Michigan Supreme Court
Justice David Viviano
To Speak at June 18 Forum
Michigan Supreme Court Justice David F. Viviano will address the Eastside Republican Club Forum at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 18, at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Jenny Nolan, chairman of the club said, “As the newest member of our Supreme Court, we look forward to hearing from Justice Viviano."
Nolan added, "His family has deep roots in our area, and we look forward to knowing more about his view of the court system. The Forum will be a good opportunity for us to get better acquainted and to ask him questions."
ERC Picnic Coming July 14
"Connect with like-minded conservatives and enjoy a hot dog,” said Eastside Republican Club picnic coordinator, Mike Hennigan, announcing the eleventh annual Family Fun Picnic set for Sunday, July 14, 2013, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Patterson Park on Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Park.
Mark your calendars!
There is no charge for the 7:30 p.m. public event at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for coffee and networking.
Gov. Rick Snyder appointed the Macomb County jurist to the court in February. Previously, Justice Viviano was a judge of the Macomb County Circuit Court, to which he was elected in 2006, and served in that court's criminal/civil division. >>Read more Viviano.
Senate Leader Richardville
Avoids Pot Holes to Deliver Good News
Michigan's economic health is vastly improved, yet finding money to pay for needed road projects continues to be a challenge, said State Senator Randy Richardville who trekked from his home in Monroe to speak May 21 to the ERC Forum.
Not long ago, he said, "Michigan was at one of its low points -- a lot of people moved out."
By working together, he said, "We'll have a complete FY2014 budget by June 1 with a projected $702 million surplus."
The largest share of that surplus would go toward road projects, he said.
Selected by fellow-Republicans as Senate Majority Leader, Richardville was first elected to the Michigan Senate in 2006. >>Richardville Speaks to Forum.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley
Pulls Record Crowd for PAC Dinner
By John Minnis
Lt. Governor Brian Calley drew a record crowd to the annual Eastside Republican PAC fundraiser April 24 at Sindbad's Restaurant on the Detroit River.
“In the 15 to 20 years we've held these dinners here, this is the most we've ever had,” said Eastside Republican Club PAC chairman John Stempfle. He then thanked the nearly two-dozen sponsors of the event, including University of Michigan Regent Andrew Richner, former State Rep. Ed Gaffney, attorney Charles Kennedy, and Butzel Long director Louis Theros.
Others in attendance included Republican stalwart and Grosse Pointe Park Mayor Palmer Heenan, retired Wayne County Chief Judge William Giovan, and past American Bar Association President Wallace Riley.
Many of those present had attended a rare appearance of former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who spoke that afternoon at Grosse Pointe South High School at the invitation of student leaders of Young Americans for Freedom.
“We are now $20 billion less in debt than we were in January 2011,” Calley said. “I realize we've got a long way to go, but I love the trend he (Gov. Snyder) is on, of where we're going.” Read more and see event photos at the link. >>Calley Speaks in Detroit.
New Volunteer Commission Deploys Veteran Crime Fighters
"I try to have hope every day," said Andrew G. Arena, former agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office and newly appointed executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission
, in his March 19 talk to the Eastside Republican Forum in Grosse Pointe Farms.
He said the DCC focus is quality of life, and creation of an "atmosphere of no corruption," including crime investigation, abatement/abandonment issues, public corruption, and witness protection.
He noted, "I was encouraged when the Kwame Kilpatrick jury convicted the former mayor of racketeering, which is tough to prove -- that jury really worked hard."
"Right then and there, I thought, 'there is hope.'"
Arena ticked off some of Detroit's challenges. In mortgage fraud Detroit ranks second in the country, police suffer from a misuse of manpower and lack of leadership, and in one four-square-mile area violators with 600 active arrest warrants live and walk the streets unchallenged.
He described the DCC's work to stop a ring of insurance fraudsters operating "under the radar" in southwest Detroit. Their "business" involved buying 159 foreclosed houses in disrepair, renting them to illegal aliens -- who were afraid to complain -- never repairing the houses, and then torching them after the houses could no longer be rented.
Their final payoff was a claim against their insurance policy for the fire loss. The case uncovered tax evasion and 213 fraudulent house fire insurance claims.
“We are privately funded through private donors and grant proposals. We're not costing the taxpayers any money,” Arena said. >>Veteran crime fighters deployed.
Move to Draft Young Women
For Ground Combat May Be Next
Young ladies, prepare to be drafted for combat duty! That was one of the warnings issued by Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, in February 19 remarks to the Eastside Republican Club Forum.
Lauding the thousands of women who have and will continue to serve, Elaine Donnelly nevertheless laid out a strong case for restricting them from any combat role.
Donnelly leads the Center for Military Readiness, an independent, nonpartisan public policy organization specializing in military/social issues. Founded in 1993, CMR advocates high, single standards in all forms of military training, and sound priorities in making military/social policies.
She noted that thus far, the Supreme Court has rejected efforts by the ACLU to force women to register for the draft. She explained that the Court came to that conclusion because conscription was used only during wartime to build combat forces from which women were exempt.
That was 1981. Now that women are slated for combat duty, the argument can no longer be made.
"Combat effectiveness is now secondary," Donnelly said, because by his January 24, 2013, announcement Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unilaterally lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles.
She explained that added to victory is now a new priority, "gender diversity metrics." Plans call for "significant cadres" of women in direct ground combat battalions by 2016." >>More Donnelly on Military Readiness
Massive Government Growth
Root Cause of U.S. Fiscal Crisis
“Stop digging!” insisted Paul Welday in his talk to the Eastside Republican Club Forum January 15 at the War Memorial.
The Republican activist and Oakland businessman explained, that's the first rule when you realize you're trapped in a hole.
Welday's message focused on leadership and “the crisis facing our state and our country.”
The root fiscal problem, he said, is the massive growth in government.
In laying out the facts, Welday noted that our national debt at $15.6 trillion is now bigger than the entire U.S. economy. By comparison, he said the gross domestic product is just $15.1 trillion.
To help illustrate how fast the debt has grown and how deep the “hole” is, he pointed out that in 2007 national debt was considered high at $9 trillion.
In another comparison, Welday put the U.S. debt crisis in international context. He said that the annual amount of interest paid to the Chinese on U.S. debt held by them would soon equal China's annual military budget.
New Faces Join ERC Board
Added to the Board at the annual election of ERC officers and board members held January 15 were Dan Follis, of the Farms, and Park residents Ken Chadwell and Michael Vethacke.
Reelected for another term as chairman was Jenny Nolan, of the City.
Serving with her will be vice chairman Susan Gillooly and secretary Marie Hackleman, both of the Park. Treasurer will be Mike Nolan of the City. >>See Board photo
“What do we do now?” he asked.
Welday advocated “changing course, and stopping endless government spending.”
He said taxpayers and our leaders must accept the challenges, endure sacrifice, and realize that responsibility for action belongs to us. >>Welday to the Pointes
Finley's Analysis of Vote
Sees No National Mandate
“This was not a wave election -- there were mixed results,” said Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley.
He noted, for example, that Republicans picked up 30 of the 50 state houses.
Finley spoke November 20 to the Eastside Republicans at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.
In Michigan, he reminded, “Voters defeated union proposals up and down the ballot… and voters did a wonderful job on the Supreme Court.”
At the federal level, “Voters did not give [the President] the votes in Congress to get his agenda passed. Voters returned a Republican House.”
Being realistic, he observed, “It is extraordinarily hard to beat an incumbent.”
Finley encouraged his audience, “In 2010, just two years ago, Republicans swept the landscape. Do we really believe that things have so fundamentally changed in two years, and Republicans are no longer relevant?”
In the final analysis, Finley recognized a GOP weakness. “We got beat on the ground,” he opined.
He said that the election outcome “was not an affirmation of [Obama's] last four years.” >>Learn more.
A 'Travesty' for Pointes
Echoing the sentiment of his audience, analyst Bill Ballenger told the Eastside Republican Forum October 16 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial that splitting the Pointes into two districts was “a travesty.”
Noting that the united Pointes have been a bastion of the GOP since the party was founded, “Too bad the Republicans [in Lansing] have not seen fit to keep the district together.”
Ballenger bluntly told the audience, “The GOP threw Grosse Pointe 'under the bus' by splitting the Pointes.” As a result, the area is divided between two Michigan House districts. >>Pointes divided.
Pointing fingers, he said, “The news media was so asleep” during the primary, looking the other way while a felon won the Democratic nomination for state representative in District 1.
“Today, Republicans control everything in Lansing,” he said.
That's why Ballenger sees the Michigan Supreme Court as a key battleground. He said the three Supreme Court seats are “almost the biggest thing” at stake. Because three of seven justices are up for election, including two Republicans.
Though they are non-partisan positions for the Supreme Court, Republicans are supporting Justice Stephen Markman (incumbent), Justice Brian Zahra (incumbent, partial term), and Judge Colleen O'Brien. >>ERC endorsements
He pointed out that failure to elect these three could tip the balance from a conservative to a liberal court. >>More on Ballenger.