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Republicans ‘energized’ at Lincoln Day Dinner

Published 8:55am Monday, March 15, 2010

Sharon Tyler, R-Niles, addresses attendants of the Berrien County Republican Party during this year's annual Lincoln Day Dinner held Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in Niles. (Daily Star Photo/JESSICA SIEFF)
Sharon Tyler, R-Niles, addresses attendants of the Berrien County Republican Party during this year's annual Lincoln Day Dinner held Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in Niles. (Daily Star Photo/JESSICA SIEFF)

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

It was a full house at the Elks Lodge in Niles Saturday night as the Berrien County Republican Party gathered for the annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Inside, guests including local faces such as Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell and treasurer Jim Ringer, state Rep. Sharon Tyler, Sheriff Paul Bailey, state Rep. John Proos and state Sen. Ron Jelinek, were quite energetic, something many said was just an example of the party’s mood overall.

“I think it’s very upbeat,” said Mike Bell, chairman of this year’s event. “Now, I think people are invigorated again. I think a lot of people think this could be our shot.”

More than 160 people were expected to attend Saturday night’s dinner, which quickly filled up.

The economy, education and jobs were all part of the focus for many of the party’s candidates.

Candidates like Al Pscholka, who was off duty Saturday night from his day job working for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and on duty as a candidate for State Rep. of Michigan’s 79th district.

Pscholka said he felt aided by his experience serving on the Lincoln Township board of trustees for eight years and the Cornerstone Economic Alliance Group for nine as well as the experience being a former owner of a small business.

“We’ve got to get some jobs for young people,” Pscholka said, adding that seeing his daughter graduate from college only to be unable to find a job in Michigan “is really what’s driving me. They don’t think their priorities are being taken care of.”

Asked his opinion on what issues might be concerning Michigan voters most, Pscholka said, “I think they are frustrated because they don’t see people solving problems and that is a big reason why I’m running.”

And those running seem to be doing so on a momentum that’s only building.

“I think the mood is excellent, there’s a lot of energy,” said Terry Lynn Land, secretary of state and candidate for lieutenant governor.

In addition to more candidates running for open vacancies “than ever before,” she said “there’s just really that enthusiasm. It’s also about really getting engaged in government.”
For the party and for the state, Land said the first step is “to fix Lansing and get Michigan back to work.”

Reducing the tax burden on residents is also something Land said has to happen for the state to turn toward a new direction.

“We have to lower the taxes for everyone,” she said.

Education is another issue weighing heavily on the minds of voters.

Michigan was recently disappointed when the U.S. Department of Education passed over its application for “Race to the Top” federal funds in the first round of disbursements.

Sharon Tyler, state representative for the district and Niles native who sits on the education committee, said Michigan didn’t meet requirements following additional cuts made to K-12 programs following the House and Senate’s budget finalization.

“It’s going to be a tough year,” Tyler said.

The state still has a chance at funds in the second round, she said, but in Lansing the issue may come down to communication.

“The House and the Senate should have been working on it together,” Tyler said. “We need to be working on this together immediately. There just needs to be better communication … and the student comes first.”

Jelinek received special recognition Saturday night for attending his last Lincoln Day Dinner as state senator, no longer able to hold his seat due to term limits. Proos announced his bid for the seat last month.

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  • accommodator

    It is sad to see journalists embracing Republicans Terri Lynn Land and Mike Cox after all their corruption and malfeasance in office. As our economy has clearly shown, NOBODY wants to live or vacation or have their business destroyed by a police state like Michigan. My experience with these wretched Republicans is firsthand following an outright abusive traffic stop in Alpena County October 2008 by Michigan State Police where the police REFUSED to give me the Breatlhalyzer, but violated my human rights in having 8 people hold me down and take my blood (only to find blood alcohol below the science based limit for safe driving). Despite no accident or evidence of wrongdoing, my license was confiscated on the spot by thge dirty cop (roadside “justice” promoted by Cox and Land). Land rushed a sham videoconference within 30 days where the cop AGAIN lied (evidence of fraudulent police report and falsified court Affidavitt ignored by Land) AND withheld the police car video in violation of Freedom of Information Act laws. (no judge or jury are present at Land’s tribunals & Land STILL fails to provide a copy of video proceedings and willfully violates most Freedom of Information Act requests). State Police later released a tampered version of police car video (audio track deleted and video cropped to remove evidence of police abuses) AFTER SOS Land’s sham hearing. To this day, Land STILL REFUSES to review police car video and amend her cancellation of my drivers license. Thanks to Land’s coverup of State Police corruption, this is my 2nd winter without a drivers license. Land has assessed me $4000 in “drivers responsibility fees” from the incident. I am NOT free to drive to work, travel to service our International customers, or leave Michigan (our family business will be MOVING OUT, ASAP). Land and Cox must be STOPPED from further destroying Michoigan’s economy and quality of life. Thank God for term limits.

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