Saturday, February 03, 2007

Schwarz to decide 2008 plans in six months

The political bull's-eye on Tim Walberg's back gained the notice of The New York Times today.
NY Times carried a story from CQPolitics.com that Joe Schwarz will decide within six months whether he'll challenge Walberg in 2008 for his old seat in what's being plugged as "Round 3."
For those who followed this year's campaign and Walberg's primary win, it's common knowledge that Schwarz is resentful of losing to Walberg, a very conservative former preacher and state representative from Lenawee County.
Schwarz, R-Tipton, won the 7th District seat in 2004 in a six-man Republican primary, which included Walberg, R-Tipton.
The story also lays out previous speculation about potential Democratic candidates who some pundits say could put up a good challenge against the far-right Walberg.
Democratic candidates already being mentioned are former state Rep. Doug Spade of Lenawee County and state Rep. Marty Griffin, who was the mayor of Jackson.
Republican operatives have also suggested state Senator Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, should run in 2008 since his term does not end until 2010, ensuring his job security.
Walberg said he's prepared to "raise what it takes to win" -- which could be more than the almost $1.3 million he amassed for the last election.
Given the money spent in 2006 from out-of-district sources, it's likely somebody will be gunning for Walberg, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported Friday.
"He won by an extremely narrow margin," DCCC spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield told the Jackson newspaper. "He represents the most extreme elements of the Republican Party.

IN OTHER NEWS...
Joe Schwarz, a doctor and former state senator, is part of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's emergency budget panel that is recommending a tax increase to solve Michigan's budget woes.
Schwarz will appear with fellow panelist S. Martin Taylor, a U-M regent, on WKAR's "Off The Record" this week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Walberg: Don't adopt 'Hillarycare'

In an op-ed piece today, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg rips the Democrats proposed changes to Medicare prescription drug plan.
Walberg, R-Tipton, likened the legislation to Senator Hillary Clinton's health care plan of the 1990s when she was First Lady. That plan has been called "Hillarycare" by some Republicans.
"A one-size-fits-all type of prescription drug plan denies seniors the right to choose a plan meeting their needs and limits their access to many of the newest prescription drugs on the market," Walberg wrote in an op-ed in today's Lansing State Journal.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Walberg's response to Bush's State of the Union speech

Here's Congressman Tim Walberg's response to President Bush's State of the Union address tonight:

"I support the president's determination for victory and feel it is imperative we provide American men and women in combat with resources that will enable them to come home safe and victorious. The war on terrorism is the calling of our time, and we cannot shirk our obligation to protect our families and nation from the enemies of freedom." — Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Coffee company setting up shops all over Lenawee County

After enjoying a cup of coffee at the new Bearclaw Coffee Co. stand at Bixby Medical Center, the company's web site had some interesting local news.
The franchise is opening three new shops in Adrian, Clinton and Blissfield.
The Adrian shop will be located on M-52 near the Sears store, not too far from Stompin Grounds Coffee Shop on US-223.
Blissfield's shop will located on East Street and the Clinton shop is going to open on West Michigan Avenue.
There's also a login cabin-themed store in downtown Brooklyn.
In addition to the company's Onsted drive-thru in the Irish Hills, Lenawee County appears to be the company's largest expanding area in all of Michigan.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

'The World According to Schwarz'

The Battle Creek Enquirer has a long detailed story about Joe Schwarz, even as Tim Walberg tries to get his start as the new 7th District Congressman.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

There were six Republicans in 2004, not five

History tells us there were six Republicans who sought retired U.S. Rep. Nick Smith's seat in 2004, not five.

They were:
Brad Smith, an attorney and son of the retiring congressman from Addison
State Sen. Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek
Fmr. State Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton
Fmr. State Rep. Paul Deweese of Eaton Rapids
State Rep. Gene DeRossett of Manchester
State Rep. Clark Bisbee of Jackson

The local newspaper eroneously reported Saturday that "Schwarz won the Republican nomination among a field of five Republican candidates."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Walberg names staffers; Schwarz considering 2008 bid

Congressman Tim Walberg says he's hard at work to restore the Grand Old Party's traditional values.
"We lost our Republican ideals. We walked away," Walberg said recently in an interview with the Associated Press. "And now we have a chance to ... pay our penance and hopefully get ... the majority as soon as possible."
Walberg ousted U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz from office in the August primary.
Schwarz, R-Battle Creek, has not ruled out taking on Walberg in 2008, according to Matt Marsden, his fmr. chief of staff.
Schwarz will decide by next summer whether to run again, and "in the meantime, we'll watch the legislative record of Mr. Walberg," Marsden told AP.
Walberg's nasty 2006 battle for congress seems to continue haunting him as he settles into his new Washington, D.C. digs.
On January 3, a former Schwarz aide filed a complaint with the House ethics committee and House clerk's office alleging that Walberg violated House rules and federal law by sending reception invitations that included what may be the seal of the House of Representatives, according to a Gannett News Service report.
Marsden said neither him nor Schwarz urged former aide Eric Weiler to file the complaint against Walberg, R-Tipton.
The official congressional seal is supposed to be used only for official government business, according to Democrats.


Meanwhile, Walberg has appointed his staff:

Joe Wicks, chief of staff, overseeing all operations both in the district and in Washington D.C.


Rick Baxter will be the district director and will oversee all district operations. Baxter, a Lenawee Christian school graduate, is a former state representative from Jackson County. He was defeated after serving one term.


Marla Braun, constituent relations, and will be representing Walberg in Hillsdale, Calhoun, Eaton and Branch counties.

Keith Brown, field representative and agricultural liaison, in Hillsdale and Lenawee counties.
Ryan Boeskool, field representative, covering Eaton and Jackson counties. Brown was former U.S. Rep. Nick Smith's district director.

Steve Dennison, grants and special projects coordinator and will specialize in grants and special projects, helping communities in the process of applying for federal grants and loans.

Mary Ann Duffy, constituent relations, will serve Jackson, Washtenaw and Lenawee counties with their interactions with the federal government.

Jill Larder, field representative in Washtenaw and Jackson counties.

Chris Simmons, field representative in Calhoun and Branch counties.

Leeann Yamakawa, office coordinator, will assist with district scheduling and all office functions and duties.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Merillat laid off 32 workers this month; more layoffs could come

Merillat Industries has laid off at least 60 workers in the past few months, including 32 on December 1st.
The 900+ employee plant in Madison Township asked for voluntary layoffs, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported Saturday.
The layoffs are a result of the nation's weak new housing market.
A company executive said he wasn't sure if this was the last of layoffs at the company, which also has its corporate headquarters here in Adrian.
"We haven't had to deal with this in quite a while," Larry Wilson, director of marketing services for the Masco Builder Cabinet Group, which owns Merillat and Quality Cabinets, told the Jackson newspaper.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More Club for Growth drama

This vindictive drama between Club for Growth and outgoing Congressman Joe Schwarz just continues.
The Washington-based lobby group that helped former state Rep. Tim Walberg beat Schwarz in the August primary has filed campaign finance complaints against Schwarz.

The Adrian Insider has obtained the complaint for readers to download.

A few bloggers have weighed in on Club for Growth decision to "fight" back.
"Being vindictive is a great first foot forward, so let's just hope that Walberg doesn't follow in the footsteps of his backers," a blogger at Walberg Watch recently wrote.

The complaint to the Federal Elections Commission comes after Schwarz filed a bunch of complaints against Walberg and the Club saying they stole the election.
Apparently the Club for Growth complaints are largely to get Schwarz some negative headlines, even though he's already lost.
"The primary reason was we were sick of Schwarz filing bogus complaints against us," David Keating, executive director of the anti-tax group, told the Jackson Citizen Patriot. "It appeared to us that he was the one violating the law."
At least one frequently quoted analyst says no matter if Walberg gets off, his image is hurt.
"Because it tarnishes Walberg in two years that he had participated in improper activity and fundraising and accepting money," Polster Ed Sarpolus told a Lansing television station.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Walberg getting orientated in D.C.

Congressman-elect Tim Walberg has vowed to run a clean show now that has been elected to congress, following a nasty primary and general election.
Walberg promises to move forward with rolling back abortion rights, banning gay marriage coast-to-coast and lower taxes, even under Democratic control of the U.S. House and Senate.
The Battle Creek Enquirer has more in this news report from Washington...


The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports today that Walberg still appears hell bent on defending a former campaign worker who has pleaded guilty to beating his kids.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Walberg ready to be in the minority

Tim Walberg's headed to congress and The Adrian Insider has all the information about his win over Democrat Sharon Renier.
Walberg said he's ready to be in the minority party after the Democrats stormed the U.S. House of Representatives.
"I have plenty of experience in that in the state Legislature, and we were able to accomplish a lot of good things there, in the minority, so it doesn't frighten me," Walberg told the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Walberg beat U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz in the August primary to go on and face Renier, who finished better than expected.
Not surprising to some, the Jackson Citizen Patriot called Schwarz for comment on Walberg's victory Tuesday.
"It's a win," Schwarz told the Citizen Patriot from home. "But it's a smaller win than Republicans usually get in this district."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Walberg wins, GOP loses

At next year's State of the Union address, Tim Walberg will look up from his seat on the right side of the aisle at the President, the vice president and... Speaker Pelosi.
Tim Walberg won a seat in Congress tonight, but there will be just a few more to his left.
While a few remaining precincts are counted, Walberg appears the winner.

Schwarz is a write-in candidate

U.S Rep. Joe Schwarz isn't on the ballot today, but you can add the Battle Creek Republican if you'd like.
At the urging of his faithful supporters, Schwarz filed for write-in candicacy on Wednesday in Calhoun County.
Schwarz's campaign says they're not trying to steal the election from Republican Tim Walberg but give his loyal supporters another choice over Democrat Sharon Renier or Libertarian Robert Hutchinson, who was endorsed by The Detroit News.
"This is not trying to upset the race," Matt Marsden, Schwarz's chief of staff, told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "This is not trying to pull any last minute hijinks."
Schwarz has refused to endorse Walberg after the Tipton preacher beat him in the August primary and then he accussed him of violating federal campaign finance rules.
"They can believe what they want to believe," Schwarz told the Battle Creek Enquirer for a story today, Election Day. "Our one goal and one purpose in filing was simply to allow people's votes to be counted."
This development comes just a day after the Jackson Citizen Patriot's Susan J. Demas wrote an interesting piece on "The Schwarz Factor" and who would his supporters vote for after that nasy primary.
Walberg's campaign
doubts Schwarz will steal votes from him.
“It’s a free country and people can do what they want,” Walberg campaign manager Joe Wicks told the Jackson Citizen Patriot. “Tim’s going to win.”

Renier campaign spokesman Craig Holden doubts that Schwarz would be much of a factor in the race at this point.
"It's so late in the game, I can't see it having any effect," Holden told the Associated Press.
The only sure impact of Schwarz's decision is slower election results as poll workers have to hand count the write-in ballots, Calhoun County Clerk Anne Norlander told the Detroit Free Press.

This latest development on Election Day has made this campaign an interesting one to follow. Go Vote!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ann Arbor News stiffs Walberg & Renier

The Ann Arbor News' editorial board thinks neither Tim Walberg or Sharon Renier should be the 7th District's next representative in Congress.
In an editorial today, the Ann Arbor newspaper declined to endorse Republican Walberg or Democrat Renier. The 7th District includes most of Washtenaw County and all of Lenawee County, where the Ann Arbor News is widely circulated.
"Walberg's entrenched conservative stances on virtually every issue, from abortion to Iraq, offer no room for compromise - and that ideological rigidity should have no place in Congress," The News' editors wrote about Tim Walberg. "His unwillingness to engage in the necessary give and take of governance makes him an untenable choice."
The News' editors said Sharon Renier is no better.
"In meeting with The News' editorial board earlier this year, she touted job growth accomplishments on her part that bordered on absurdity and didn't seem to understand the basics of how government works," the paper's editors wrote.
For readers who want to respond to this editorial, here is the e-mail address for the paper's letters to the editor section.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Democrats smell blood

The Battle Creek Enquirer's Andy Rathbun has a detailed story out today examining all that's gone wrong for Tim Walberg in the past month leading up to the Nov. 7 election.
Democrats and their candidate, Sharon Renier, smell blood after a poll showed Walberg's lead wasn't as good as it should be in the Republican-leaning 7th District.
Then there's this snafu with Walberg's campaign staffer Daniel Coons who pleaded guilt to beating his foster child last month.
Walberg's decision not to fire Coons when he got charged has drawn criticism from Renier and even Republicans.
"Definitely it will affect Walberg," Mike Troutman, 7th District Republican chairman, told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "Walberg tries to portray himself as the moral candidate. I think definitely the people will connect the two together."
One political pundit is suggesting that the Detroit News' endorsement of Libertarian Robert Hutchinson may create "a half-way home for Republicans that don't want to vote for a Democrat but want to protest."
Joe Schwarz supporters who despise Walberg may use Hutchinson as a safe haven, making it a vote against Walberg but not for Renier, said Craig Ruff, senior policy fellow at the Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants Inc.
"There could be a draining of votes away from Walberg," Ruff told the Battle Creek paper.

Walberg is a former state representative from Tipton who represented us Lenawee County residents in Lansing for 16 years.

Renier, D-Munith, has seized the moment, politicizing the Walberg-staffer issue.
"Do we send to Congress the small businesswoman farmer or a morally bankrupt politician who places his loyalty to a child abuser over the child?'' Renier said in an Ann Arbor News story today.
Who links to me?