Michigan

Republican challenges Amash, criticizes his voting record

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) was the target of much praise and criticism when his amendment to strip funding for the NSA program responsible for the collection of phone records of Americans was narrowly defeated in the House.

While some big government conservatives did not find Amash’s leadership and dedication to disassemble the surveillance programs anything close to productive, Americans of all walks of life cheered his outspoken attitude and his battle to restore 4th amendment rights. Now, a Republican businessman named Brian Ellis has decided to challenge Amash’s Michigan House seat.

According to Politico, Ellis says he will “advance conservative solutions by voting to balance the budget, reduce the tax burden, expand American energy sources, and defend the right to life and our Constitution.” During his announcement, Ellis criticized Amash for voting “present” instead of voting in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, probably unaware of the reasons why Amash chose to do so. According to news sources covering the story at the time, Rep. Amash voted “present” on the Keystone XL pipeline because he did not believe that a bill should single out just one company or one individual. While Amash was in favor of having the pipeline built, he believed singling out a company was simply unconstitutional.

Obama and Detroit the industry versus Detroit the city

Images_of_Money (CC)

When the news broke that the City of Detroit had declared bankruptcy, there were a fair number of jokes going around on social media, but in general, it wasn’t “news.” Yes, it is the largest city to take that step so far, but it’s Detroit. No one in their right mind could consider it surprising. What was remotely interesting in the case was what happened afterwards.

One judge - Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina - put a new twist to the story by declaring that it was unconstitutional for the City of Detroit to declare bankruptcy in the first place. And so the political circus begins. Of course, Allahpundit at Hot Air dissected the situation, and came to the conclusion that this was little more than political pandering by yet another leftist judge.

Why ‘Right to Work’ is the right way to go

Michigan’s “Right to Work” debate has drawn attention to the whole idea of unions and where they fit in.  Unsurprisingly, I’m a supporter of right to work laws.  I’m also not a fan of unions as they are currently structured.  However, whether you are a fan or not doesn’t matter.  Anyone who values ideas like freedom should support right to work laws.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, “right to work” laws do not outlaw unions.  What they do is prevent a union from structuring things in such a way that workers have no choice but to join a union.  Unions claim these laws undermine their ability to collectively bargain.  I am certainly sympathetic to that, but not nearly enough to trump my reservations about what happens without these laws.

You see, union membership is never free.  Unions have employees who have to be paid, so they charge dues.  Dues aren’t unusual.  Most groups have some form of dues.  However, unions in non right to work states are basically telling people if they want to be employed, they must give over a portion of their paycheck to the unions.  There’s no choice in the matter.  If you want to work in those businesses, you have to pay.

Now, if someone told me that I had to pay to be employed, I’d consider that a crime.  They’re blocking my ability to earn a wage and support my family.  If it was a criminal organization, the FBI would be all over it with an investigation and probably very public arrests.  However, unions have been sacrosanct for quite some time.  As fellow United Liberty contributor Jeremy Kolassa put it:

Union thuggery at its worst

Back in 2010, Tea Party protesters were accused of using racial slurs at African-American members of Congress — including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights-era hero. No proof of this was ever provided, of course. Yet, the accusation lived on in the media, with no actual video recording of the incident, despite a $10,000 reward offered by Andrew Breitbart.

So today, I saw this tweet on my feed:

Please click on the link and read through.

It appears that a hot dog vendor, Clint Tarver, who is an African-American, was hired to provide food to Americans for Prosperity — the same group who had their tent torn down by pro-union protesters in Lansing, Michigan yesterday. Apparently, these rabid union thugs weren’t too happy about this:

After destroying the Americans for Prosperity tent, where Tarver was catering hotdogs, the mob turned there attention to the hot dog cart.

MI-3: Justin Amash Has 14-Point Lead

Post image for Justin Amash Has 14-Point Lead in MI-3

There’s good news out of Michigan today. New polling shows Michigan Congressman Justin Amash has a 14-point lead over Steve Pestka, his Democrat challenger.

If you’re not yet familiar with Amash, you should take the time to get to know him. While I usually agree with him on issues, Amash’s voting record is only part of the reason I’m such a huge fan.

1. Justin Amash has never missed a vote in Congress.

One of my frustrations with legislators is the number of votes they miss. Sure, some votes really don’t matter, but when you’re selected to represent people, you ought to be there. Amash makes sure he is present for every vote that comes to the floor of the House.

2. Justin Amash explains every vote on his Facebook page.

Not only is he present for every vote, he explains those votes on his Facebook page. He’s the first member of Congress to be so proactively straightforward about transparency in government. I like my own Congressman a lot, but if I want to know why he supported or opposed legislation, I’ve got to either send an email or call his office and then wait for a form letter reply. Amash’s constituents can look on Facebook to see every vote he has ever cast and the reason for his position on the issue.

In a time where so many politicians are worthless, corrupt, and hungry for just a little more power, it’s refreshing to see someone doing the job he was sent to do and being transparent about it.

Michigan City Bans “Being Annoying in Public”

Last Thursday, the Brighton (MI) City Council approved a local ordinance that tickets anyone caught annoying others in public “by word of mouth, sign or motions.” This is perhaps one of the most obvious infringements on free speech in this nation’s history. Considering the fact that this Amendment has been incorporated to the states since the 1920’s, can anyone please inform me on how this does not violate the First Amendment which reads-

Bailing Out the Auto Industry: A Perspective

Thursday evening I posted on my Facebook profile the speech that Congressman Ron Paul gave on the House floor, opposing the auto industry bailout (the so-called “bridge loan”), along with the following comment:

“This speech on the auto bailout speaks for itself. Congressman Paul really puts it all into perspective. Were that there were more in Congress like him.”

Government-mandated middle men keep innovative company Tesla out of five states

Rep. Thomas Massie's Tesla

There’s an odd regulation Democrats and (mostly) Republicans have enacted in five states — and the reason for its enactment is still unclear.

Consider this: You want to buy the latest iPhone 6. Today, you can go to your nearby Apple retailer and pick one up directly from the company. In this instance, the manufacturer (Apple) is also the retailer. There are many companies like this, which both manufacture their goods and then sell them directly to consumers, either online or at a physical location.

But in five states it’s illegal for one type of manufacturer (in this instance, an automobile manufacturer) to sell directly to consumers. Most of the automobile industry sells its stock through licensed dealers. Manufacturers sell their automobiles at wholesale rates to dealers, who then mark up the price of the vehicles and sell them to consumers. You wouldn’t necessarily walk up to a General Motors plant and pick up a Cadillac. That’s just not how it’s done.

In Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland, and now Michigan, politicians are advancing protectionist policies that ban consumers from buying directly from automobile manufacturer — namely Tesla, the electric car company founded by billionaire inventor and investor Elon Musk.

The Washington Post has the story:

What’s good for General Motors dealers is good for America.

This liberty-minded Republican took the Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of a constituent suffering from ALS

If you spend any time on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen videos of friends dumping ice water on themselves to raise awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”).

The viral campaign — which has been promoted by celebrities — has been a resounding success, raising nearly $23 million for the ALS Association in the last three weeks. Politicians are also participating. Among them is Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a libertarian-leaning conservative with a knack for social media.

Amash was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and he accepted on Tuesday, allowing each of his three children to dump icy cold water on top of his head. “I accept today in honor of Julia Bauer, who taught me about ALS through her visits to my office each year,” he said. “And she has faced the disease with a lot of courage. And this is in honor of her.”

Fire Harry Reid: New polls show Republicans winning the majority in the Senate

A round of new polling released on Sunday shows that Republican candidates have the edge in enough Senate races to take the majority in the upper chamber in the 2014 mid-term election and then some.

The poll was conducted by YouGov in coordination with CBS News and The New York Times finds that Republicans would win the eight Senate seats, handing them a 53-seat majority. The Upshot notes that, based on the new round of polling, Republicans have a 60 percent chance of taking control of the chamber.

Here’s a look at the most relevant races:

State Democrat

Poll


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