Friday, June 20, 2008

This is about the issues.

This election is about the issues. I do want to apologize to Gary Peters for any grief my letter caused to his campaign, even though the letters attacking me made statements that were lies about me and my relationship to Gary Peters and his campaign. Many of the letters were written by Republicans with ties to Joe Knollenberg's campaign and volunteers working on Knollenberg's campaign. One letter was written by an employee of the Michigan Republican Party. Suffice it to say, the response letters were a coordinated campaign, not random citizens.
In fact, one of Joe's letter writers/volunteers, is Caron McCracken, is Joe's top petition signature gatherer.

Another letter writer, Lauren Gervason, is the field director for Joe Knollenberg's campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.

(Public Company ; Political Organization industry)

June 2002 – November 2006 (4 years 6 months)

- Assisted with the 2002-2006 U.S. House of Representatives campaigns
- Organized Letters to the Editor, oversaw absentee ballots, planned and worked events
- Responsible for community outreach

Janelle Tischer, is the wife of Chip Tischer, current political director of the Oakland County Republican party. Chip used to work for the Knollenberg for Congress campaign.

Amy Drumm is a current employee of the Michigan Republican Party.

Teresa Stayer is a member of the GOP 9th District Committee .

Valerie Knol is the current mayor of Farmington, a "non-partisan" position.

Margaret Alberts, wife of attorney Dennis Alberts of Troy, has given large amounts of money and has spread it between the RNC, Joe Knollenberg, the Michigan Republican State Committee, the Bush-Cheney campaign and the Federal Action Committee and lists her occupation as attorney, homemaker and landlord, depending on the contribution you look at. In total, she has given over $13,000 to the various Republican causes and candidates.

The letter that started the flurry of responses was mainly about the issue of health care and Joe Knollenberg's hypocrisy of hosting a women's health conference while receiving a 0 ranking from the National Breast Cancer Coalition and a plethora of other health care advocacy groups. While I applaud Joe Knollenberg for hosting the conference and trying to emphasize the importance of women doing self examinations and having screening tests for breast cancer, he can better serve the interests of the women that attended his conference and all women by actually voting for legislation supporting the issue of women's health, not just talking about it. It might be a good idea for the people that are affiliated with Knollenberg's campaign to do their own research and find out why the National Breast Cancer Coalition gives Knollenberg a 0 rating.

Most of my posts on this blog about Joe Knollenberg have been about issues. They are issues I care about deeply, the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, the gutting of our civil liberties by the Bush administration.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Knollenberg Plan on Energy Seriously Flawed

Joe Knollenberg presenting an energy plan is like George W. Bush presenting a peace plan. Now that Joe Knollenberg is in a tough re-election fight, he's going all green on us. Since he's new to this game, he tries to sound like he has all the answers. Much like his recent women's health conference where he tried to make women think he was a friend of women's health issues, while being ranked with a 0 rating from the National Breast Cancer Coalition, Joe's record on energy issues is disappointing. I searched his web site, and couldn't even find the specifics of his energy plan. As always, the devil is in the details.

The first point of his energy plan is to drill in ANWR, which has been the holy grail of Republican energy policy for years.

It turns out drilling in ANWR solving our energy problems is a myth.

Unraveling myths about ANWR drilling: It just won't work

The first myth about ANWR is that we can solve today's oil problem by drilling there.

But the government says that, even under best-case scenarios, it would take 10 years to start production and the average net drop in price would be about 86 cents per barrel — 0.6 percent.

The second myth about ANWR is that drilling there would provide us with "energy independence."

But the government's most optimistic estimate is that peak ANWR production would be less than 1 percent of total world oil output — about 750,000 barrels per day in a country that consumes 19 million barrels per day.

In fact, the government admits that foreign-oil dependence would decrease only slightly, between the years 2022 and 2026, and would then return to pre-ANWR levels.

The fourth myth about ANWR is that we "know" there's an awful lot of oil just waiting to be pumped there.

But the government admits that "there is much uncertainty" about ANWR and "little direct knowledge" about the location of oil, how easily it can be recovered, the size of the fields and the quality of oil in them. What we "know" is little more than a guess, based upon some hypothetical, exploratory models.

The fifth myth about ANWR is that so-called "limited-footprint" technologies would minimize environmental harm.

But the government admits limited-footprint technology probably won't work and "full development of the 1002 area" would require infrastructure throughout the area.

And the government openly acknowledges the threat to what it calls "the most biologically productive part of the Arctic Refuge for wildlife," "the center of wildlife activity," and the only federal land that "protects, in an undisturbed condition, a complete spectrum of the arctic ecosystem in North America."

At the end of the day, ANWR simply doesn't live up to the mythology. It certainly doesn't seem worth the cost. So it seems the only real relief will come from the dreaded "nanny state" remedies — higher corporate average fuel efficiency standards, smaller cars, fuel conservation and slower driving speeds.

Under its own best-case scenario, the government admits that drilling in ANWR would produce a pitifully tiny effect on foreign-oil dependency — four short years of relief at most — and a trivial effect on gas prices.

And even then, it'd be 10 years before that Suburban and I felt a penny's worth of relief at the gas pump.

It's interesting too that Knollenberg voted NO in 2005 on increasing funding to Amtrak, which a logical person might think funding rail and mass transit would be a good way for our country to decrease dependence on foreign oil. In another flip-flop, only in the right direction in an election year, Joe voted yes for more Amtrak funding provided in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act.

Another part of his plan is to build more nuclear power plants. The problem is we still haven't figured out what to do with the radioactive waste from the plants we already have. The largest obstacle is lack of private investment. The liability is so high that no one on Wall St. will invest in plants. One catastrophe will eliminate the entire investment. Also, there is a shortage of uranium, so even if the plants are built, there may be no fuel for them by the time they're finally online.

On Joe's idea of allowing more refineries to be built, this is another Republican diversion. The fact is, the oil companies don't want to build new refineries. In fact, they haven't built a new refinery in 29 years. They always try to blame the environmentalists, which these days Joe might say he's gotten religion on the environment, but the fact is the oil companies are enjoying record profits partly due to the fact that there is limited refining capability. Only now that prices are at record levels are oil companies considering building new refineries.

In fact, there are internal oil comapny memos that show the oil companies have been purposely not building refineries so that they can keep oil prices high.

Knollenberg presents plan to fight high gas prices

by Greg Kowalski • Eccentric staff writer • June 17, 2008

Backed by a sign proclaiming the price of gas at $4.09 a gallon, Congressman Joe Knollenberg said, “These gas prices are totally unacceptable,” and unveiled his plan to bring them down.

Knollenberg presented “The Knollenberg Plan to Lower Gas Prices” Monday afternoon at the BP gas station at Maple and Crooks in Troy.

“Two things control what something costs,” Knollenbeg said. “Supply and demand.” Knollenberg’s plan addresses both. To increase supply he is proposing such steps as drilling in Anwar — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — in Alaska; demanding an increase in foreign output of oil; establishing a uniform national blend of gas; increasing domestic refining, investigating price gouging and halting putting any more oil in the national reserves.

On the demand side, he proposes investing in alternative fuels, hybrids and biodiesel; increased use of renewal fuels, use of nuclear power to generate electricity and the conservation of gas through better driving habits.

Launching the program with Knollenberg was U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, House Minority whip. The Republican from Missouri praised Knollenberg, saying, “He’s been voting for more supply and ways to assist the auto industry.”

“I’m not saying my plan is a silver bullet,” Knollenberg said. “It’s not, but it will turn the tide.”

Recently Knollenberg launched the “Big Three” Act, which encompasses a range of proposals to aid the auto industry and promote fuel efficiency. It includes advanced battery research and development, hydrogen fuel grants and establishment of a new group to set CAFE — Corporate Average Fuel Economy — standards.

Knollenberg is in a tough re-election bid in the 9th U.S. House District against challenger Democrat Gary Peters. Both men have been holding events across the district.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

John McBush and Joe Knollenberg, you can't have Alex

This is a really powerful ad that MoveOn just released. I think it says all that's necessary to say about John McCain and Joe Knollenberg's message to the American people. Since Joe has endorsed McCain and McCain has said when we get our troops out of Iraq is "not too important," maybe watching this ad will change their minds.

What was Joe Munem, Andy Dillon recall infiltrator doing at the Obama Event

It looks like Joe Munem, from the Andy Dillon recall and paid Republican operative was busy at the Obama rally in Detroit last night. I went to one of my favorite blogs, Michigan Liberal this morning and there was a post about me and the incident described in a prior post. With a little detective work, I was able to find out that the poster was actually Joe, or as he is known on Michigan Liberal, surferdudedetroit.

Apparently Joe likes to doctor photos, too. During the Dillon recall campaign he was caught altering photos after he infiltrated the group trying to stop the recall of Speaker Dillon.

What were Glenn Clark and his henchmen doing at the Obama Rally in Detroit

Look who we found while we were waiting in line for the Barack Obama Rally last night in Detroit. A few Republican operatives were there with their fearless leader, Glenn Clark. They were trying to get Democrats to sign an unofficial petition they had labeled, Democrats for Gas Tax Repeal. One of them even had a T-shirt on, Jack Bauer for President. You remember Jack Bauer, he's the main character in the TV show, 24, the guy that regularly uses torture to get the bad guys to talk.

It seems our Republican friends were a little camera shy. My friend and I chased them off up the ramp of the people mover station. It seems Glenn didn't want to be on camera. Justin Zatkoff was there too, but I couldn't get a picture of him.

I'm just betting they were going to try to use the signatures to send to John McCain's campaign, since Glenn is John McCain's paid staffer in the 9th District, to the tune of $10,000 per month. CLICK HERE
Tracy Lynn Dunigan

Peter Vitale

This is Jim Arapostahis

No Wonder Joe Doesn't Feel Our Pain

The Oakland Press reported today on the financial portfolios of our Congressional delegation in Michigan. It's no wonder Joe Knollenberg doesn't feel the pain of his constituents. $4 a gallon gas, no health care, those aren't really problems Joe Knollenberg can relate to at all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Now I Understand Why So Many Letters

No doubt you noticed the unusually large number of letters that have appeared in the Oakland Press and the Eccentric/Observer newspapers regarding my guest opinion on Joe Knollenberg's appearance at a recent women's health conference. This has been a full out smear campaign trying to connect me to the Democratic candidate.

Well, guess what, those weren't just your average citizens writing into the papers. Some of them were volunteers for Joe Knollenberg's campaign and one is even an employee of the Michigan Republican Party.

A couple months ago there was a strategy meeting that took place at a law firm and one of the discussion points was how to deal with, in their minds is me. They even had a representative from the Republican National Committee in attendance. This coordinated letter campaign looks like it was one of the strategies they decided to utilize when the time was right.

It looks like the Knollenberg campaign and the 9th District Republican officials can't wrap their brains around the fact that someone could possibly have the level of dedication to revealing Joe Knollenberg's record to voters in
Oakland County that I do.

They have on more than one occasion written that I'm a highly paid operative of or even being paid directly by George Soros, neither of which is true. They also seem to think that I’m on the payroll of their opponents’ campaign, which isn’t true either. But putting the words truth and Republicans in the same sentence is an oxymoron for the last 8 years, especially.

Another reason my guest opinion seems to have upset the Knollenberg folks so much is Joe wasn’t merely a speaker at the event, Joe and Sandie organized the event. They even have a special page on Joe’s web site with pictures of what they say are the 400 women that attended. I wonder how the women that attended the event would have reacted had they known that Joe Knollenberg received a 0 ranking from the National Coalition for Breast Cancer along with all those other health care advocacy groups. Probably not too well. But Joe’s just your typical hypocritical Republican, say one thing and do another.

2005-2006 & 2006-2007 Representative Knollenberg supported the interests of the National Breast Cancer Coalition 0 percent of the time.

2007 Alliance for Headache Disorders ranked Knollenberg as a 0

2007 American Academy of Family Physicians gave Knollenberg a 0 rating

2007 Children's Health Fund gave Knollenberg a 0 rating.

2006 American Public Health Association ranked Knollenberg with a 0 rating.

2005-2006 AIDS Action Council rated Knollenberg with a 0 rating.

2005-2006 American Academy of Emergency Mediine ranked Knollenberg - 50 percent.

2005-2006 American Nurses Association ranked Knollenberg with a 0 percent.

2005-2006 National Rural Health Association ranked Knollenberg with a 0 percent.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Political Currents Beginning to Shift in the 9th

From the June 12 Birmingham Eccentric

Political currents beginning to shift

June 12, 2008

The whole Birmingham area is approaching what may be an historic period. For the first time, a majority of Democratic contenders may gain more votes than Republicans.

We take no stand on whether this is a good or a bad turn of events. We will make individual endorsements closer to the election.

Rather, what is worth noting is that the political currents certainly seem to be shifting. Once a solidly Republican stronghold, the Birmingham area is trending more toward the Democrats, which is fueling some heated campaigning. Nowhere is that more evident than in the hotly contested race between incumbent Republican Joe Knollenberg and his Democratic challenger Gary Peters in the 9th U.S. House race. Elsewhere on this page you will see a host of letters attacking Peters and community activist Bruce Fealk, who has been a vocal and visible critic of Knollenberg.

It is clear the Knollenberg campaign is revving up the letter-writing constituency, which is an entirely legitimate campaign tactic.

For his part, Peters is running hard, seemingly everywhere around the district. He even had the plum job of introducing Barack Obama when he came to Troy last week. Knollenberg has been participating in a flurry of activities as well.

Knollenberg has a solid base of support that he has carefully nurtured over the years. And to his credit, he has been an attentive congressman, delivering much for the district.

But there may be bigger forces at work here: the dreary Iraq war and the staggering economy as well as the charismatic Obama.

If Knollenberg loses in November it will signal a change of historic proportions.

Finally Some Sanity in the Oakland Press Letters

I had no idea the firestorm that my guest opinion would start. The criticism has been totally off base and finally some balance is coming to the Letter to the Editor page. Here are two letters that emphasize the central point of the letter, Joe Knollenberg's hypocrisy on the issue of health care and the fact that he even had the nerve to show up a women's health forum, considering his multiple 0 rankings from health advocacy groups.

When Republican go on full smear alert, the results can be very interesting.