In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Out On The Stump
The Lincoln Day/rubber chicken circuit is in full swing for the state Republican Party. Newly installed GOP chair Ron Weiser was the keynote speaker at the Thursday night event in Livonia. Only problem is nobody bothered to tell the chair that he had the assignment. He was prepared to do a short "Hi how are you and we need to win in 2010" message and then sit down. Instead, after being told he had to do more, he rambled on for about twenty minutes while the audience sat there waiting and waiting for dinner while ole Ron just kept rattling on. One audience member reports Weiser, the efficient businessman, was not very happy that he was blind-sided . At least Rusty Hills got it right. He was allowed to speak on behalf of his boss and candidate for governor Mike Cox, but he did it during dinner. He did so while fellow candidate for governor, Sen. Tom George (R-Kalamazoo) had to sit there and listen. He was denied access to the microphone and had to settle for a hand wave to the audience when he was introduced before dinner. Candidate for attorney general Mike Bishop was not there but somebody dropped off some bumper stickers with "M.B. 4 A.G." printed on them. The other A.G. contender, Bill Schuette, was there and spent the entire dinner doing his "Schuette on duty" stchick of pouring coffee for everyone in the joint. On the Secretary of State front Sen. Michelle McManus attended but Anne Norlander did not as was the case for Cameron Brown although there was Brown literature on the back table. But interestingly when the road showed moved to Crystal Mountain on Saturday night in McManus's own district, she was the no show and when her daughter was introduced as a surrogate, she was no where to be found either. Norlander was at this event and had one "shinning" moment. When the guest speaker asked the audience to raise their hands if it felt the news media was biased every hand, save one, went up. Norlander defended the media. The speaker noted that she was running for office and perhaps that had something to do with her opinion? Schuette was again on duty with his coffee pots. With so many pols in the room, one Benzie County GO P leader confessed, "Everyone wanted to talk. We would have been here until midnight" which is why none of them spoke at the podium. And on that subject, apparently the Oakland County GOP introduced a variation on the "Pay to Play" theme i.e. "Pay to Speak." The Mike Cox folks reports they was asked to pay $2000 to address the Oakland GOP Lincoln Day dinner. The Cox camp said no. So much for free speech.