Dec 1, 2008

Articles attempt to whitewash Rep. Chris Ward’s House record

As the six-year term of Michigan Rep. Chris Ward, R-Brighton, comes to a merciful end, some glowing articles are beginning to appear that are attempting to rewrite history.

The former House Majority Leader was going to be stripped of his leadership position before he resigned after daring to vote with the Democrats and raise the state income tax to avoid a brief government shutdown last October. He has been praised for his courageous vote, and rightfully so, in such places like Dome Magazine and the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. But it ignored the rest of his dismal time in the Legislature.

The recent opinion column by Press & Argus General Manager Rich Perlberg is really over the top. The piece bemoans the lack of cooperation and bickering between the two political parties, but it completely ignored Ward’s role in it.

As the person who set the agenda on the House floor when the GOP controlled the House prior to 2006, Ward was so heavy-handed that the Republicans did away with debate on the House floor, and the Republican majority even refused the simple courtesy of providing an agenda of the day’s bills in session. Ward’s actions were similar in committee, and as the chair of the Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee he threatened to forcibly remove and arrest a Priest.

He was also notorious for bending over backward to help lobbyists, such as the developers of the Green Oak Village Place mall, and the wine bill that earned him the scorn of veteran journalist Jack Lessenberry. You could also rest assured the bills Ward pushed were designed to benefit the Republicans first and not the state or its residents.

When he ran for reelection in 2006 he was as scarce in the 66th House District and Livingston County as snow in July, and we don’t know where he spent the majority of his last term, but it wasn’t at work. He had the worst voting record in 2007, missing more votes of any Legislator with 133 missed votes. I don’t know if that contributed to his personal problems or losing his home to foreclosure, but he was not working full time. In light of the number of missed votes in 2007, the remarkable thing is he actually showed up to cast his vote for the budget bills.

Now, this may be called sour grapes because I volunteered for the person Ward beat in 2006, and there may be a grain of truth to that. What it did was make me pay attention to his actions, or lack of action, and it was frustrating to work hard to only see Ward win because he was an incumbent with an R after his name. It’s even more frustrating to be correct about something, and have people ignore it. I do know Mike McGonegal would have been responsive to voters and better represented them.

Perlberg’s column really goes over the top when he tries to compare Ward with former Republican Gov. William Milliken. That is outrageous, to say the least.

“If there is no room in our government for politicians such as Ward and Milliken, then can we really be surprised by the end product that we are getting?”

Please. The GOP has not had room for moderates like Milliken for many years with its hard swerve to the right, but Ward has contributed to that right turn.

I have no idea if Ward’s tax vote was his mea culpa for all the wrong things he did in office prior to Oct. 1, 2007. The fact is that’s the most nonpolitical vote he made in six years and perhaps the only vote he made where he put the state and its residents first. It’s wrong his political career is over because of that vote.

If people choose not to support him or vote for him again, do so because of his actions prior to the Oct. 1, 2007 vote to keep Michigan government open. Maybe when this term is over he will return to the guy I liked and admired before he left here in 2002.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I've read comments from Andy Dillon that praised Ward. I also know that Gov. Granholm has had plenty of praise for Ward. Phil Power, a powerhouse in the Democratic Party, recently had great praise for Ward on Power's web site.

But you can barely contain your disgust for him.

Are Dillon, Granholm and Power fools? Or liars? Or just maybe they know what they are talking about and you are a predictable partisan hack. Your attitude is exactly the problem. Your view on life is simplistic and predictable: If a Republican does it, it's a bad thing; if a Democrat does it (even if it's exactly the same thing), it's a good thing.

I think on this one I'll trust the speaker, the governor and the former publisher more than I trust your judgment.

Anonymous said...

Hey guru/dargo...did you see the latest freep story about the BC/BS legislation that Mike Cox opposes, even though a constitutional scholar such as yourself says he shouldn't be involved?

The story says that the Blues claim they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars unless the legislature acts NOW, this minute, right away.

Cox disputes that and says the Blues, which have state-sanctioned rights unavailable to other insurers, not only have a lot of money but are purposely dumping a lot of confusing data on lawmakers at the last minute and then claiming they need an immediate approval..or ELSE!!!!

Cox says there is no reason this can't wait until next year when it can be studied rather than rushed through a lame duck session.

What he didn't say is that many of these lawmakers, lame ducks and otherwise, are not up to the task of wading through difficult and complex issues. He was also kind enough not to point out that BC/BS is one of the state's most powerful lobbying entities and that their campaign dollars might be influencing legislative votes.

That's why Cox as AG is stepping into the fray in an attempt to protect the common man from the ill-informed decisions of the legislature.

Again, I don't know enough about the issue yet to form an opinion. But I do know that it's often a good idea to be wary of the high-powered and big-monied interests when they say it's necessary to make a quick decision. When they say it's for the common good, it's usually a good idea to grip your wallet. (If you think the Blues are poor, then you haven't heard the wall-to-wall advertising they've been doing to push this issue through.)

Here's the last line of the freep story: "But Cox, most of Michigan's newspapers and a coalition representing senior citizens and disabled people opposed the legislation, saying that if would allow Blue Cross to raise rates as much as 75.4% for seniors with Medi-Gap, or supplemental Medicare coverage, and 37.7% to non-elderly people who buy health insurance."

75.4%!!! Yikes!!! And you say the AG has no dog in this fight? Amazing. If there is any chance he is right, he has an obligation to get involved on behalf of the people...especially if lawmakers are playing dead or bought off or just can't be bothered to work through a complex issue.

Or maybe you would be happier if he would use a 10-year-old decoy to try and get a store to sell him this month's copy of Gentlemen's Quarterly...I hear there are some revealing ads in that magazine.

Are you again just shilling for the Dems and criticizing the GOP no matter what? And if so, why are the Dems so willing to do the dirty work for the Blues? They are one of the wealthiest and most powerful forces in Michigan. Despite their ads, they are in it for the money. The benefits they provide to the poor and under-served are done only because of law...Cox is right to be wary of their motives with this legislation, which they wrote.

Communications guru said...

Post your “comment” there, anonymous troll. That garbage you posted has nothing to do with Chris Ward. Stay on topic or your comment will be deleted. Understand?

Communications guru said...

And I praised him as well for the courageous vote. But doing the right thing once does not wipe out five years of crap. “Phil Power is a powerhouse in the Democratic Party?” Where did you get that? Not true. Second, I provided the link where Power praised him.

Anonymous said...

Okay, mcblusterhead, why not answer the question. Are Power, Dillon, Granholm wrong when they praise Ward? How about Byrum and Tobocman? They find him to be a worthy opponent, well-informed, ethical and willing to reach across the aisle. And they are all Democrats. So how is it that you know more than they do?

Here's examples of what they say:

"He's a very powerful legislator. When you get into a negotiation with Chris Ward, you better expect he's going to call you out, see through any covert efforts, any bluster." -- Steve Tobocman, House Majority Floor Leader.

"I wouldn't necessarily call (Ward) a moderate. He's a pretty solid conservative, but he has a unqiue ability to listen to all sides of an issue and I think that enhances his effectiveness." -- Tobocman.

"Chris was always someone to go to, to get a straight answer." -- Andy Dillon.

"He often put partisanship aside to work with his fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. During the budget crisis last year, Chris went so far as to sacrifice his own leadership position to do the right thing." -- Dillon.

"At this season of Thanksgiving, I hope you will join in offering a word of thanks for people like Chris Ward. We sure need him -- and people like him." -- Phil Power, former publisher, big Dem contributor and onetime candidate for U.S. Senate.

From the Dome report: Then Minority Leader Diane Byrum...a critic on the agenda issue. But after watching his leadership on the budget last year, even she can't gring herself to say an unkind word about him.

So..DEMOCRATS praise his smarts, his ability to listen, his willingness to work both sides of the aisle, and his leadership. And you torch this guy. That says a lot about you and what you believe.

These are leading Democrats who say he is a great guy and a great lawmaker...not just for the budget/tax vote but in addition to that. How do you explain that? Are the leading Democrats clueless? Or are you a partisan hack and a sore loser? The answer is obvious.

Communications guru said...

I answered it once before, anonymous troll, but I will answer the question again, especially since you asked so nicely.

Like I said before, I also praised him, but one vote does not wipe out five years of missteps.

Second, I don’t agree with everything every single Democrat says. Third, Why would they say bad things about him when he is leaving? The answer is they don’t. Fourth, is there anything I said about him that is untrue? Heck, I challenge you to prove I’m wrong, troll.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I don't call you names. I don't call you a liar. But you come out with name-calling and anger, apparently in still another attempt to divert from the issues.

You said he made one vote that was "perhaps the only vote he made where he put his state and the residents first." That's an opinion and you are entitled to it.

But that opinion runs totally contrary to the opinions of such Democratic leaders as Graholm, Dillon, Tobocman, Power, Byrum, and on and on. And your lame response is that they were saying nice things about him because he was leaving. So, basically, you are saying the top of your party can't be trusted when their lips move...I don't believe that, but that's what you are saying.

Along that line, where are kind comments from these Dems about Craig DeRoche? He's leaving, but I can't find widespread Democratic praise for him.

Face it. You supposedly helped run a campaign and Ward whipped your guy without working up a sweat. He also has a political philosophy different from yours. You can't get past that. Apparently Ward and Dillon, among a few, could get past that.

You are a sad human being. I trust you really have no authority in life.

Communications guru said...

I didn't call you a name, anonymous troll; I just accurately described what you are. Now, you are the one that called me the clever name of "mcblusterhead" as well as many more. No problem, but stop objecting when I describe what you are.

Yes, I did say, "he made one vote that was "perhaps the only vote he made where he put his state and the residents first." I stand by it, and I challenge you, again, to prove otherwise. No, what I am saying is "the top of my party" does not kick someone when they are down, and once again, I do not agree 100 percent with everything everyone in my party says, unlike you.

It would be hard to find any praise for Craig DeRoche because he has done nothing in six years to benefit or help this state. I also do not hear any Democrats going out of their way to bash him. The best they can do for DeRoche is say nothing.

I am facing it, and I admitted it: I helped "run a campaign and Ward whipped my guy without working up a sweat." The people who should really be upset are the voters he ignored. Yes, "He also has a political philosophy different from" mine. Never denied that. I have also praised him.

I am still waiting for you to prove the charges I made against him are incorrect. I have a feeling I will be waiting for some time, troll.

Anonymous said... me out, I missed the part where you explained why the top of the party praises him for his overall record in the House, not just that one vote.

How is it that you are so much more enlightened than they are?

Anonymous said...

Plus, there is a big difference between "saying nothing" in regards to DeRoche and saying things like "he has the unique ability to listen to all sides of an issue," you could always get "a straight answer" from Chris, he "often put partisanship aside."

Open-minded, straight answers, puts partisanship aside. Or, as you call it, five years of crap.

You keep asking me to refute your foolish position. I don't have to. Dillon, Granholm, Tobocman do it for me.

Republican Michigander said...

Still angry about 06, Kevin?

As far as Milliken being a moderate goes, that's a pile of horse manure. Milliken is a far leftist who backed far leftists like John Kerry, Obama, and Granholm. His high tax policies, along with Blanchard's income tax rate took 20 years plus to fix.

Michigan finally wised up to Milliken by kicking his protege to the curb in 1982 for Headlee.

Republican Michigander said...

Now as far as Chris Ward goes, I'd consider him a pragmatic conservative for the most part outside of that one bad vote. I'm somewhat surprised with that vote, but not completely, since Chris doesn't like inaction and thought it was more competent than a shutdown. I understand his thought on it. I don't agree with it.

Chris got things done, always gave me a straight answer no matter when I agreed or disagreed, and for the most part did a good job in the six years he was in Lansing. I'd trust the judgment of him over McGonegal who's entire campaign was "you suck."

Anonymous said... is the difference Mr. Blusterhead. I disagree with a lot of Republican Michigander's points, but I don't take any offense. They are valid points that can be reasonably debated. I disagree that Milliken was a radical leftist and I'm really not sure how much of his and Blanchard actions were "fixed" given the state of Michigan government. I don't know the guy, but I feel I could have a reasonable debate with him...we wouldn't change each others mind, probably, but we might learn something.

But you just bluster on. You can't even concede that you over-stated your Ward rant...even when the leaders of your party so clearly disagree with you. Dillon, Tobocman and friends clearly don't buy into Ward's political philosophy, but they found him a worthy colleague to work with...why is it so hard for you to make the same statement? Yes, you disagree with him. But that doesn't make him a bad guy. Nor does it make him an enemy of the people. Nor does it reduce his body of work to crap.

Whether you like it or not, you are a lot like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. Damn reality. Just slash-and-burn the other guys.

Communications guru said...

I gave you four reasons why “the why the top of the party praises him for his overall record in the House, not just that one vote,” troll.

Communications guru said...

I have no idea what they said about DeRoche, but it will be a stretch to say anything nice. I don’t see it as a big difference. Ward may have put partisanship aside, but not when his party was in the majority.

Ward’s record stands for itself, and you cannot dispute it. In fact, not only did he have the worst voting record in 2007 and missed the most votes in 2007, he has a comfortable lead in 2008 as well. Is it so much to ask that he just show up for work?

Communications guru said...

Not angry, frustrated. I’m just glad he’s not my representative. If he hardly showed up for work the last two years and could not be bothered to campaign in 2006 I would be angry if he was my representative.

Milliken is a moderate, but more importantly he’s a leader that puts the state ahead of party. To put Ward and the Gov. Milliken in the same sentence is a disgrace to the Governor.

Communications guru said...

Mike McGonegal’s campaign was much more than “you suck,” and you know it. Hell, even if that lie were true, it was better than Chris Ward’s campaign of I have an R after my name and I don’t know where Livingston County is anymore. For being in the majority for four years, he got little done, and even less that benefited anyone but the GOP.

Communications guru said...

How do you have a “reasonable debate” with someone who will not even take ownership of what they write? I don’t even know if I’m debating the same person, troll.

The record stands for itself, and it’s a record you cannot dispute. Instead, you stoop to name calling. I never said he was “a bad guy” or “an enemy of the people.” His record says it all.

I’m nothing like Limdick or the Queen of Hate.

Anonymous said...

Quote: I am nothing like Limdick or the Queen of Hate. Amazing...with that one line you prove you are EXACTLY like them, but I suspect you can't see that.

I must be blind. Because you say you have given four reasons. Where? I only see your lame argument that they said nice things because he was leaving.

How inadequate can you be? Why is it you can't admit that your position is totally at odds with Democrats. You don't like Ward. Fine. But the leaders of your beloved party totally disagree with you. Totally.

You represent the problem in government. You are totally partisan and refuse to accept that there can be another legitimate position...even if you disagree with it. Dillon sees that. Ward sees that. Phil Power sees that. It doesn't mean they aren't passionate about their positions. It doesn't mean they don't fight hard for their positions. But they do it with mutual respect and civility.

You can't see or do that. Possibly because it's hard for people to show respect when they don't have much self-respect.

(Again, I hope some of your over the top comments are intended to be funny or provocative or ironic, as lame as they are. Because if they are serious, you need psychological help. And quickly.)

Communications guru said...

Again, I’m nothing like Limdick or the Queen of Hate because I’m not a racist hatemonger, anonymous troll.

I don’t know if you’re blind or not, but apparently you cannot read well. I’ll give you the reasons again.
Like I said before, I also praised him, but one vote does not wipe out five years of missteps.
Second, I don’t agree with everything every single Democrat says. Third, why would they say bad things about him when he is leaving? The answer is they don’t. Fourth, is there anything I said about him that is untrue? Heck, I challenge you to prove I’m wrong, troll.

You are wrong again, troll. I do like Chris Ward, but that does not overshadow the fact he was not a good lawmaker.

Anonymous said...

You can count to 4, I'll give you that. But merely reciting numerals doesn't answer the question.

Your one argument is that Ward only had one good vote and that doesn't overshadow his 5 years of crap. But Dems who are smarter and more accomplished than you say just the opposite. Are they wrong?

Anonymous said...

And you are wrong. You are just like Limbaugh and Coulter. You show evidence of that with your juvenile name-calling of them. That's just what they do when they talk about their opponents. They belittle and call names and then accuse others of doing the same thing.

You are not racist? Hmmm. That's an odd comment from someone who thinks it is a smear to be called a Muslim.

Communications guru said...

Are you serious, troll? You may be able to count, but you can’t read. Yes, they are wrong, how many times do I have to say I disagree with them? I disagree with them.

Communications guru said...

No, I am not like limpdick and the queen of hate because I’m not a racist.

Yes, I’m not a racist. President Obama is not a Muslim, and he continues to say that. Some anonymous troll like you tried to paint him as a Muslim, knowing there are some people who think all Muslims are terrorists and may not vote for him. Me, I don’t give a crap what his religion is or even if he has one.

Anonymous said...

You continue to lie and make up things about people who show you up for all your errors of fact and logic.

When in the world did I try to paint him as a Muslim? And what if I did? What exactly is wrong with being a Muslim? Why do you dislike Muslims?

Communications guru said...

If I lied and made something up then I challenge you to point it out. You tried to paint him as a Muslim with the B. Hussian crap. There is nothing wrong with a Muslim. Like I said before, I could care less what religion he was or even if he had one I was going to vote for him. But there are people out there who mistakenly equate Islam with terrorism, and they may not have voted for him if that were the case.

You’re the one who needs to answer the question what exactly is wrong with being a Muslim because you tried to paint him as one; you or some other anonymous troll.

Anonymous said...

Who is B. Hussian?

You are the one that said B. Hussain Obama was a smear..a Muslim smear and a terroism smear. I see absolutely nothing wrong with the name. Nor do I see anything wrong with his religion. You are the one who thinks it is a smear to be called a Muslim.


Communications guru said...

Stop playing dumb, anonymous troll. How do you reach the reach the stupid conclusion that I think being a Muslim is a smear? It was bigots like you and the ones from your party that tried to link him to terrorists and the lie he “pals around with terrorists.”

You are the one who used the term B. Hussain Obama, and it was an attempted smear to reach the other bigots like you. Guess what, it didn’t work.

Anonymous said...

You still haven't explained what the smear is. I never said he pals around with anyone. Just like J. Sydney McCain doesn't pal around with terrorists.

What's the smear? Obviously, you think there is something wrong with being a Muslim. But that's you; not me.

Communications guru said...

You’re joking, right? You attempted to signal your other bigoted friends who have the asinine and false belief that Muslims are terrorists. Perhaps it wasn’t you, but it’s impossible to tell one anonymous troll from another anonymous troll.

Anonymous said...

I attempted to "signal" my other friends? Pretty cloak-and-dagger stuff. I thought I pulled it off, but danged if you didn't catch me. How I'll have to resort to secret handshakes and decoder rings.

You are such a moron...and try as you might, you can't escape the fact the YOU are the one who said it was a smear to be called a Muslim and YOU are the one who tied the president-elect's name to terrorism. That's how you bigots work...pretty creepy, in my opinion.

Communications guru said...

Yes, you attempted to "signal" your other bigoted friends? Why else use B. Hussian Obama? I have never heard of him referred to that way until the campaign when it was used by bigots like you.

I have also never heard of Bush referred to as G. Walker Bush, or J. Sydney McCain or W. Jefferson Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Hey...don't look outside, but I've "signaled" my co-conspirators to fly black helicopters outside your house. You aren't only crazy and delusional, you are also paranoid. But that doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

But what is wrong with calling him G. Walker Bush, or J. Sydney McCain or W. Jefferson Clinton or B. Hussein Obama? Is there something wrong with the name "Hussein"? I'm curious. And I wish you would rethink your attitude toward Muslims. They are fine shouldn't take the position that it's a smear to be called a Muslim. I don't happen to be a Muslim, but I wouldn't consider it an insult if you thought I was. Why do you think that way?

Communications guru said...

This is so ridiculous and stupid; I'm not going to respond to this crap anymore. Keep posting this crap if you want, but I'm not going bother with you anymore.

Anonymous said...

McBluster can't handle the he bails.

Oddly enough, he was defeated by his own words turned back on him.

Alan Stamm said...

I'm totally with you, Communications Guru. "Please," indeed!

Latest evidence, from Detroit News on Dec. 31:

"Rep. Chris Ward, a Republican from Brighton, missed 385 legislative votes during the two-year session that wound up this earlier this month -- tops among the 148 lawmakers.

". . . Ward, who missed one-fifth of the more than 1,900 roll call votes in the House, did not respond to phone calls seeking explanation. The 34-year-old father of three is term-limited and will leave the Legislature at month's end.

"He went through a long and costly divorce that was finalized a year ago. And last year, he stepped down as House Republican floor leader after angering many of his colleagues by being one of only two GOP House members to vote to increase the state income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent to avert a state government shutdown."

Oh, yes -- the head atop Lansing bureau chief Charlie Cain's report:
Some Michigan lawmakers missing in action

'nuf said.