Sep 30, 2008

Debate shows Livingston County House candidate is a leader

For those looking to send a leader to the Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing; instead of voting for a career bureaucrat/bookkeeper you need to take a look at Scott Lucas.

The Hamburg Township Democrat is running against Cindy Denby in the open seat in Livingston County’s 47th District. I watched Lucas square off in one of the Great Debates sponsored by the Center for Michigan and Detroit Public TV, and he clearly is a leader. The unfortunate thing is this is the first time I have seen him.

The candidate’s positions are not radically different, but Lucas, an assistant fire chief, has true leadership abilities. This is not necessarily a knock against Denby. I like and respect her, but she simply does not inspire leadership. I have been reporting on Handy Township in the Fowlerville area where she is the township supervisor for seven years, so I have seen her in action.

The televised debates, called the Great Debates, are 30-minute, fixed-format debates being taped at DPTV’s Detroit studios with a panel of journalists consisting of reporters and editors from the Detroit News and Free Press. The plan is for all of the 110 contested races to be televised, and 3-4 debates are taped weekly. They air from 3-5 p.m. every Sunday on PBS, as well as online.

This week’s debates feature Rep. Marc Corriveau and Republican Jerry Vorva in the 20th District that covers Plymouth, Northville, Canton and Wayne.
Democrat Doug Geiss and Republican Darrell McNeill square off in the open 22nd District that covers Romulus and Taylor.
Democrat Sarah Roberts and Republican Bryan Brandenburg debate in the open 24th District that covers Harrison Township, Lake Township and St. Clair Shores.
Democrat Jon Switalski and Republican Michael Wiecek battle in the open 25th District that covers Warren and Sterling Heights
Democrat Andrew Prasilowski and Republican Kim Meltzer debate in the 33rd District that covers Clinton, Macomb and Ray Townships.

We’re still waiting for the Republican challenger in Livingston County’s other House district to reschedule his debate. Republican Bill Rogers is challenging Democrat Donna Anderson in the open 66th District. The debate was to be taped and aired along with the Scott Lucas debate, but Rogers canceled the day before the debate was to be tapped.

He has not rescheduled. So far, 12 races and 24 candidates have managed to carve out the 30 minutes out of their schedule, but not Rogers.


the truth hurts said...

They are all corrupt, and I hope you rail against the Democrat Pelosi as you rightfully rail against Republicans who are corrupt.

Let's see how fair you are to the American people and not just the left CG

EXCLUSIVE: Pelosi paid husband with PAC funds
Jennifer Haberkorn (Contact)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed nearly $100,000 from her political action committee to her husband's real estate and investment firm over the past decade, a practice of paying a spouse with political donations that she supported banning last year.

Financial Leasing Services Inc. (FLS), owned by Paul F. Pelosi, has received $99,000 in rent, utilities and accounting fees from the speaker's "PAC to the Future" over the PAC's nine-year history.

The payments have quadrupled since Mr. Pelosi took over as treasurer of his wife's committee in 2007, Federal Election Commission records show. FLS is on track to take in $48,000 in payments this year alone - eight times as much as it received annually from 2000 to 2005, when the committee was run by another treasurer.

Lawmakers' frequent use of campaign donations to pay relatives emerged as an issue in the 2006 election campaigns, when the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal gave Democrats fodder to criticize Republicans such as former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and Rep. John T. Doolittle of California for putting their wives on their campaign and PAC payrolls for fundraising work.

Last year, Mrs. Pelosi supported a bill that would have banned members of Congress from putting spouses on their campaign staffs. The bill - which passed the House in a voice vote but did not get out of a Senate committee - banned not only direct payments by congressional campaign committees and PACs to spouses for services including consulting and fundraising, but also "indirect compensation," such as payments to companies that employ spouses.

"Democrats are committed to reforming the way Washington does business," Mrs. Pelosi said in a press release at the time. "Congressman [Adam] Schiff's bill will help us accomplish that goal by increasing transparency in election campaigns and preventing the misuse of funds."

Last week, Mrs. Pelosi's office said the payments to her husband's firm were perfectly legal, insisting she is compensating her husband at fair market value for the work his firm has performed for the PAC. But ethical watchdogs said the arrangement sends the wrong message.

"It's problematic," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit ethics and watchdog group. "From what I understand, Mr. Pelosi doesn't need the money, but this isn't the issue. ... As speaker of the House, it sends the wrong message. She shouldn't be putting family members on the payroll."

A senior adviser to Mrs. Pelosi described the payments to FLS as "business expenses."

"She's followed all the appropriate rules and regulations in terms of records and paperwork," said Brendan Daly, Mrs. Pelosi's spokesman. "When [former treasurer] Leo McCarthy became ill, she thought that it was best that that firm did the accounting and she's paid fair market value in San Francisco."

Between 1999 and 2006, FLS collected $500 per month to cover rent, utilities and equipment for the leadership PAC, according to the FEC records. The PAC's address is listed as a personal mailbox in San Francisco, across the street from FLS's Montgomery Street office building, but the rent payments went to an office space.

In early 2007, the PAC's treasurer, Leo T. McCarthy, former Democratic speaker of the state assembly and lieutenant governor in California, died. Mr. Pelosi took over as treasurer and his company's PAC payouts rose.

At that point, FLS started charging the PAC $24,000 per year for accounting work. In January 2008, the PAC's rent - paid to FLS - also quadrupled from $500 to $2,000 per month.

Mr. McCarthy, the previous treasurer, had done the work as a volunteer, according to FEC documents and Jennifer Crider, a senior adviser to Mrs. Pelosi and spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She said FLS' accounting fees are in line with costs for other PACs.

The jump in rent was an adjustment to reflect San Francisco's pricey real estate market, Miss Crider said. The rent was adjusted to $1,250 per month, with $750 in back rent to reflect that the rent should have been increased in mid-2007. This was the first increase since the PAC was established in mid-1999, records show.

Over the first six months of 2008, FLS was the largest vendor for Mrs. Pelosi's PAC. Brian Wolff, a political consultant, is the second-largest vendor, bringing in $22,500 this year.

FLS' payments represent 11 percent of the $213,900 the PAC raised over the first half of this year, according to the FEC documents.

PACs, which are designed to help politicians contribute to other candidates and build influence with colleagues, operate under lighter restrictions than traditional campaign committees.

Meredith McGehee, policy director at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said putting family members on a PAC payroll is bound to raise questions and, in some cases, allow for abuse.

"The reality is that under the current system, PACs are rife with self-dealing transactions," she said. "The laws and regulations could and should be strengthened.

"There is a point now that you're starting to talk about real money," she said of Mrs. Pelosi's PAC. "This is not just a mom-and-pop operation and any self-dealing transaction by a member of Congress is going to get scrutiny, particularly with large amounts of money and prominent members."

It is illegal for members of Congress to hire family members to work on their official staff, but hiring relatives to work on a campaign or PAC is legal.

To be sure, many political action committees employ or work with family businesses. Last year, CREW found that 19 members of Congress used campaign committees or PACs to purchase services from a family member between 2002 and 2006.

Mrs. Pelosi's PACs have been in trouble before. In 2004, one of her political action committees, Team Majority, was fined $21,000 by the FEC for accepting donations over federal limits. It was one of two PACs she operated at the same time. The Team Majority PAC was closed shortly after the fine was levied.

Communications guru said...

Can you tell me what this has to do with Livingston County's state House candidates or debates? If you want to post this garbage from the rightwing Washington Tines do it on your own blog.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

But, but, IOKIYAR...that means you have free license to spew whenever and wherever you choose.

the truth hurts said...

Afraid to answer the question.

Be a man and let all know that you are for the people and not just for your self and left wing socialist party.

Oh if a paper or person says something you do not like it is not true.

It is proven from her records

Communications guru said...

Right back at ya, can't tell the truth. Are you afraid to answer the questions? Can you tell me what this has to do with Livingston County's state House candidates or debates?

I'll tell you what, when you post this garbage on your blog and provide a real source I will come there and comment on it.

Plus, I have never supported the "leftwing socialist party."

Republican Michigander said...

Scott Lucas or his treasurer representing his campaign couldn't even turn his campaign finance statement on time.

How's that leadership? Cindy isn't a vocal leader, but gets the job done, as she has done for the 47th District turing her six years as Joe's Chief of Staff. Joe did a great job, and part of that was due to Cindy.

the truths hurts said...

you are so full of shit CG you can not see straight.

you do not give a crap about the american people only about your stupid little petty family and the socialist party.

You should be ashamed of yourself

Communications guru said...

Scott Lucas just needs a good bookkeeper/bureaucrat. Maybe he can hire Cindy.

As for Cindy being Hune’s chief of staff, House offices only have two staffers, and Hune didn’t accomplish much even when during four of his six years he was in the majority

Communications guru said...

Who the hell are you to tell me I don’t care about the “American people?” Just because I don’t agree with you, and I don’t believe false claims from a rightwing instrument? Good. Thanks for the compliment. I do care about my family, and I don’t consider them petty. And I could care less about the Socialist Party.

Again, post that shit on your blog. It has nothing to do with Livingston County’s House candidates or debates.

Republican Michigander said...

Joe wrote/sponsored 17 bills in four years that became law. That's 15 more than do nothing Barack Obama got into law in the senate during his four year period, and Obama's two laws dealt with naming a post office and giving a bunch of money to Congo.

Communications guru said...

First, he never wrote a single bill, the LSB did. Second, most benefited insurance companies, and it was because he was the chair of that committee. Notwithstanding your ridiculous, stupid and false crack of " do nothing Barack Obama" I would think a bill securing loose nuclear bombs is a little more important than allowing an insurance company "to charge an administrative fee for providing copies of documents associated with a policy." Poor insurance companies need his help; important stuff.

Republican Michigander said...

Anyone can chief sponsor a bill. All it is noise unless it something gets done on it.

Communications guru said...

My point exactly. Plus, it really helps if you are in the majority, especially with the heavy-handed way the Michigan Republicans ran the House and the way they run the Senate.

the truth hurts said...

First off comrade I have no blog

Second is the Times wrote it, but it is all true.


So according to you anything written about Republicans by the following news media outlets should not be trusted by real americans the Republicans:

Headline News
MSNBC (official press arm of the Dem Party)
New York Times
All other newspapers

They all lie for the left

Communications guru said...

First off , I’m not your “comrade.” Second, this is a post about Livingston County House candidates and the debate. If you can’t comment on that, then don’t post here. You should start a blog and post that garbage there.

Any links to this garbage, other than the rightwing Washington Times?

The sources you just quoted are conservative, corporate sources, not liberal.