Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

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. . . .

To be or not to be Governor

Stephen Tuttle - April 12th, 2010
To Be or Not to Be Governor
And they’re off. Sort of.
The state of Michigan is in deep economic doo-doo. Very deep.
Unemployment continues to hover around 15% and in some areas,
including Northern Michigan, it has reached 20% or more. The state
budget is $1.5 billion in the red and the legislature continues to
fiddle as the state slowly burns. Our public schools are at risk,
feverishly hacking away at budgets, increasing classroom size and
trying to find ways to chase off our most experienced and expensive
teachers. As a bonus, we’re also one of a handful of states leaking
population with accompanying consequences in federal funding and
representation in Washington, D.C. The Pew Research Center includes
Michigan on its list of the ten states in the worst economic shape.
Incumbent politicians would like us all to believe these nightmares
dropped out of the sky unexpectedly when the various economic bubbles
burst and the auto industry’s economic engine sputtered and died. The
truth is Michigan has been on a downward slide for well more than a
decade and our fearless leaders have done precious little to either
acknowledge that reality or do anything about it.
Into this environment comes the 2010 gubernatorial race. At some point
every politician with any name recognition beyond their own family
members has at least considered running. Many have decided they’d
rather do something more fun, like undergoing repeated root canals.
That list of “no thank you” decisions includes Lt. Governor John
Cherry, the putative favorite, leading in both the polls and
fundraising at the time of his departure. Mr. Cherry determined the
leaden albatross of Governor Jennifer Granholm super-glued around his
neck was too heavy a burden to bear.
As of this writing there are three announced Democrat candidates and
a whopping seven Republicans. That’s 10 folks eager to become captain
of the Titanic after it has already struck the ice berg.
On the more limited Democrat side we have Alma Wheeler Smith, a
veteran of the state legislature and a member of a prominent political
family who has yet to break out of single digits in the polls or
demonstrate the kind of fundraising capability she’ll need. Speaker of
the House Andy Dillon is a recent official entry and immediately
stepped to the head of the class. He has the contacts needed to raise
a bundle of cash and is leading in the early polls though his numbers
have recently declined. That may be because of the entrance of the
third announced candidate. Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing.
Bernero is by far the most interesting of the three Democrats, a man
once called the “angriest mayor in America” and, some think a ticking
time bomb awaiting the smallest spark required for a classic Bernero
explosion. In his announcement speech he warned us to “get out of the
way or get run over,” though he wasn’t clear as to exactly what might
flatten us. His early poll numbers have been on the upswing since his
The Republican side of the draw is like an old-fashioned land rush.
The thinking must be that since Governor Granholm has become
increasingly unpopular that all Democrats will be tainted and any and
every Republican has a chance to waltz into the governor’s seat. It
won’t be anywhere near that easy, of course, but hope springs eternal
within all politicians.
Congressman Peter Hoekstra is the current leader of the pack with
plenty of name recognition, decent fundraising and a lead in the early
polls. Also on the list of wannabes is Attorney General Mike Cox,
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and a slate of lesser lights.
One of those is venture capitalist Rick Snyder who has emerged as
Hoekstra’s chief challenger by way of a series of early, clever
television commercials touting him as “one tough nerd.”
Unfortunately, the spots also imply Snyder was a guiding force behind
Gateway Computers. In fact, Gateway was founded in 1985 and Snyder
didn’t come on board until 1991 and he was a chief executive for two
brief periods and was at the helm when Gateway was acquired by
Taiwan-based Acer in 2007. His role in “growing” Gateway is not that
clear despite his ads’ implications. Nevertheless, Snyder’s early
television buy has paid dividends and he has risen from a statistical
blip on the polling radar to a solid second behind Hoekstra and he’s
still rising.
One interesting aside in the Republican field was the departure of
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and her subsequent decision to run
for Lt. Governor as the running mate of Mike Bouchard. It is not the
normal course of things for a statewide office holder to decide to run
as second fiddle to a county sheriff but there you have it.
Waiting in the wings on the Republican side but still undecided is
rocker/hunter Ted Nugent who is apparently intent on taking a journey
to the center of his political mind.
This is an interesting and diverse group of folks who want to lead us.
One of the few things they have in common is their determination to
“grow jobs.” Listening to the field you’d think jobs grow like
asparagus. Despite their assurances that they will be excellent job
farmers none has offered much in the way of specifics as to how that
crop will flourish. But they certainly are spreading plenty of

Stephen Tuttle is a political consultant who formerly wrote for the
Arizona Republic.

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