Jay Riemersma Stands Out At Lincoln Day Dinner

February 13, 2010

MCRP photo by Tim White

Photo by Tim White

Last night the Muskegon County Republican Party hosted the 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner, and in attendance were several of the key Republican candidates for the 2010 Elections. The event is a fundraiser for the Michigan GOP, and is held to honor the first Republican President,  Abraham Lincoln.

Pete Hoekstra, photo by Tim White

Guest Speaker, Congressman Pete Hoekstra (Photo by Tim White)

I attended the event as a guest of  Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Pete and his wife sat with us for dinner, and for the Congressional Candidate Panel that followed. I had the opportunity to speak with Pete, and I’m confident and hopeful that he will be our next Governor. I’ve been volunteering on Pete’s campaign for Governor since last summer.

Pete introduced the Republican Congressional Candidates there to speak that evening. Bill Cooper, Senator Wayne Kuipers, State Rep. Bill Huizenga, and Jay Riemersma. All four are hoping to replace Congressman Pete Hoekstra in Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District. Pete Hoekstra has held the seat for the better part of two decades, but is stepping out of that position to run for Governor.

The Panel of candidates fielded questions from the audience, and from the moderator, David Farhat. The questions included:

  1. What sets you apart from the other candidates?
  2. What should be done about the Asian Carp invasion of the Great Lakes?
  3. How do you feel about the Michigan Film Tax Incentive?
  4. How do you feel about the Michigan Business Tax?
Jay Riemersma, Bill Huizenga, Photo by Tim White

Jay Riemersma and Rep. Bill Huizenga (Photo by Tim White)

Jay Riemersma took the opportunity to remind everyone that both Kuipers and Huizenga had both been in office when the MBT was passed, and that BOTH gentlemen voted FOR the legislation. Riemersma went on to point out that, “The Michigan Business Tax has destroyed the entrepreneurial spirit in Michigan.” Huizenga, visibly flustered, attacked Jay’s lack of political experience, and protested that his record has been distorted. (Huizenga did indeed vote for the original draft of the  Bill, prior to the 22% surcharge being added.)

You can basically carve the four candidate options right in half at this point. Neither Riemersma nor Cooper have ever held public office. Both agree that sending more career politicians to Washington is not going to help fix the economy. Kuiper and Huizenga are both citing their experience in office as their strengths.

If the volume of the TEA Parties is any indication, it would seem the American people don’t really place a whole lot of weight on whether you’ve been in office or not. In fact, considering the shape the State of Michigan is in right now, it’s kind of like applying for a job at a cruise line and boasting that you were part of the navigation crew aboard the Titanic.

At the end of the night, the winner of the Straw Poll was announced. Jay Riemersma won the poll, indicating that when it comes time to put someone on the ballot, Jay has support in Muskegon County.

Jay Riemersma is a candidate that puts leadership and principle out front, and that’s what he’s counting on to get him elected. He cited the work of Pete Hoekstra over the years, and hopes to emulate what Pete has done, which is to stand up for the people, and be their voice in Washington. Jay demonstrated last night that he’s not afraid of a little confrontation, and if he sees something that’s out of bounds, he’s going to throw the flag.


2 Responses to “Jay Riemersma Stands Out At Lincoln Day Dinner”

  1. Accusing Jay of dishonesty is a blatant attempt by you to drum up support for Bill Huizenga, and is in fact dishonest in itself.

    Jay is correct in saying that Bill voted for the MBT. HE DID. To my knowledge, Jay has NEVER said that Bill voted for the surcharge. Wayne Kuipers did.

    Regarding the Hoekstra-Riemersma conversation, you’re proposing that we take your word, based on a second hand source, that Pete is supporting Bill Huizenga. I know Jon Dewitt. I just spoke with him in Manistee a couple nights ago, and I will be speaking with him again next week. I’ll be sure to ask him about what you’ve posted, and let him know that you’re attempting a round-a-bout, back alley Hoekstra endorsement of Bill.

    To date, Pete hasn’t endorsed anyone, and to my knowledge, he doesn’t intend to. I know Bill believes he is the “anointed one” and feels entitled to the endorsement, since he worked for Bill for some time. I would suggest you run on just that, and avoid the realm of so-and-so said…

    Even if Pete should decide to vote for Huizenga, that doesn’t mean that Pete didn’t encourage Jay to run for office. So, again, I find it odd that you are so bothered by dishonesty, yet you have no problems with spreading rumors and hearsay on my blog to promote your candidate.

    I can assure you that integrity is of paramount importance to me. I have consistently urged Jay to rise above the petty politics that campaigns like Huizenga’s are already engaging in. Bill has made a distinct effort to cast Jay as the “dumb jock” which is far from true. As an example, Bill showed a lack of class at the Muskegon LDD when he condescendingly offered to “speak in terms even a football player can understand.”

    In closing, your question of false implications have been answered. Jay was not being dishonest in either circumstance. Nice spin job, though.

  2. Drake Says:

    Tim, I was wondering if you knew that Huizenga didn’t vote for the surcharge on the MBT. Huizenga voted to do a dollar-for-dollar replacement of the SBT with the MBT. The SBT was set to expire shortly after the legislature voted on it. This bill passed, and then 8 months later the enormous surcharge came in, and Huizenga voted “no” on that. It often bothers me when Riemersma tries to imply that Huizenga voted for that tax increase. I know its politics, but dishonesty really bothers me. Furthermore, I thought that maybe this was an isolated incident, but then I saw Riemersma’s letter, which implied that Hoekstra recruited him to run for his seat. But I spoke with Pete Hoekstra’s district director, Jon Dewitt, about this issue, and he told me that Hoekstra is voting for and privately supporting Bill Huizenga. So all of this is very frustrating for me… Like i said, I know that politicians don’t have a great reputation for honesty, but the question I have is why does Jay Riemersma need to make all of these false implications. Thanks for your time. GOD Bless!

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