Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Martin Howrylak Seeks to End No-Fault Divorce

“Democracy,” quipped H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Making sure Troy’s residents get it good and hard, Martin Howrylak went before council on Monday night to crow about the single most important issue facing Troy right now: Women having too much control over their lives fireworks.

Yep, this past Monday, our state rep. updated us on his efforts to make sure none of us are bothered by fireworks ever again. This is agenda item number one for the ‘ol bushwah boy scout.
It’s funny, though. Martin is forthcoming when it comes to the problem of fireworks. But when it comes to his stance on women having control over their lives, he’s strangely silent.

You may recall that thanks to Martin Howrylak and his ilk, the women of Troy have to purchase extra insurance should they find themselves pregnant after being raped.
As it turns, out Howrylak was just getting started.

Next on his anti-woman crusade, Howrylak has decided that women can get a divorce much to easily. So he’s seeking the end of no-fault divorce.

House Bill 6083 (2014), introduced by Howrylak, would permit a no-fault divorce only if two conditions are met: 1) if there are no children and; 2) both sides agree. Otherwise, if you want a divorce, you better be able to prove that your spouse committed adultery, abandoned you, been thrown in prison for five years, or has sexually abused you or your child.

And it’s not as if we don’t know who this bill will impact the most, right? Women. We know that nearly two-thirds of divorces — including those that come late in life — are initiated by wives. We also know that when a no-fault (or unilateral) divorce standard is adopted, there’s a 30 percent decline in domestic violence and the suicide rate among wives’ drops between 8 to 16 percent.

None of this matters to Martin Howrylak, it seems. Because facts don’t matter when you’re on a moral crusade to control the lives of women.

Think about it: Under Howrylak’s legislation, it doesn’t matter if your spouse is an unrepentant alcoholic and refuses treatment. You stay married. According to Martin Howrylak, it’s irrelevant if your husband gambled away your kids’ college fund. You better hope your luck changes sometime soon because you’re staying married. And so what if your hubby slapped you around and you’re afraid to go to the police? Unless you can prove the violence, no divorce for you.

Indeed, Martin’s attitude towards divorce has revealed what he is: A paternalistic fool that thinks women shouldn’t be trusted to know when their marriage should end.

Yep, H.L. Mencken was right. The people of Troy wanted Martin Howrylak. And he’s going to give it to them good and hard.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Martin Howrlyak Should Be Fired for Lying and Incompetence

There's an old adage, coined when computers were invented. “Garbage in, garbage out.” I think it applies to government as well. If you put incompetent people in the government, you get incompetent government. Speaking of incompetent, let's talk about what Martin Howyrlak isn't telling you as continues his run for reelection.

Howrylak's Lies

Howrylak is running on the promise that he's going to fix the roads. This is a lie. How do we know? Easy. When given the choice to stay in Lansing and produce a funding package for road repair, Howrylak and his compatriots decided to go on summer vacation instead. To add insult to crumbling roads, Howrylak was asked at his own town hall meeting if he supported Governor Snyder's proposal to fix the roads. Verbal diarrhea ensued.

Howrylak is running on the claim that he's working with Governor Snyder. This is also a lie. Because we have already covered the fact that Howrylak is so loathed by his own party that he was removed from every committee that he sat on. When you're made a pariah, it's not honest to claim that you're working with your party leader.

Howrylak is running on a pile of endorsements. On this one, we have to give Howrylak some credit. We can't find any evidence that his endorsements aren't legitimate. But what Howrylak isn't telling you about is the endorsements he didn't get. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the statewide business organization representing approximately 6,500 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce makes endorsements at every election. Care to guess who isn't endorsed by the MCC? Yep, Martin Howrylak. Because having Martin Howrylak in the state house is bad for business.

So to sum up: Martin Howrylak has had an opportunity to fix the roads. He didn't. That's failure #1. His own party wants nothing to do with him. That's failure #2. And the biggest business association in Michigan wants Howrylak out of office. That's failure #3.

And it gets worse.

Howrylak's Bad Ideas

We've already covered the fact that Howrylak wants to bring about an economic disaster in Michigan. No surprise there.

But remember when our legislators decided to ignore the voices of women to pass the horrific “rape insurance” law? Howrylak was all for it. Yep, if a woman in Michigan becomes pregnant after being raped, he believes you should have planned ahead and purchased additional insurance to cover the the abortion.

And Howrylak isn't stopping there. Howrylak wants a personhood amendment added to the Michigan State Constitution. If you're not familiar with the idea, a personhood amendment would declare all fertilized human eggs to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder. So, sorry, ladies, Martin Howrylak wants a say in what you do with your bodies.

Not only is Howrylak a foot soldier in the war on women, he's not fond of citizen activists. If you know your history of Troy, you'll remember the citizen-led initiative to support a library millage. Because Howrylak didn't approve of the millage, he's decided to make it harder for Troy residents to support the library. He wants to change the library law to make the success of citizen-initiated petitions more difficult. Yep, Howrylak finds Democracy inconvenient when it doesn't support his ideas.

And it's always worth mentioning Howrylak's most grievous act in Troy's politics: Martin Howrylak brought us Janice Daniels. If Howrylak didn't sponsor that tea bag full of hate, we wouldn't have faced a year of embarrassment and controversy.

Lessons Learned

If there is anything that can be said about political campaigns, it's that competency runs on accomplishments, incompetency runs on false promises and attack ads.  And you can't miss how Martin Howrylak campaigning this year. He's spreading lies about his record, running non-stop attack ads full of half-truths, and using robocalls trying to Troy's voters.

Stated as plainly as possible, the evidence is in: Martin Howrylak's stint as representative has been a lesson in garbage in. Let's toss the garbage out and restore competency and quality to the Michigan Legislature this November 4th.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Martin Howrylak Chooses Politics Over Principles

Come, won't you, and join me in the Wayback machine. We're travelling back to 2011, when Martin Howrylak, candidate for Troy's representative in the Michigan House was demanding his opponent, Mary Kerwin, join with him in “committing to the people of our district and our state in running a clean campaign...and to focus on the issues, not personalities.”

What a difference a couple of years make. Care to guess if Martin Howrylak has pledged to run a clean campaign this time round?

Of course not.

At the risk of stating the completely obvious, Martin Howrylak has run away from his pledge for a clean campaign because his record is a disaster and it's easier to scare people with half-truths rather than be honest.

The half-truths I speak of came from an attack piece that Martin has been mailing around Troy. It claims that his opponent, Mary Kerwin, supported “controversial” plans to “take people's property without consent.”

It's complete crap, folks.

Here's the truth: Back in 2009, Troy was in the process of improving and widening Rochester Road. City Council authorized the City Attorney to to make unconditioned offers to purchase easements for those improvements.

The two resolutions that Howrylak complains about occurred in February and May of that year. When these resolutions came before council, they easily passed by with a majority vote. Care to guess who didn't support those resolutions? Yep, Martin Howrylak.

So it's simple. Martin Howrylak was against widening and improving Rochester road. But because City Council recognized the project as a vital capital improvement, anybody associated with the project is the problem. Not only is Martin playing fast and loose with the fact, he's being completely disingenuous about them, too.

(And Think about it: If Martin Howrylak was against improving Rochester road, can we really expect him to support Snyder's plan to repair our crumbling infrastructure?)

But back to the matter at hand: Martin's vanishing pledge to run a clean campaign. Where did it go? And why? There “where” is the easy part: Martin has tried to make is disappear. Martin has scrubbed the “clean campaign” pledge and editorial from his website. But because the Internet is forever, we can thank Google for maintaining a cached version of the page. And the Oakland Press was kind enough to keep the pledge on their website.

As to why it disappeared, you'd have to ask Martin. But we can venture a guess: Howrylak knows that he has accomplished nothing in his two years in the Michigan Legislature. He's refused to support vital road repairs and got himself kicked off every committee he served on. In other words, Martin Howrylak has failed.

So his only option now is to jettison his alleged principles, distort the past, and attack, attack, attack. It's what you do when you've failed and don't want to be held accountable. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Martin Howrylak's Failure is Troy's Disaster

Martin Howrylak is making a lot of promises this campaign season. He's discovered that massive trucks lacking adequate brakes are a dangerous thing. He's miraculously learned that the pension tax is unpopular!

So Martin is finally promising to do something! But here's the problem: Martin Howrylak is never never going to be able to deliver on his campaign promises.

How can I be so bold in this prediction? Easy. Because Martin Howrylak is so unpopular with his fellow Republicans that they've stripped him of his voice and exiled him.

Let's look at the evidence.

First, over the last two years, Martin has been sending out “Legislative updates.” (On your dime, by the way.) These thinly disguised campaign mailers are designed to make you believe Martin Howrylak is earning his $71,000 a year salary.

But let's take a closer look at an “update” Martin sent out earlier this year. 

See how he's listed all his committee assignments? That's quite an impressive list. You should ask if any of them are still true. Let's look.

Is Martin Howrylak on the House Appropriations committee? Here's the list of the current members of this committee. Is he on it? Nope.

Is Martin Howrylak on the Fiscal Oversight committee, as he listed on his update? Here's the current members of that committee. Does the name Martin Howrylak appear on that list? Again, nope.

Is Martin Howrylak on the Education, the Judiciary, or the School Aid Committees? Nope, nope, and nope.

Yep, Martin Howyrlak has so alienated his own party that they've stripped him from every committee and made him as useful as a potted plant.

And it gets worse. Martin Howrylak is such a pariah in his own party that, according Chad Livengood, Capitol reporter from the Detroit News, Martin's own party leadership attempted to remove him as a delegate to the state convention so he could have no say in party politics.

So it shouldn't be surprising that Martin Howrylak's Tea Party friends are in a full-on panic. According to Dennis Marburger, President of the Birmingham/Bloomfield Republican Club, Howyrlak “is not getting the support from the MIGOP that he should be getting.” Now, Tea Party members from outside of Troy are being asked to canvass Troy to save Martin's job.

This, of course, is a disaster for our city! Through Martin Howrylak's sheer incompetence, Troy no longer has a voice in Lansing. How can Troy be ensured of its fair amount of revenue sharing if our representative is ignored? Will Troy now be forced to continue using it's general fund for repairs because Martin Howrylak is as popular as Kerry Bentivolio? How can Martin Howrylak promise to protect our schools if he's as toxic as black mold?

It should be clear that Martin Howylak is a failure. The Republicans in Lansing recognize this fact.You should  too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mike Bosnic – Too Partisan to Be Impartial

Want to know what happens when politicians put their buddies in judicial seats? You get a hotbed of partisan politics and judges who lack objectivity. So says former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver, who wrote a massive 700 page book detailing how then-Gov. John Engler sought to extend his political influence over the Michigan Supreme Court.

And now severely partisan politicians are seeking to enthrone Mike Bosnic on to the District Court seat so they can have a partisan activist in Troy's District Court.

You can tell that Mike Bosnic is a partisan activist by the way he's campaigning. He's campaigning like a politician.

Early on in his campaign he was more than willing to fight dirty. He sent out a campaign flyer attacking the integrity, experience, and ability of his opponent. (We have the flyer, but we won't propagate such scurrilous attacks by reproducing it here.)

These attacks are especially disturbing when the Michgan Judicial Code of Conduct requires all judges to “treat every person fairly, with courtesy and respect.” If Mike Bosnic isn't willing the treat people with respect in the competition for the bench, what would he do if wins?

Next, he sent out a campaign flyer where he's standing next to Troy's Tea Party darlings. There he is, standing there with a puffed chest next to Bob Gosslin and Martin Howrylak.

The very same Bob Gosselin who believed that Janice Daniels was “right on almost all her stands as mayor.” 

At this point, I think it's safe to assume that Mike Bosnic has Tea Party support because he'd be more than willing to advance a political agenda over being an impartial judge.

But doesn't it go without saying that you want judges to be impartial? You need judges to be fair, to listen to both sides in a dispute and reach their decision based on the letter of the law. We deserve judges who show courtesy to all sides and avoid interjecting their personal opinions into their decisions.

Which is why Mike Bosnic is simply too partisan to serve Troy as a judge.  But why take my word for it? The Detroit Free Press stated this fact months ago.

So when you cast your ballot this November, vote to keep partisan politics out of the judiciary.  Vote for Maureen McGinnis.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jen Hilzinger for Troy School Board

Here in Troy, the Tea Party has made our local politics into a blood sport. For the the Tea Party, politics is a matter of “us” versus “them,” with little room for diversity or cooperation.

Which is why it's refreshing to have Jen Hilzinger as a candidate School Board.

If you don't know Mrs. Hilzinger, you should. She's a woman of principles. She's co-chair of the Troy School District Diversity and Inclusion Council. If you don't know what that is, it's simple: The group exists to foster inclusion and diversity, so all of Troy's kids have a place and chance to learn.

As if that's not enough, Mrs. Hilzinger was the founding president of Families with Children from China Metro Detroit, after she and her husband adopted two children, from Korea and China, respectively. Currently, she's serving on advisory council for the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network. Most recently, she's help create the Troy Alliance Against Hate Crimes.

But make no mistake. Mrs. Hilzinger is no pushover. During the recall of Janice Daniels, Mrs. Hilzinger was out collecting signatures when she he was followed and verbally harassed by a Daniel's supporter. But did this stop her? Nope. Because she wants to ensure Troy is a place of diversity, has excellent schools, and keeps a friendly mix of amenities.

Diversity is what attracted Mrs. Hilzinger to Troy.  She wanted to live in a cosmopolitan community where different languages are spoken and the schools are excellent.  She looks at Troy and knows that we're small, but "we've got the whole world right here."

Which is why Mrs. Hilzinger has an eye on the big picture. She knows that what happens in Lansing and on the School Board affects what happens in the classroom. She knows that the teachers are the front line when it comes to maintaining excellent schools. She knows that a net loss of money spent per pupil is the wrong direction for the school district.

Everything about Mrs. Hilzinger proves that she is a woman dedicated to education, diversity, and inclusion. There is no "us" versus "them" for Jen Hilzinger.  There is only "us."  Jen Hilzinger has my vote for the Troy School Board. I hope she has yours.