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.   

Monday, September 15, 2014

Martin Howrylak Thinks Us Fools

Does Martin Howrylak think we're suckers? Does he think we're fools?

Because that's the only conclusion I can come to after reading Howrylak's latest “announcement” on Facebook. You see, Martin fancies himself a “tax fighter.” He hates taxes so much, that's he willing to blow up Michigan's economy to prove it to you. So now he's realized that the tax on the pensions of senior citizens is “unfair” and he wants it repealed “now!”

But let's have a moment of honesty, shall we? Let's call Marty's announcement what it really is: A stunt. An antic, calculated purely to manipulate you into reelecting him.

Historically, Howrylak has always claimed to be a “tax fighter.” He thinks he's a proven “leader” and has run on all the times he reduced our taxes while on City Council.

However, Martin Howrylak has been in Lansing for TWO YEARS! And he just discovered the unfairness of the senior citizen pension tax last week! Just in time for the November election, when his name is on the ballot! What a coincidence!
You see, Martin Howrylak spends a lot of time calculating and crafting his image to prove to you that he's worth the salary our taxes are paying him. It's not true, however. Martin Howrylak has accomplished nothing in his two years in the State House beyond proving that he is a first class manipulator.
But why take my word for it? Let's look at more examples, shall we?
When Howrylak ran for Representative the first time round, he was happy to endorse Janice Daniels. We even have a picture of Martin proudly standing alongside his Tea Party friend. But after Janice was tossed out of office, she ran for Council. Did Martin support her? Nope. Martin couldn't be near the stench of failure, lest it get on him.
Earlier this year, when Howrylak was campaigning during the primary, who did he bring along with him? Why none other that our own Santa impersonator and reindeer farmer, Kerry Bentivolio. But once Bentivolio lost his primary bid in record-breaking fashion, who did Martin Howrylak find himself liking? Why, our very own foreclosure vulture, Dave Trott!

These are not the actions of a man with principles. These are the actions of a political operator, angling his actions to keep that sweet, sweet taxpayer money coming his way. So when you start receiving Martin's mailers bragging about the job he's doing, do yourself a favor: Recycle them. And do the same to Martin this November. Because B.S. makes excellent compost.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Martin Howrylak Wants an Economic Disaster

It's really important to Martin Howrylak to appear like he's helping.
If you you look at his Facebook feed, you'll find it stocked with self-congratulatory photographs, like when he volunteered to put up cones at the Clawson Freedom Run. You'll find him bragging about the “work” he's putting into state education issues. You'll find him “co-sponsoring” useless proclamations, like HR 396, a resolution to “condemn Boko Haram for its violent attacks on civilian targets.”
All of it is about maintaining the illusion that Martin Howrylak is helping Troy. But if you were to strip away the veneer that Martin Howrylak presents, you'll find the heart of a radical, aching to destroy Michigan's economy and schools.
How do I know this? Easy. Martin is co-sponsoring the “taxpayer freedom act,” an economic experiment that would blow an $8.3 BILLION dollar hole in Michigan's economy. And we can know the effects of such a radical experiment by looking to a place where it's already been tried on the small scale.
You see, Kansas is the home of the Tea Party sugar daddies, the Koch Brothers. Through a massive pile of campaign contributions, the Koch Brothers were able to lock down the Kansas government. So when the Tea Party took control, theyturned the keys to the governor's office over to Koch Industries and converted the state into an amusement park for all the crazy Tea Party ideas. They promptly passed a massive tax cut, blowing an $800 million dollar hole in the state budget.
Did they know it was going to be a terrible idea? Yep.
With revenues dropping like Martin Howrylak's popularity, the Tea Party went even more radical.
Because the $700 million dollar surplus vanished, the Tea Party made massive cuts in funding for state education. Which, of course, led to increases in class sizes, laying off of teachers and staff, and the elimination of essential services. Not stopping at the public schools, there were enormous budget cuts for colleges and universities, libraries, and local health departments. The cuts to public education were so severe, Kansas parents sued the state to ensure their kids received a quality public education.
With the economic disaster that the Tea Party has wrought in Kansas, it's vital to remember that Martin Howrylak has proposed cuts to Michigan's budget 10 times as large as the cuts made in Kansas. Ten times the size of the cuts ensures ten times the size of the economic disaster.
Yep, Martin Howrylak needs to maintain the illusion that he's helping because he can't talk about the economic disaster he wants to bring about. Because if he were honest, you'd recognize what a threat Martin Howrylak is to your homes, your schools, and your family.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Martin Howrylak: Paid to Produce Gibberish!

When Martin Howrylak campaigns, he joyfully lists all the things he has stopped from happening. He sends out glossy mailers listing all the things he's fought against.
Did Martin Howrylak want a the pension plan for city workers? No! Did Martin want a city subsidized convention center in Troy? No! Did Martin Howrylak want Sanctuary Lake golf course? No!
So we know that Martin Howrylak is fully capable of saying no.
But that was then. This is now.
As you probably know, the Michigan Legislature failed miserably to back Governor Snyder's plan to fix Michigan roads.
But just what is Howrylak's position on Governor Snyder's plan? It is a “yes?” Is it a “no?”
Well, Martin Howrylak told us exactly what he thinks. On June 5th, Martin held a “town hall” meeting to address Michigan's crumbling roads. At this town hall he was asked, point blank, “Will you back Governor Snyder's proposed $1.3 billion new funding for Michigan roads?”
This was his answer:
I presume that one's for me. The, the, the challenge is “how,” because, uh, I need, I need, I need a package of bills that will be presented to me and, uh, the leaders in both chambers are not inclined to put a bill up on the, on the board, the voting board, that is going to fail. And so, the um, my desire, and I think I alluded to it earlier was to create that funding, uh, the revenue stream into the Michigan Transportation Fund to accommodate the needs of uh, transportation in the State of Michigan and I will add that there is also a need for other transportation alternatives in addition to roads but this is of course, uh, a roads town hall but, um, I think we need to come to the realization that there's a limitation on the ability, if you will, to cheaply move far out from a population center and commute in to a population center for work and that's the whole “can you have your cake and eat it too” thing so, um, inevitably if you're going to have transportation, roads, any sort of a cap on infrastructure, you need to have a mechanism in place to maintain it and, uh, as we build out and there's more to maintain and build so, uh, and then finally I will add that, um, I think the fuel tax, whether that's diesel or gasoline is the simplest way of, of, of getting critical mass when it comes to transportation funding, and so that earlier chart that we had put up that had the blue line and the red line shows that if they had back in the late 90s built in a mechanism to accommodate the increasing costs which would be labor and materials for the most part of maintaining roads we probably wouldn't be here today because it would be self correcting and so ideally and the governor, I will tell you, in many different areas, and I like to say it because of his accounting background, likes to set a, um, a self correcting mechanism, adjustments in whatever that rate is so you don't have to keep coming back to the legislature and people won't accuse you, it's politically unpopular to be advocating for adjustments which are perceived as tax increases but the truth is that labor costs go up, asphalt costs go up, other road material costs go up, so you need to find that right balance and I think realistically, it's going to be a piece of this and a piece of that will get us to that, to that level and there's a real desire especially after the, the long period of economic decline in the State of Michigan to prioritize in two areas, one roads and, uh, excuse me, I'm not trying to say “one or two” but two main areas are roads and education and to use expanding revenue from the economy that is on the rebound in to those two areas before we put it into other areas. That's unequivocally hearing, um, if you feel differently let me know and I'll make sure I try to accommodate your needs as well, but those are the two areas where there's a great desire to really focus on and we are seeing increased tax collections and fee collections as the economy rebounds and those, those collections are increasing at a much greater rate than the rate of inflation, not to belabor the point, yes I do want to see our roads taken care of.
Don't believe me? Go watch it for yourself.
Yes, folks, when asked a direct “yes” or “no” question about fixing Michigan roads, Martin Howrylak now produces gibberish worthy of a below average toddler.
But here's the really sad part. Michigan is currently under single party rule. Republicans control the house, the senate, and the Governor's office. And they don't have enough courage to address the single most important issue to Michigan's voters.
And now Martin Howrylak is on summer vacation, getting taxpayer money to tell you about all the wonderful things he's doing as your Representative. But remember, when you hear him talk, be careful not to step in the gibberish. Getting that stuff off your shoes can be tricky.