterday."
Ogemaw County Clerk Gary Klacking recently endorsed Dr. Vijay Kumar's political campaign.

After the recent allegations, that has changed.

"About a month ago, Vijay asked for an endorsement from me and I did give him my endorsement,"
Klacking says. "It was done in good faith because of what I knew about him at that time. However, since that time, based on what has transpired, I'm withdrawing my endorsement."

According to court documents, Kumar "coerced the victim to submit to his/her authoritative position" to engage in sexual contact.

State Police say they are also investigating five of his local clinics for other crimes.

"There was evidence taken from the scene which I cannot elaborate on at this time, but I will tell you this is related to a Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud of false claims," says 1st Lt. Mel Mathews of the Michigan State Police, West Branch post."
Kumar, left, with Sen. Booher as a guest at Gov. Snyder's "State of the State" earlier this year
Kumar, right, with LG Brian Calley

Kumar's campaign website bio describes him as:

"Vijay Kumar was born and raised in India.  His parents worked as educators and, from an early age, instilled an understanding that nothing in life should be given to you - everything must be earned through hard work.He left India in the early stages of his life and went to the United States with just a few dollars in his pocket.  He attended Boston University where he earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and a PhD, and continued his education to Xavier University School of Medicine (MD) and George Washington University, where he is currently completing a Masters in Public Health.  Vijay worked full time while attending class and paid his way through school.Upon receiving his degree, Vijay and his wife sought somewhere to live.

Coming from the most populated city in the world, they were ready to settle down to a much calmer lifestyle.  While visiting friends that lived in Northern Michigan, they decided that West Branch was the place they wanted to call home and raise their family.  They fell in love with the small-town atmosphere, hard working people, and tight-knit community values.

Vijay founded and operates Community Rehabilitation Services, a number of advanced physical therapy clinics located throughout Northern Michigan.  His five offices are in St. Helen, Rose City, Hale (Agility Physical Therapy), West Branch and Prescott (Adapt Physical Therapy).  Vijay's practices employ nearly 100 Northern Michigan residents and he operates a program to hire military veterans at his offices.Vijay is committed to giving back to his community.  He is a sponsor and supporter of youth sports across the area, is an active member of the American Red Cross serving Northern Michigan, the Rose City Lions Club, and West Branch Optimist Club, is a Life Member of the Ogemaw County Genealogical and Historical Society, and volunteers much of his free time with a number of organizations that work in Northern Michigan.

He also holds a number of appointed and elected offices, like:·  Chairman of the State Board of Physical Therapy·  Treasurer of the Rose City / Lupton Chamber of Commerce· Member of the Ogemaw County Zoning Board of Appeals. Vijay is an active member of the Michigan Republican Party, serves as the Treasurer of the Ogemaw County Republican Party, a precinct delegate in West Branch, serving on the Executive Committee for the 4th Congressional District, and has been involved in campaigns at all levels."
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at  


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson