Monday, September 10, 2012 article on Michigan Republican convention

As I wrote earlier:
I'm working on a story for on the Michigan Republican Convention, which produced a lot more drama than the Michigan Democratic Convention.
That article is now published.

State Board of Education member Nancy Danhof (pictured with her husband Bill) lost her bid for re-nomination this Saturday.
Credit: Nancy Danhof's campaign website.
Republicans reject incumbent State Board of Education member at state convention
One of Will Rogers' best remembered sayings about politics was that he was not a member of any organized political party; he was a Democrat. Less well remembered was his comparison of the two major parties: "Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they'd be Republicans." Rogers might have had a different opinion of the two major parties if he had lived to observe this weekend's state conventions.

The Michigan Republicans just finished a contentious convention in Grand Rapids on Saturday. They voted not to re-nominate a sitting member of the State Board of Education, instead nominating two more conservative candidates. The delegates also narrowly picked the establishment candidate for State Supreme Court over a more insurgent choice after a hard-fought campaign to win delegates and decided among multiple candidates for the two nominees each for the governing boards of all three of Michigan's major research universities.

In contrast, the Michigan Democrats held a more orderly meeting in Lansing today. All of their candidates had already been approved at an endorsement convention in Detroit this past spring and all were officially nominated today. The only uncertainty was which two of their candidates for State Supreme Court would run for the two eight-year terms, and which would face Republican appointee Brian Zahra for the two years remaining for his seat on the bench.
Yeah, I couldn't resist throwing an insult originally meant for Democrats at the Republicans. I'm in good company, since a lot of Democrats did that in Charlotte last week. Hey, that's why I keep a blog, so I can express my opinions instead of the facts. Speaking of facts, if you want them, please read the article. If you want more of my opinions, follow over the jump.

In the article, I described how Nancy Danhof, the incumbent member of the State Board of Education, was not re-nominated because of a combination of Tea Party activists and Republican legislators. Explaining the Tea Party opposition is easy. She's a moderate nominated eight years ago, when the Michigan Republican Party had room for people with expertise and pragmatism. Times have changed, and the corn pone fascists who compose the Tea Party think she's insufficiently conservative. So, they went RINO hunting.

The legislators are another matter. Apparently, she told them that their ideas for changing graduation requirements were a bad idea, and defended former Governor Jennifer Granholm's curriculum idea. The nerve! Never mind that she was right. I guess a qualified incumbent was worth sacrificing in their eyes.

On the other hand, the Tea Partiers didn't get their way with two other candidates they targeted. They wanted Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Jane Markey, who made an anti-Semitic comment and promised not to allow sharia law in Michigan. No, I'm not kidding about those. Instead, the more temperate Colleen O'Brian won, based on her ability to do retail politics. They also wanted to replace incumbent Michigan State University Trustee Melanie Foster with Jeff Sakwa and Anne Norlander. They failed and now have a slate of Foster and Sakwa.

I plan on writing more about these candidates at in the future. Stay tuned.

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