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2011 was a great year, even though I was not sitting as the Congressman from MI-08.  I had the privilege of continuing to run my campaign for 2012; we never really stopped running. Since the 2010 election, we have logged over 90,000 driving miles and been on a great adventure!

After waking up the day after the election, I found myself unsatisfied with the results of the election in which Mike Rogers did everything to avoid me and the people.  He would not answer the tough questions. I decided that I would answer the questions, since he wasn’t.  I have been campaigning like the campaign never ended.

I found myself in the middle of winter, 2010, traveling the district and stopping into small businesses and future constituents homes.  I sat, and I listened to their daily burdens and issues they had with their government.  The conclusion I came to was that our Congressman, Mike Rogers is way out of touch with his constituents, unless you are a 1%’er or a corporation.  

I found every small business owner that I have talked to pays a quite substantial amount of income tax associated with their business.  A large percentage of these business owners DO NOT get a tax refund when it is all said and done.  My question to Mike is; why do you want to continue the current tax structure we have?  Mike you know that the way the tax structure is set up, our small businesses pay the tax burden of the corporations, and you Sir want to continue this corporate welfare.  The people want to know; why do the small businesses pay taxes without a refund, while corporations like World News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch) and Amway (Dick Devos) pay nothing in corporate income tax and receive billion dollar tax refunds?  Why Mike, is this your common sense plan?  

2011 was filled with continued meetings, parades, and support for the working class.  
In February/March, we in Michigan were hit with a political nightmare called an Emergency Financial Manager Bill.  This bill would replace a public act that was already on the books; it took original P.A.312 and put it on steroids.  What this new EFM bill did was, say that an emergency Financial Manager could be appointed by the state and would have TOTAL control over the municipality or school district he/she was put in charge of. These EFM’s can; sell government owned property as they see fit, negate all union contracts and not adhere to collective bargaining, contract privatized service to replace current services, and the worst part of this bill allows the EFM to remove elected officials ability to govern.  Please look at the link below to see what the Mackinac Center got legislated.

During this period I was active in the trenches with labor organizations and Michigan residents, standing together in the cold Michigan winter, protesting these draconian measures.  EFMs are nothing but a way to social engineer a community, while attempting to break the back of labor and the working class people, by circumventing their right to vote.  These protests were necessary and I was honored to be a part of them.  Remember, there is nothing more important than standing up for what you believe in, not just giving lip service like so many politicians do.  

As the winter turned to spring, I found myself getting out more in the public and knocking doors again.  The response was and still is, overwhelming.  I am grateful for this privilege of traveling MI-08 and all of the wonderful people I have had the privilege to meet and soon serve in Washington.

The summer found us at picnics and parades.  I want to thank all of the clubs who had summer picnics.  It was great to meet with people of the same values and break bread in a great family environment.  Also, we were able to walk in three 4th of July parades and two Labor Day events.  The best part about the parades was; there was no heckling only positive comments were yelled at us, which is rare considering one parade was in Mike’s hometown.

The fall was productive as well.  Meetings and events have become part of the regular schedule, and I have yet to see Mr.Rogers or a staff member at any of these events.  Could it be he just does not care about the people of MI-08?  The major event of the fall has to be the Red Cross strike.  I had the honor of walking the picket line with Teamsters local 580 in Lansing.  I will not let labor fight the fight alone, and look forward to helping them again when needed.

I also had the privilege of helping the Occupy Movement in Lansing get their ground game started.  It was great to see the community come together, young and old, doing their part to save democracy.  The focus of social and economic justice is something that was in need of addressing, I am grateful to this group of young patriots for standing up and making the discussion take place.  I am proud to be part of the 99%.

As we came into December, I found myself in Washington D.C..  The time in D.C. was very productive for the campaign.  We have the BEST people in Progressive politics working for us there, they have become family.  The trip began with meetings and a meet and greet at Lake Research.  I was the guest of honor at this event, as was Sue Thorn who is running for Congress in WV-01.  It was great to meet Sue and the dignified guest from Labor and Progressive causes.  TeacherKen, I look forward to continuing our conversation.

Also, during this trip, I visited Mike’s office; twice. Both times Mike was UNAVAILABLE to talk with me, the constituent.  I was interested in talking to him about his “common sense” tax plan.  The same tax plan I received a mailer about, which had no concrete information on it about this plan, but the mailer was paid for at the tax payer expense.  It is good to see Mike is still campaigning on the tax payers dime.

As the year comes to an end, know that I am working diligently and will continue to work for you the people of MI-08 and this country.  I am thankful for all of you I have encountered; know you all make me a better person. Also, special thanks to Beth B. Laffy, George and Renee, Brainwrap, Joel, Phil, Joe and Kathy, Bus and Carol, JJ, my union Brothers and Sisters, and Mom; you are all family. I wish each and every one of you a Joyous Holiday Season and an outstanding 2012!

Please visit our website  We need you on our team in 2012!

I look forward to seeing you all in 2012, keep on keeping on!

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