Friday, October 30, 2015

Meekhof Tied To Controversial 80th District Mailer As Ghosts Of 2010 Campaign Against VanderKamp Linger

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at
Ghosts of campaigns past are haunting Jim Storey, but the veteran politico isn't spooked.

Perhaps we should back up a minute.

Had Brett VanderKamp declared his campaign just a month or two earlier, he may well be in his second term in the Michigan Senate right now...Instead, VanderKamp is still doing alright: he's in the midst of a major expansion for his beer company, New Holland Brewery.

Vanderkamp lost to then State Rep. Arlan Meekhof in a heated 2010 primary to determine who would represent Ottawa County in the State Senate. VanderKamp grabbed nearly 21,00 votes to Meekhof's 25,901.

VanderKamp had only declared in March 2010, Meekhof had been basically running since January of 2007, a couple more months on the trail could have swung the race for Brett. But I digress, he lost a barn-burner, sticking us with Arlan.

Brett VanderKamp

Allegan County Commissioner Jim Storey ran VanderKamp's campaign, and Arlan Meekhof NEVER forgot.

Nor did he forgive... Meekhof is not the forgetful type when it comes to his enemies, and VanderKamp and Storey may well top the list. I'm sure that I am not far behind.. ;) :)

The race was immensely brutal, with VanderKamp exposing Meekhof's record again and again, getting to the point where VanderKamp stunned Meekhof at a debate, leaving him speechless after saying he should drop out because of charges he significantly exaggerated his resume to voters. 

Even on Meekhof's Facebook page, remnants of the war remain. In a detailed note, Team Meekhof is on the defense against VanderKamp's charges and request Meekhof withdraw.

“This brazen personal attack is just the latest in a line of desperate attempts for attention by a candidate with no new ideas,” said Bob DeVries, a member of Meekhof's campaign team. “VanderKamp's demand for Meekhof to withdraw must be the only way he thinks he can win the race, and it seems he has forgotten that the voters get to decide.”

Meekhof also actually had the guts to claim he was the only job creator in the race...while running against a small business owner!

Fast forward to 2015, Meekhof refuses to let Storey win a seat in the State House after daring to oppose him so brazenly in a previous election.

According to The Detroit News:

"Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, who represents neighboring Ottawa County, could become influential in that race because of disdain for Storey, who ran the campaign of Meekhof’s 2010 GOP primary opponent, Brett VanderKamp.

Meekhof, R-West Olive, described Storey’s campaign tactics as “bloody.”

“A lot of things that were done by my opponent’s side were not well received,” said Meekhof, who endorsed Whiteford last year but hasn’t taken sides yet in the upcoming primary. Meekhof said he won’t support Gamrat or Storey."

And Meekhof is putting his money where his mouth is...

According to Right Michigan:

"Michigan’s Voice appears to be a Richard McLellan / Eric Doster effort, but they are certainly fronting for someone else. Mary Doster just happens to be the Treasurer of GLEP, so Michigan’s Voice has a clear connection to GLEP. Mary Doster also happened to be the Treasurer of the now dissolved Safe Roads Yes! (BoE 517218) committee which spent lavishly to promote Proposal 2015-01 earlier this year. Michigan’s Voices uses the same address as Safe Roads Yes!, as well...

Senate Majority Leader Arlen Meekhof also has his hand in this race. Senator Meekhof bears a grudge against James Story, who ran the campaign of Brett Vander Kamp, Meekhof’s 2010 primary opponent.  Senator Meekhof’s Moving Michigan Forward Fund II PAC (BoE 516287) pumped $ 10,000 into the Michigan Freedom Network PAC (BoE 516317) on 07 October. Michigan Freedom Network is another PAC whose Treasurer just happens to be Mary Doster, although it uses a different address. Interestingly, it has no registration on file with Michigan LARA, unusual for a legitimate PAC. 

Meekhof’s MMFF2 contribution appears to be a partial ‘backfill’ for $ 24,000 that MFN gave to GLEP on 29 September, and $ 32,000 of polling they contracted out to Public Opinion Strategies. Has to be the campaign against Courser and Gamrat. Can you think of any other state level issues which arose just before 29 September?"

Meekhof has a history of laundering his PAC money to other outlets to do his dirty work.

Last year, Meekhof, along with State Rep. Joe Haveman, donated thousands of dollars to the 616 PAC to attack Geoff Haveman in a horrendous smear mailer centered around me.

>>>Breaking: State Rep. Joe Haveman And Sen. Meekhof Funded Attack Against Geoff Haveman In 90th District Primary

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


  1. Meekoff and Storey being at odds is like two whores having a cat fight. You may like (or disliked) one more, but they are both whores.

    Storey got a raw deal on the Michigan Voice mailing.... but they were not wrong. He is a liberal and anyone in his district can tell you that.