Chasing presidential dreams

The presidential election will be taking center stage this November, and the battle for the oval office is being fought right here in Ottawa County.
Alex Doty
Oct 21, 2012

 

Ottawa County Republican Party Executive Director Faith Steketee said that her office is busier now than it has been in previous election cycles, and she thinks that voters are concerned about the direction in which the country is headed.

"I think there is a big difference between the two candidates," Steketee said.

The GOP group has also hosted those who are involved with the presidential election.

"We had Ann Romney in Ottawa County," Steketee said .

She said that with only 24 hours notice, more than 600 people showed up to support her appearance.

In addition to spreading the word about Mitt Romney, the GOP party also puts together a voter information booklet each election season to let voters of all parties know about the issues.

"I like to think we have a lot of well-educated voters here," she said.

There is also a contingency of people in Ottawa County who are supporting President Barack Obama.

Doug Zylstra of the Ottawa County Democrats said that the group recently conducted a voter registration drive.

“I think there’s a lot of focus on letting people know that we’re here for their candidate,” he said.

He noted that they’ve been spreading the word about all of the Democratic candidates, including Obama.

"I think we've been doing a very good job," Zylstra said. "A lot of it is making sure we get materials out to folks.”

Zylstra said that although Ottawa County is often considered a strongly Republican-leaning county, there has been plenty of support for Democratic candidates.

“In 2008, the president got (about) 40 percent of the vote in Ottawa County,” Zylstra said. “I think we will do more of the same, if not better.”

According to historic results from Ottawa County, in the 2008 election, just over 37 percent of voters voted for Obama, while about 61 percent voted for John McCain.

Zylstra also noted that U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has spent a lot of time in Ottawa County campaigning for herself and for the president.

“The senator has done a good job of campaigning here and making stops,” Zylstra said. “That’s something we may not have seen eight years ago.”
 

Comments

Lanivan

I am seeing a trend of many moderate Republicans, like myself, choosing to vote for Obama. They understand he stepped into the near financial/economic collapse of 2008/09 when he took office - the worst since the Great Depression. The Michigan auto industry was literally days from liquidation bankruptcy, the stock market was in the 600's, 401k's were down by 50%, companies were closing up and millions of people - many for the first time ever - found themselves jobless, homeless, without their job-provided health insurance. It took FDR 10 years to bring back the country after the last Great Depression. In just a few short years under Obama, there has been steady job growth 34 months in a row, unemployment is down under 8%, the auto industry has paid back it's loans (almost entirely) and has hired 250,000 new people, the stock market is trading at levels exceeding those in 2008, 401k's are back up, House values are starting to head back up and housing starts are up. We're not out of the woods yet - it took years to create the Great Recession of 2008, and it will take years to heal. Obama gave us ObamaCare - universal health care that every president since Teddy Roosevelt attempted but did not succeed. Now that the country has begun to stabilize, the federal deficits are heading downward. AND, Obama does not want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, like Romney does. President Reagan, back in the 1980's, made minor changes to Social Security that kept it solvent until 2037. Why tear something down entirely when a few changes would keep it solvent for many more years? I know how important Social Security and Medicare were to my parents - thanks to these programs, they lived a good quality of life in their golden years after a lifetime of hard work and frugal living. I can't think of a single reason to change direction now with Romney, when the country is - slowly but surely - moving forward.

Vladtheimp

Oh Lanivan, you moderate Republican scamp you. I approach this reply with mixed emotions, like seeing your Mother-In-Law drive over a cliff in your new BMW. On the one hand I want to thank you for your new found sense of humor - the laughter your comments produced was welcome after fighting with wet leaves for 2 hours this morning. On the other hand, I laughed so hard I snorted my coffee all over my keyboard. Still trying to figure out whether the humor was worth the price of a new keyboard. If Obama wins, I will highly recommend you as his new Minister of Propaganda for all your hard pulling - Baghdad Bob never toiled as diligently!

Tri-cities realist

If you truly are a moderate republican, why didn't you vote for John McCain? He is about as moderate as Republicans get. Or does the emperor have no clothes?

Lanivan

I'd also like to add that President Reagan cut taxes his first year in office (like Bush did early in his office). It nearly tripled the federal budget deficit, and federal debt increased to nearly $3 Trillion. Back then, that was about 3 times more than the first 80 years of the century. Reagan then raised taxes 11 times in 8 years. At one point, he raised taxes 4 times in 2 years. Reagan was a moderate Republican who knew it was just common sense to have a policy of both raising revenue and cutting spending across the board. The middle class has had 28 various tax cuts under Obama, and in order to get control of debt, he wants to let the temporary Bush tax cuts expire for the top wealthiest 2%. This makes sense when, since the average household income has risen by about 30% since 1980, but the very wealthiest have seen their incomes grow by 400%. The top 20% of earners now receive about 51% of the cash flowing into US households. Or put another way, the top wealthiest 400 people hold more wealth than 150 million Americans. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet - 2 of the wealthiest men in the country - say the super rich should pay more in taxes. Does it make any sense for Romney to propose even more tax cuts for the super rich? It would for his super rich friends who are pouring millions into his campaign fund (and for him as a super rich man from a rich family). And this is when the tax rate for the rich is the lowest in 8o years. We need to study what happened with President Reagan when he had big tax cuts in his first year of office - it took him the next 7 years to get the country back on track.

Tri-cities realist

If Bill Gates and Warren Buffet think they should pay more in taxes, then they should put their money where their mouth is and write a bigger check to the IRS. Talk is cheap. As for Reagan, revenue did increase after he cut taxes, the deficit was created by the Dems in Congress who did not keep their end of the deal by reducing spending. Also, one of the more interesting graphs shows the size of deficits along with who controlled Congress. And guess when the largest deficits occurred? That's right, when democrats ran Congress. But the president gets the blame or credit.

Lanivan

No - revenue began to increase after Reagan began the beginning of 11 tax increases. The Senate was Republican for 6 years in a row during the Reagan years.

Tri-cities realist

I guess I should have been more specific in saying that it was the tip o'neill led House (where all appropriations originate) that could not control its spending. Do you agree that our govt should be required to balance its budget?

Lanivan

The big difference is that Tip O'Neill and Reagan famously were friends, and reached compromises on a variety of issues. They worked together for the good of the people. They did not announce to the world their sole objective was to make Reagan a one-term president and chronically block and obstruct. They did not put their oath to Grover Norquist to never, ever raise taxes above their oath of office. They instead did what they were elected to do, the job they were getting paid for by the taxpayers = they cut spending and raised taxes, after the huge tax cut in Reagan's first year. They saw that lowering the tax rate from 70.1 ( yeah - the billionaire whiner victims used to pay taxes at a 70% tax rate, not the 14% Romney pays now - and during the greatest economic growth the country ever saw. so much for the argument high taxes=lower growth).. to 28.7 was causing a huge deficit amidst the recession of 1980-81. So Reagan raised taxes 11 times. He also saved Social Security with congressional compromise. I do not agree that the federal government should be held to a balanced budget amendment. There are too many things that can happen - say 911, or some natural calamity for instance -that would compromise and hinder government from meeting it's needs. The federal government is vastly different from the states, where a balanced budget is required. It is not business or a household. You and I might keep our personal budgets balanced., but I don't think the feds should be held to it through an amendment.

Wingmaster

WHAT?? Just let them keep spending the tax payers dime!!! Your more foolish then I thought if you think the feds should be left alone to spend OUR money without the constraints of a budget.Your facts on the Reagan years are just plain wrong as I explained in other post. Reagan did raise taxes 11 times but he was a net tax cutter and reduce the tax burden to 28% by the end of his administration. You always want to leave out those pesky little details when you post. Sorry, but think you should come back and vote Republican as you did two times for Reagan. Romney, like Reagan will work across the aisle to get things done. Obama choose to squander his good will with the American people and has done more to divide the people of the country along race, class, and gender lines than any President in our life times. Any president that would tell the opposition party they need to go to the back of the bus is not presidential material. He is arrogant in his approach and when called out he cannot answer charges only revert to divide and conquer. When Obama was elected, his Chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was quoted as saying never let a crisis go to waste. What type of dysfunctional personality wants to take advantage of crisis for political gain? Obama has surrounded himself with this type of person his whole life. Jeremiah Wright is another sad acquaintance. Plain sick. I'll take my chances with Romney, at least he has been vetted thoroughly.

Lanivan

Just being silly again, Wing, just for the sake of being silly.....keep on truckin' with the same old gruel of Fox News, Rush, Sean, Bill, etc. Just be careful of what you wish for....it just might come true. Perhaps you might come to realize you were lied to, used, manipulated, and fed a bunch of malarkey. Romney /Ryan - those slick Artful Dodgers - have been proven to lie, distort, morph from one position to another - from one year to the next, week to the next, day to the next - whatever it takes to get them to where they need to be to give their wealthy global investors the highest rate of return on their super pac money. You don't know what you are in for, my friend, if you actually believe these two give two hoots about you. "What type of dysfunctional personality want to take advantage of crisis for political gain".....hahahaha....you are too much, Wing!

Wingmaster

Funny you call it morphing, flip flopping, lying when Romney moves towards Obamas position on a subject. It was praised wildly when Bill Clinton did this during his terms. My isn't it funny how things changed. Ya know, I really hope President Romney is successful getting high returns for this country as he did for his investors. Doesn't that make sense? Oh, you did notice how Romney did not take advantage of the Libya situation in the debate to score political points much to my dismay. I'm sure you did notice how Obama looked small and impotent like a little kid almost next to Romney who carried himself with more gravitas... like a president should. Bet you'll like that word recycled this time around huh!

Lanivan

There's a big difference between having no core principles and etch-a-sketching depending on who you're talking to. ( Does this not bother you? What does he believe? ) and Clinton, who was never a far-left liberal - more centrist like Reagan and Obama. Public opinion seems to feel Obama "won" the debate last night and seemed strong and principled. I thought Romney morphed into a somewhat meek, mildly confused Mitt who agreed with Obama on most points, as opposed to the first debate when he was the aggressive, rude, bully boss-man. His handlers must have told him to lay low last night, knowing how weak he is on foreign policy. Libya?? You mean the tragedy at the consulate that the Republicans voted on a few months ago to cut funding for?

Wingmaster

Aw, there you go grasping for straws on Libya. Did the republicans tell the president to hit the talk show circuit and fundraisers while this was going on? Did the rebs tell Obama to cover up the events by blaming them on a video, FOR TWO WEEKS? Even if we take him at his word now, why did he allow that narrative to exist for two weeks? Talk about etch-a-sketch. Why is the middle east is in melt down, I thought the Arab spring was going to be so wonderful. Yup, the apology tour he took at the beginning of his term sure has been a successful piece of his stellar foreign policy. Oh, thats right, he killed Bin Laden and eliminated Al Qaeda. Meanwhile Iran marches forward with their nuke program, and China continues to play unfair in the world of trade. That's ok, at least IF Obama is re elected we can all look forward to the flexibility he will have to make deals with Putin in Russia. Obama is a disaster for this country. What ever good you feel he has done, the damage out weighs any positives. He is in the way of progress for the country and has no plan to move us forward, just empty rhetoric. A second term would put us firmly down the road to a more socialist model of government such as we see in the European countries.

Lanivan

Congratulations Wing! You have just repeated every lie and piece of propaganda the far right wing has been hammering. You have graduated into the world of far right oblivion where folks like you, with great enthusiasm, dive into a world that is absolutely against your best interests. Pathetic. It's just so much more fun to look at events as political American Idol than to get the facts. The very last thing this country needs is another war or to bully our way around the world. It seems you and the far right would like nothing better than to run this country into the ground fighting wars in Iran, Syria, Russia - whatever, doesn't matter - while the super rich, like Romney & friends get richer - and other nations go about the business of developing their own countries. You comments show a stunning lack of clarity, knowledge, or principle regarding the world or our place in it. You're being snookered, Wing - think long and hard about what you are saying.

Wingmaster

Knowing we are on the opposite sides of most issues, I feel very good about my positions. I am so glad I do not look at others more successful or richer then me as someone I should tear down. In fact I try to spend my time understanding their success an emulating it. Much more productive don't you think. I'm sorry you are so very bitter towards your fellow citizens. It is fine to disagree but you are over the edge. May I suggest less caffeine and refraining from too much Ed show. Good day!

Lanivan

I am all about success, achievement, being financially comfortable, hard work, the American Dream. You're just being silly when you imply I'm bitter about wealth and success, and clearly just spouting off. Please don't resort to such levels of inanity. My concern is strictly regarding the 400 individuals that hold more wealth than 150 million citizens. Or said another way, the 2% who have seen their wealth grow by 400% in the last 20 years, as opposed to the 30% growth of the middle class. It's the vast corporations who pay little to no taxes, who outsource overseas. It's the great and growing wealth inequality that means rule by oligarchy, not by the people. Romney is their puppet, and we're pawns in the power struggle they've been on since the 1920's.

Wingmaster

Two presidents from opposite sides of the aisle speak to a strong tenant of my believe. "Government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem"--Ronald Reagan...... "Every time that we try to lift a problem from our own shoulders, and shift that problem to the hands of the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of our people." --President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). If you are so very concerned over being a pawn in some be grand game, why are you so convinced that Obama is your guy. Obama care has given more governmently intrusion into your life. Government bailouts have companies on the hook to the government. Oh, I know you are going to go off on this being right wing stuff, but it IS government involvement where the private sector should be dealing with it. I could sight more examples but the constraints of time do allow for it.

Lanivan

As to ObamaCare: Health insurance has always been a for-profit, private industry. But health care costs have now gotten so high, and premiums have gotten so big, and insurance companies have so much control over health care, it is costing small business so much, that the average American is being squeezed and % of the deficit because of health care costs is sky-rocketing. ObamaCare is based on input from private industry, hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals. It is an attempt to curb costs, because private industry isn't. My private insurance under ObamaCare will not change at all. For me, what will change is that I will not be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. As to government intrusion, I don't have the same response to government as you do. For as much as I've traveled, lived, worked, raised a family, built a business, cared for my aging parents, got my kids through college, saved for retirement, I've never been angry or paranoid about government. Until the Great Bush Recession of 2008-09-10. As for the government investing in the middle class and Main St the last few years - you've heard of the adage "sometimes you've got to spend money to make money", right? Well this is the time for government to get the ball rolling again, to invest in the future so we stay competitive, to do some nation-building right here at home, instead of starting more wars and giving the super rich more tax cuts.

Wingmaster

When the government puts private insurance out of business and they are the only dance in town, your premiums will go up. When they have total control over the game and have the ability to decide who gets what, your going to wish you had more options! Free market is always better than what the government can do period. You want government involvement, how about litigation controls over frivolous law suits. Litigation guidelines in general! This is helping drive cost. We need more competition in the system, not less? We need to fix health care, not wholesale changes to the system and total control by the government as that is where this is heading.

Tri-cities realist

Lanivan, I agree it is sad that those in Washington can't be as civil as the Gipper and Tip (and you and I ;-)) But again, if spending were controlled, the deficits could have been avoided, especially after the economy rebounded. But we differ on how much we think the fed govt should spend, so I digress. So do higher taxes = Higher growth? If so, why is Obama touting all of the times he has reduced taxes? Does he oppose higher growth? I'm genuinely confused. And my question about balanced budgets did not include the word "amendment". It is unlikely that we could pass the Constitutional requirements to declare that the sky is blue (clouds, sunsets, etc.) And I can appreciate the need for TEMPORARY budget flexibility, in the wake of a disaster, Terrorist attack, etc. So would you support the passage of legislation (not amendment) which would require a balanced federal budget, that includes stipulation of 2/3 majority in the house and senate to override? Certainly 2/3 of Congress could agree to override it if a true emergency existed. Can I count you as a supporter of such legislation? After all we had balanced budgets in the 90's, why not now?

Lanivan

TCR - We agree about spending without sufficient revenue=deficits. This is why I was alarmed when Bush instituted tax cuts across the board and then started 2 wars(never included in the federal budget) and the Medicare drug program, all the while turning his back on the financial industry dysfunction. There have been a number of tax cuts on the Middle Class - when doing payroll, less taxes are taken out than in 2008. I think it's great to have a goal of as balanced budget as possible, but never during the aftermath of what this country went through in 2008-09-10. Trying to balance the budget under those circumstances just doesn't make good common sense. This is KEY - you Tea Party types like to portray that the federal $$ being spent the last few years is Obama being liberal, when, in fact, it was Obama being responsible.

Wingmaster

Why is it so hard for you to agree to make them live within a budget? We got to this mess because they cannot seem to live within there means. Its just plain counter intuitive to continue to spend what we cannot afford. CUT the spending, then we can talk about tax increases. The Dems have the Wimpy syndrome "I'll gladly raise your taxes for spending cuts later." It never happens and spending continues to balloon out of control just to get some votes.

Lanivan

Please provide info on what taxes Obama raised in the last 4 years. Then explain to me the difference between the Clinton years when the budget was balanced (with a budget surplus), the economy was booming and there were no wars, and it was fairly easy to balance spending cuts with tax increases when revenue was high. Please contrast this environment with the one Obama has had. Please go into detail.

Wingmaster

Leading is not easy, especially when you try to lead from behind like Obama has done. Let me get this straight, you are trying to make an arguement that when times are tough, its too hard to have a budget? THAT'S EXACTLY WHEN you need to have a tight budget and control spending! I have left the door open on tax increases but it MUST come with spending controls. A budget would control the "lets try this spending and see if it works approach". Lan, you cannot give a politician a blank check. THEY WILL SPEND IT AND MORE. Do you run your business without a budget?

Lanivan

Yes, I do, but even when sales are down, I have to invest in improving customer service or faster computers or updated equipment with the hope that this will bring in more revenue (sales). If I cut out everything during downturns, I'd go out of business, probably right around the time the economy is improving! Now is the time for government to invest in the country. Always in a balanced way, which is what Obama is proposing. Decrease spending across the board and increase revenue by letting the tax cuts expire on the top 2%. Now is not the time to cut the social and economic safety nets, tear down important social programs, increase defense spending by Trillions and rejecting new revenues by keeping the lowest tax rates in 80 years on the super rich, when their wealth has grown 400% in the last 20 years. Fixing the economy doesn't have to be so complicated like Romney/Ryan want it to be - talk about taking advantage of a crisis! Reagan understood - and look what he and a Democratic congress achieved through smart, cooperative governing.

Vladtheimp

Just saw this and although I hate to jump into a civil conversation, I wonder if you would clarify what 2 wars Bush started. When we are attacked by Moslem radical fundamentalists, is a military response considered "starting a war.? I understand there are issues about the Iraq war, and that reasonable people can disagree about that, but a military response to Afghanistan is hardly starting a war. Am I misunderstanding, and Afghanistan is not one of the two wars to which you refer?

Lanivan

When Bush attacked Afghanistan, it was marketed as a "war on terror". When our special forces cornered bin Laden in Tora Bora, but were given the order from up on high to back off, that's when everything changed. The "war on terror" became a spring board for starting the Iraq war. The neocons behind that move were Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and several others (see American Enterprise Institute letter of intent to invade Iraq, written and publicly submitted in 1998 and signed by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc). Clinton rejected the suggestion of invading Iraq when presented with the idea - Bush did not. And he assigned virtually every person who signed the letter in 1998 to power positions in his administration. Bush took the almost universal support of the American people after 911 and cashed it in to allow the neocons to realize their dreams. And we are still suffering for it. And Romney has as his foreign policy advisers many of these same guys......America - Wars R US.

Vladtheimp

"Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan."

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 8

Lanivan

You're starting to worry me. What am I to infer from this exactly? But on second thought, never mind. Just research 1998 AEI and get back to me.

Lanivan

Since laughter is the best medicine, I'm delighted anything I wrote resulted in a smile, however fleeting. Vlad, we go back a ways - you seem to imply my comments are invalid. Please correct me if anything I wrote was incorrect, not factual, or can't be proven easily. Now remember - let's keep objective if possible, not opinionated! Now I'm out to rake leaves...

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