Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Campaign kick-off party Wednesday, August 15, 6:30PM

I've sent email notifications and dropped-off invitations to lots of folks, but for everyone that doesn't know I want you to know we're having our campaign kick-off party today at 6:30 at the Geary Park Pavilion in Ferndale.

I'm hoping for a great turn-out. I've prepared a short speech about why I'm running for mayor, which was much more difficult to write than many of the articles I've posted here. Later tonight or tomorrow, I'll post the text of my speech both here and at

See you tonight!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 is open for business

It's hard to keep good news from leaking out. As of July 30, I'm an official candidate for Mayor of Ferndale.

I'd originally intended to keep the news quiet until August 15, when we're having an announcement party at Geary Park (6:30-7:30PM), but that plan didn't work for a lot of reasons. First, we'd collected over 100 signatures for my nominating petition last month, so all those people knew. Everyone in my family knew. The other mayoral candidates knew (there was four, but now there are only two), and finally yesterday's Free Press published a brief item about the mayoral race:
FERNDALE: Councilman, activist are in mayor's race

City Councilman Craig Covey, 50, said Monday that he'd been notified over the weekend of the acceptance of his petitions to run for mayor.

Thomas Gagne, a Republican activist, is also running, Covey said.

Gagne could not be reached Monday.

How about that, I'm an activist!

The reporter, Bill Laitner, was correct--I couldn't be reached for comment. He left a message at home Monday afternoon which I didn't hear until it was too late. He and I did talk briefly Tuesday morning and have made plans to talk again.

Please visit our campaign's website,, and send me comments and suggestions for its improvement.

Like any political campaign, we need money for postage, printing literature, voter lists, lawn signs, bumper stickers, renting pavilions, and finally pizza and pop while we watch November 6ths election returns. To that end, I am grateful for any contributions you may be willing to make. Checks and credit cards are both accepted and all the information can be found our donations page.

And of course, keep visiting this and the campaign website for progress reports and information about the candidate, me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Blaming others... again

I just finished reading nine letters to the Free Press editors scatter-shooting blame for the collapse of the I35W bridge in Minnesota. After reading them I was reminded of a saying, "Those that say what they think should be careful to first think." The same can probably be said of writing letters to the editor (or blogs for that matter).

A writer from Farmington Hills complains elected officials are too busy bringing pork back to their districts to attend the mundane task of maintaining roads and bridges. The writer conveniently ignores how too many Americans believe their representatives are in Washington for the purpose of bringing home as much bacon as possible, rather than addressing themselves to the job of acting and voting in the country's best interest and not just their district's.

A man from Lansing blames a right-wing philosophy advocating tax cuts and smaller government, then exploits the tragedy of the bridge's collapse to complain the rich aren't paying enough taxes. He's certain if only the top 10% of income earners would pay more than 65% of our country's taxes all our roads and bridges would be made safe. Besides being blatantly partisan it is also non sequitor because it matters little from where the money comes--it matters where it goes. But why should anything like a bridge collapse require we start thinking logically now?

Southgate blames the federal government and points to Hurricane Katrina as proof. The feds knew the levees weren't up to the challenge just as they knew the bridge would collapse last Wednesday, killing at least 5 people. Apparently, all the residents living below sea-level, their mayors and state representatives have no responsibility to think or act for themselves and must wait for instructions from Washington. It may make you wonder why people bother with local government at all.

A Wayne State University professor of engineering blames it on--engineers! Actually, I'm not certain what his point is because he's one of the guys teaching. The bridge was constructed in 1967, when America was arguably at one of its engineering peaks. As far as anyone knows its design wasn't out-sourced to China. And if he thinks we should graduate more scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians (STEM) he should protest secondary and college curricula long on political correctness and short on academics.

Finally, after a letter from Lake Orion placed the blame squarely on Minnesota's Scrooge-ish Republican governor and legislators for twice rejecting a tax increase, Royal Oak's Kevin Lucas writes:
The bridge collapse in Minnesota was tragic, and adding even more to the tragedy are the media and politicians claiming it happened because Gov. Tim Pawlenty didn't raise taxes on gas to fix the roads.

Pawlenty vetoed the tax because the state had a $2.1-billion surplus. The state is instead building new stadiums for the Twins and the Vikings, building bear exhibits at zoos, light-rail systems, fixing a theater, building a Viking ship, and subsidizing ethanol producers to the tune of some $950.5 million. I don't know which party controls their Legislature, but somehow all this was more important than fixing the roads.

All the states, including Michigan, scream about the roads and infrastructure. But the states decide what gets fixed and what does not. So look at your state budget and tell the governor and the legislators what you want your taxes to go for.

Put another way, Mr. Lucas said government is run by the people that show up; the people that show up to vote and the people that show up to be voted for. Remember that. You'll be hearing it again in a few days.