web analytics

Tag Archive | "Republican"

We need both insiders and outsiders in Congress 


By Lee H. Hamilton

Members of Congress get categorized in all sorts of ways. They’re liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; interested in domestic affairs or specialists in foreign policy.

There’s one important category, though, that I never hear discussed: whether a member wants to be an inside player or an outside player. Yet where members fall on the continuum helps to shape the institution of Congress.

Insiders focus on making the institution work. They give fewer speeches on the floor, issue fewer press releases, and spend less time considering how to play the public relations game or how to raise money. Instead, they put in long, tedious hours on developing legislation, attending hearings, listening to experts, exploring policy options, and working on building consensus. They’re the ones who do the necessary work of legislating.

Outsiders pass through the institution of Congress, but many of them are using Congress — and especially the House of Representatives — as a stepping-stone to another office: the Senate, a governorship, the presidency.

On Capitol Hill, these people behave very differently from insiders. They raise money aggressively, put a lot of effort into developing a public persona, and are consumed with public relations. They travel a lot. They churn out press releases and speak on the floor on every topic they can find something to deliver an opinion about. They miss votes more frequently than insiders, and often do not attend committee hearings. They’re often impatient with House and Senate traditions, and are impatient with the democratic process.

I want to be clear that I’m not judging which kind of member is more valuable. I may prefer to spend my time with insiders, but both are needed to make the system work. You have to have members reaching out to the broader public, talking about the big issues and engaging Americans in the issues of the day. And you need people on the inside who are dedicated to resolving those issues by attending to the legislation that will make this possible.

The truth is, Congress wouldn’t work if everyone were an outside player. The process is tedious, and outsiders have little patience for it. Yet if everyone were an insider, the country would be deprived of the dialogue, debate, and sheer spectacle that give Americans a sense of stake and participation in the policy-making process.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University; Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Posted in NewsComments Off on We need both insiders and outsiders in Congress 

Romney and Santorum split delegates in Michigan

Mitt Romney at rally at Byrne Electrical in Rockford Monday. Photo by B. Altena.

Sinking fund millage passes

By Judy Reed

UPDATE 3/2: A Michigan Republican Party Committee says they made an error in splitting the delegates between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, and instead are now awarding the two “at large” delegates to  Romney. Former Attorney General Mike Cox, who chairs the Credential Committee reportedly said they changed their mind and changed the rules, but Party Chair Saul Anuzis said they merely ratified a decision from earlier this month. The Santorum campaign is protesting the decision. See the letter from Republican Party Chair Anuzis at:



It was a neck-in-neck presidential primary race between Republican contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum Tuesday in Michigan, but in the end, the two ended up splitting Michigan’s 30 delegates.

Overall, Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, received 409,120 votes to win the popular vote. Rick Santorum, a former US Senator from Pennsylvania, received 377,144 votes. Both, however, each won 7 of the states 14 Congressional districts.

Romney made an appearance in Rockford at Byrne Electrical in Rockford Monday (see story on page 2), but Santorum still got the most votes in Kent County—30,782 to 29,238. Cities and townships in our area where Santorum carried the vote included the cities of Cedar Springs and Rockford, and the townships of Algoma, Courtland, Nelson, Oakfield, Solon, Sparta, and Spencer.

Also on the ballot was a sinking fund millage for repairs at Cedar Springs Public Schools. The issue passed by a narrow margin of only 40 votes—1,624 voted yes, and 1,584 voted no. Last spring a similar request was defeated by 55 votes. But in that election, only about 1,300 voters showed up.

“We are really excited about the turnout,” said Assistant Superintendent David Cairy. “It shows you that people were concerned about the issue.”

The proposal was for a levy not to exceed 1 mill ($1 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for 10 years to create a sinking fund for the renovation, remodeling or repair of school buildings and other purposes authorized by law. They told the Post one of their main priorities is fixing school campus roads and expanding parking at a couple of the buildings. They estimated they would raise $521,000 in the first year.

Cairy said they want to be thoughtful about where the money goes, and to spend appropriately. He noted that they would continue to rely on the community group that helped them prioritize their needs. “We want to listen to the folks that are giving us the funds,” he explained.

Superintendent Ron McDermed was gratified with the results and thanked all those who worked hard on the issue. “As a result of this vote, the Board of Education and our school community will be able to keep our dollars on the kids in the classroom,” he said in a press release. “As a community, we have invested millions in our facilities over the past few years. This levy will ensure that this investment is maintained.”


Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Romney and Santorum split delegates in Michigan

Byrne Electrical chosen for Romney grassroots rally

Hundreds hear message at local business

By Beth Altena


Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney chose a home-grown success story to promote his own promise of business and job growth. On Monday, February 27, on the eve of the presidential primary election, the Republican contender for the country’s highest office praised Norm Byrne and his vision of entrepreneurship during a grassroots rally at Byrne Electrical Specialists, 725 Byrne Industrial Drive, Rockford.

With national news cameras filming, Romney compared his own business experience with that of the local family, founded by Norm and Rosemary Byrne, and said he too is a person who understands what makes job growth happen. “Did Norm’s success make any of us less successful?” Romney asked a supportive crowd of hundreds. “No, his success has made others successful.”

Romney was introduced by Rockford State Representative Peter MacGregor, who also stressed his opinion of the importance of having a leader in Washington who understands the needs of small business.

Pat Lomonaco, spokes-person for the Byrne family, said it was certainly an honor to have a presidential frontrunner and governor visit the Byrne manufacturing and engineering facility. “It’s a true testament to their involvement at civic and community involvement. They do things quietly.”

Lomonaco said Romney’s choice of Byrne family facilities for the rally was “pretty impressive.” He said the family spent some time with Romney and guests prior to the rally and Romney really seemed to understand the business philosophy. During the rally both Romney and his wife talked about the Byrne family with enthusiasm.  “He and the Byrnes seem to have the same values, putting people to work and helping community,” Lomonaco said.

Byrne Electrical Special-ists was founded in 1970 in the basement of Norm and Rosemary’s home. The company has become a leader in their industry over the past 40 years, holds over 100 patents and currently employs over 250 people in Rockford. Dan Byrne, Managing Director, said the company remains a privately held, entrepreneur-based company with the philosophy of being a local partner providing global value to its customers.

“We are extremely humbled and honored to have Governor Mitt Romney visit our company as he works toward victory in the Michigan Presidential Primary,” Dan Byrne said. “The recognition is a true testament to Norman and Rosemary and their focus on finding ways to continue to improve the West Michigan community and living its values in our everyday lives.”


Posted in NewsComments Off on Byrne Electrical chosen for Romney grassroots rally



Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!