With just 62 days left before the August 3rd Michigan Primary elections, the 2nd District Congressional race is heating up.

Jay Riemersma is making an impressive showing, and recent polling indicates Riemersma is leading in most of the district’s 11 counties.

Jay aired the first television ad of the race a few weeks ago. The ad was well produced, catchy, and smart. In the ad, Jay reiterates his strong commitment to Conservative values, highlighting  his pro-life and pro-guns stance. You can see the video below:

Jay has also launched his “10,000 Doors in 2010” campaign. Riemersma plans to go door to door over the coming weeks, and spread his message to the people of the 2nd District. To date, Riemersma and his many volunteers have knocked on over 3,000 doors. Jay is averaging about 250 doors per day, and more on his “Super Saturdays.”

Jay Riemersma for Congress 2010

You can follow Jay's progress at http://www.votejr.com

I haven’t seen any other candidate in this race work so hard. If this kind of work ethic is indicative of how Jay will perform in Washington, then West Michigan will be well represented. It’s this kind of nose-to-the-grindstone spirit we need in Washington.

Riemersma’s success isn’t going unnoticed, either. Bill Huizenga is certainly feeling the pressure Jay has brought to the race, and the Huizenga Campaign’s low fundraising totals would seem to indicate that the Michigan legislator is losing ground to the former NFL football player. Other candidates, including Bill Cooper of Muskegon, have claimed that Jay’s career as a professional athlete does not qualify him to represent West Michigan in Congress.

Isn’t it odd, though, that they always fail to mention that Riemersma is a graduate of the University of Michigan? Last time I checked, that Big Ten school didn’t award degrees in football. Jay holds a BA in Communications from U of M, and communicating with the people of West Michigan is something he seems to be doing quite well.

And at the end of the day, that’s what a Congressman really needs to be. A communicator. It doesn’t do much good to have the greatest idea in the world if you can’t communicate that idea, make others understand it, and rally support behind the idea. Bill Cooper may be great at creating jobs, but can he convince other Congressmen to join up with him, garner support, and push that idea into law? Maybe, maybe not.

Jay Riemersma can. Jay has proven over the last several months that he is willing to do the hard work required to win. He’s proven throughout his professional career that he has the guts, discipline, and intestinal fortitude to see that the job gets done.

As a Marine, I know a bit about discipline, hard work, and perseverance. I see these qualities in Jay Riemersma, and that’s why I want him as our next Congressman, representing West Michigan in Washington.

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To lead effectively, a leader must have the trust of those who follow. Without trust, relationships will have no foundation, and efforts to achieve goals will be in vain. Trust is difficult to earn, yet is easily lost.

Washington has lost the trust of the people to whom they are beholden. Recent polls reflect this loss of trust, with a 75% disapproval rating of Congress. Three in every four Americans feel that their elected officials are not serving their interests. How did we get to such a state?

I believe that there is a disconnect between those in office, and the will of the people. In spite of the advances we have made in communication and technology, many members of Congress still seem to be out  of touch with the average American and their needs.

Another factor causing this breakdown in trust is a lack of transparency. So many meetings and a great part of the decision making process go on behind closed doors, outside of the view of the American people. Why the subterfuge? Why aren’t all debates held openly, if they have nothing to hide?

Most importantly, there is a lack of personal integrity and honor. Many elected officials have lost their sense of personal accountability. Rather than take responsibility for their failings, they attempt to shift blame onto others. This part of the “political game” needs to be removed like the cancer it is. Politics is not a game. It should not be treated as such. The arrogance being portrayed in Washington must be reined in. Representatives should worry less about promoting their own agendas, and advancing their careers, and worry more about serving the needs of the people.

Integrity is something missing in Washington today. In recent times, we have seen elected officials bend and twist the spirit of the law to achieve their desired end state. Though they acknowledge the dubious manner in which they proceed, they attempt to justify their positions by claiming that past Congresses have done the same thing, and feel that somehow this makes it acceptable. It does not.

Sadly, the spirit of common decency has all but fled the halls of Congress. What was once a league of distinguished gentleman has become tarnished with the shifting of blame and accusations against the character of fellow representatives. Bipartisan debate and good spirited cooperation are no longer the first means of resolving a difference of opinion.

If a leader is to build trust, he must hold himself to the highest of standards. The leader must lead by example, and oftentimes put aside his personal welfare for the goals of the people whom he leads. At times, the will of the people may not be his own. The leader must recognize his role as a servant to the people, and be prepared to represent the will of the people.

A leader needs to be honest and open with his constituency, in good times and bad. When a leader attempts to deceive the people, trust is undermined, and is nigh onto impossible to regain. If there is a cost to be paid to achieve some good, a leader should make those costs plain, and seek the counsel of his constituency. Regular contact and communication with the people of the district is vital, and must be maintained.

When trust is established, morale is enhanced, and motivation soon follows. History has shown that even in the darkest of times, a well motivated force, with high morale, can overcome great obstacles, and achieve victory. America can achieve the greatness we once had, but to begin, trust must be restored.

The clock is ticking. The 72 hour countdown to the vote on the healthcare bill has begun, with zero hour being 2pm EST on Sunday.

Democrats are rounding up as much support for the bill as they can, with President Obama attempting to convince Democratic Congressional Representatives that their political future lies in the passing of the bill.

The Washington Post has released a great chart that shows how Congress voted on the original bill in November, and where they stand now. Being a Michigan resident, I’m focusing on Michigan.

The chart shows all fifteen Representatives from the State of Michigan. The first column indicates where the Rep stands as of today. The second column shows how they voted on November 7th.

The votes are split by party. All seven Republicans are against the bill, and seven of the eight Democrats are for the bill.

There is one Democrat from Michigan who remains undecided on the issue. That would be Bart Stupak of District 1, from the Upper Peninsula. Stupak is a staunch Pro-Life advocate, and has stated that he will not vote for the bill unless his amendment to prohibit federal funding of abortion is included in the bill. The Stupak Amendment is not being viewed favorably by many Pro-Choice Democrats, and could be the weak link in this bill’s potential passage.

One thing that strikes me as odd is that no candidate, with the exception of Stupak, has changed their stance on this bill since it has been redrafted. The original Senate Bill is 2409 pages. The new Amendment, dated March 18, 2010, is an additional 153 pages. There are other documents as well to be considered, including the Reconciliation Act prepared by the Congressional Committe on the Budget, another 445 pages.

Nothing in any of this caused anyone to change their minds??? Well, if they haven’t read it, I guess it wouldn’t.

Fear not, however. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has graciously arranged for the public to have 72 hours to digest this 3000+ page nightmare.

Oh, and if you thought all this reform was strictly about Healthcare, think again.

There are several sections relating to education reform as well. To be honest, the Amendment is so convoluted and filled with “strike subparagraph x of section xxx and insert blah blah blah”  that my head is currently throbbing just trying to read it.

On initial review, I gleaned that the Amendment is pumping more money into grants for students, schools, and teachers. There are several revisions to the Pell Grant. The Amendment also includes changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Now I’m not saying Education Reform is a bad thing, and it certainly could use some reform, but does it need to be dealt with in a healthcare bill???

In the Marine Corps, we have an expression that I will attempt to clean up for those of a more “genteel” nature. It involves cramming 10 pounds of “waste product” into a 2 pound sack. The analogy seems fitting for this bill as well.

Healthcare reform is needed. But not just any reform. We need clear, concise, well thought out reform. Most importantly, it needs to be reform that we can AFFORD as a nation. The current bill is a runaway train of Progressive ideology, and it needs to be stopped.

Call your Representatives today, and urge them to vote no this weekend. Pray that this will even come up for a vote.

Last night I attended another Lincoln Day Dinner. This time our host was the Mason County Republican Party, and I attended as a guest of Pete Hoekstra’s Campaign.

Last night, the main speakers were the Congressional Candidates for Michigan’s 2nd District. Six candidates were in attendance, and took their turns giving their backgrounds and their beliefs. This is a great place to start looking for contrast among the candidates.

Two of the candidates are existing politicians from the Michigan State Government. Sen Wayne Kuipers and Rep Bill Huizenga have both represented their districts in Lansing, and have experience in the political world. I haven’t personally agreed with some of the decisions they have made while in office, but they do undoubtedly have the experience. Unfortunately for them, there is a wide current of public sentiment that is not happy with the current state of affairs, and political experience may do them more harm than good.

Next were two new candidates that I hadn’t seen prior to last night. One was a self-professed “Tea-Party Republican” from Honor, Michigan who was plainly uncomfortable speaking in public, and did little to instill any excitement in me.

The other was actually so far left in his views that I honestly can’t remember his name. His stance is one of “open-mindedness,” and he believes that we should look to foreign publications and opinions for guidance on forming our policies here in the U.S. To that I give an emphatic “HELL NO”. He, too, was low on the motivational scale.

Then there’s Bill Cooper, the successful business entrepreneur from Fruitport. Bill is undoubtedly business savvy, and I would not hesitate to hire him to run a business for me. Beyond that, Bill has had little to nothing to say on any other issues. Personally, I’m looking for a leader with a wider range of capabilities. Bill would be a great business advisor to someone in office, but I’m just not convinced where he stands on the other issues.

Finally, there’s Jay Riemersma, former NFL Player and Chair of the Family Readiness Council. Jay exudes energy and confidence. Confidence, as opposed to arrogance. Jay has true leadership qualities: the ability to consider both sides of an argument, the moral strength to stick to his principles and beliefs, and the humility to know that he is a position of service, beholden to the people. He is the only candidate as of yet to state that the reason he is running is to “Give back to the community.”

It’s Jay’s personal beliefs, principles similar to my own, that make him stand out among the crowd in my eyes. He doesn’t dance around issues. He can tackle challenges head on, and he’s not afraid of a little friction. He believes in true fiscal conservatism, and he knows that more government is not the answer to America’s troubles. Jay believes we need a strong military, and that we need to provide our troops with the support they need.

One of the Marine Corps’ (pronounced “core”, NOT “corpse” thank you very much!) key Leadership Principles is “Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement.” Jay spends a lot of time staying abreast of current events and issues. On the rare occassions I have caught him on a subject he didn’t know about, he acknowledged it and sought to learn more about the subject. This kind of humility is uncommon, and a trait essential to true leaders.

While some candidates have attempted to portray Jay as the “Dumb Jock”, the truth of the matter is that Jay has a degree from the University of Michigan, is articulate, and very capable of communicating with others.

It’s pretty obvious that I support and have publicly endorsed Jay. My intent here is to give you an idea WHY. Many of the other candidates are respectable men, and in theory are capable of filling the position. When it comes time to cast my ballot on August 3rd, however, I can only choose one, and I want the BEST choice to win. THAT’S why I choose Jay Riemersma for Congress. Jay has the strength and fortitude to lead in Washington, and we need strength and leadership now more than ever.

To find out more about Jay Riemersma, visit his website www.votejr.com.

You can also contact me for more information. I’m looking for others to help spread the word about Jay, and I could use your help. You can find my contact info at my website www.timwhitehomes.com. Comments here are great way to reach me, as well.

In the spirit of March Madness, I have prepared my own Final Four, as it pertains to our political choices this August. Remember, the election this year is one of the most important elections of our lives. Get out and vote!

Michigan State Representative – 100th District

Jon Bumstead for 100th District Michigan State Representative

Tim's Pick: Jon Bumstead

Currently held by:  Goeff Hansen (R)

District Covers: Oceana, Lake, and Newaygo Counties

Who’s Running:

  • Jon Bumstead (R) – Newaygo
  • Jane Drake (R) – Fremont
  • Marc Libants (R) – Newaygo
  • Scott Tillman (R) – Fremont

Michigan State Senate – 34th District

Tim White supports Goeff Hansen

Tim's Pick: Goeff Hansen

Currently held by:  Gerald Van Woerkom (R)

District Covers: Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Newaygo Counties

Who’s Running:

  • Goeff Hansen (R) – Hart
  • David Farhat (R) – Muskegon
  • Mary Valentine (D) – Muskegon

U.S. Congress – 2nd District of Michigan

Tim White picks Jay Riemersma

Tim's Pick: Jay Riemersma

Currently held by: Peter Hoekstra (R)

District Covers: Consists of the counties of Benzie, Manistee, Wexford, Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, and the northern portion of Allegan County and the northwest portion of Kent County.

Who’s Running:

  • Jay Riemersma – (R) – Holland
  • Bill Cooper – (R) – Muskegon
  • Wayne Kuipers – (R) – Holland
  • Bill Huizenga – (R) – Holland
  • Fred Johnson – (D) – Holland

Governor of Michigan

Hoekstra for Governor

Tim's Pick: Pete Hoekstra

Currently held by: Jennifer Granholm (D)

Who’s running:

  • Peter Hoekstra – (R) – (US Congress)
  • Mike Cox – (R) – (Michigan Attorney General)
  • Mike Bouchard – (R) – (Oakland County Sheriff)
  • Tom George – (R) – (Michigan State Senator)
  • Rick Snyder – (R) – (Venture Capitalist)
  • Alma Smith – (D) – (US Representative)
  • Andy Dillon – (D) – (State House Speaker)
  • Virg Bernero – (D) – (Lansing Mayor)
  • George Perles – (D) – (MSU Trustee)

The list of candidates is still changing as we lead up to the primary on August 3rd. For an unofficial list of candidates visit http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/candlist/10PRI/10PRI_CL.HTM

To learn more about my picks, subscribe to my blog! You can also visit their respective websites by clicking on their highlighted names.

Congressional Candidate Jay Riemersma will be in Hart, MI visiting with Oceana County residents tonight from 5pm-7pm.

It’s an informal event, and all are welcome to attend. This is a free event, and families are welcome. Jay will be on hand to answer questions, and wants to meet and hear from as many Oceana County residents as he can. This is  a great opportunity to get to know the man that we want to see representing Michigan in Washington. Refreshments will be served starting at 5pm.

Jay Riemersma is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat for Michigan. The 2nd District includes 11 counties in West Michigan, from Holland to Benzie. Oceana, Mason, Muskegon, Manistee, and Lake Counties are all a part of the district, and I hope to get people motivated to get out and vote this year.

The seat has been held by Congressman Pete Hoekstra for the last eighteen years. Pete is currently running for Governor of Michigan (GO PETE!). We need to make sure that we replace Pete with someone of similar Conservative values, and Jay is the guy for the job.

I will be hosting the event at the Starting Block, the local small business incubator that I have blogged about before. The Starting Block is a great venue for Jay, as Jay plans to address the challenges that small businesses face today. Jay is all about getting government out of the way of business, and the Starting Block is all about helping small businesses get started. When small businesses can flourish again, our economy in West Michigan will heal.

So please, come on out and see us tonight, be it for ten minutes or two hours.

Tim White hosts Jay Riemersma Meet & Greet

The Starting Block is located just off of Polk Road in Hart, about a mile east of US31. Take the Polk Road exit off of US31, head east toward downtown Hart, and just look for the signs! If you see the Oceana County Fairgrounds, you went too far.

www.JayRiemersma.com

Register to Vote! AND DO IT!

February 22, 2010

OK, let’s take the blogging I’ve been doing to the next level. A good friend recently pointed out to me that if I’m going to encourage you to register to vote, I should make it easier for you to do so. Thanks to her advice, and the links she so kindly gathered for us, here we go!

First, to register you need to be turning 18 years old by election day to be eligible. Second, you have to know which voting district you live in. You can usually get this from your tax bill, if you don’t already know which district you live in. If you’re still not sure, call me with your address and I will find out for you!

Tim White makes Voter Registration Easy

So now you’re ready to register. Where do you go? Simple answer: NOWHERE! You can mail your registration application in and be registered without leaving your home. Too easy, right?

I’ll make it even easier. Here’s the link to get your Voter Registration Application:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MIVoterRegistration_97046_7.pdf

You can mail this application in. The addresses are on the application found at the link above.

Next, find out who’s running in this election. I’ve covered my picks, but you can also see who else is running here:

http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/election/candlist/10PRI/10PRI_CL.HTM

That link will take you to the Michigan Secretary of State’s website. It has an unofficial list of who’s running, in what District, for what seat. Knowledge is power. Use it!

If you really want to step up and get involved, how about working at the polls this year?

“How?” you ask? Well, here’s the link to how:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1633_11619_38093-123989–,00.html#40

Failing all of this, if you really want to register to vote, and just can’t figure this high-falooting technology out, call me or email me. I’ll get you what you need. By working together, and exercising our Constitutional rights to be represented in government, we can change the course of events, and put Michigan back on the track to success.

Semper Fi.