OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: Without fail, every 10 years, reporters across the country have to re-learn how to spell the word “gerrymander” when the majority party re-draws district lines for various elected offices. It’s just the name of the game — the minority party will cry foul, claiming the district lines are rigged to the majority’s benefit. In the words of Vice President Joe Biden, “Big (expletive) deal.” And now that county Elephants have filed a lawsuit against county level Donkeys’ redrawn lines for the Board of Commissioners districts, they are looking to gather up more scratch for the legal effort, which is currently before the state Court of Appeals. Commissioner Shelley Taub (R-Orchard Lake), who chairs the GOP Caucus of the county board, requested GOP members to contribute funds for the legal effort after a presentation from Oakland County Republican Party Chairman Jim Thienel, and other Republicans quickly followed suit — no pun intended. In a scene Oakland Confidential imagines coming straight out of “Dead Poets Society,” Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Gingell (R-Lake Orion) stepped up to the plate — or atop a desk? — in Walt Whitman-esque fashion, as did Commissioners Jim Runestad (R-Waterford, White Lake), David Potts (R-Birmingham), Bill Dwyer (R-Farmington Hills), and Jeff Matis (R-Rochester). Republicans will put on several fund-raisers up through October to funnel some dough to the Oakland County Republican Party, which will then divert those funds to the lawsuit. At least one has been set tentatively for Oct. 20, said Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield). “They (the county’s GOP) are the ones that are actually paying the lawyer,” Scott said. “We will be raising the money. The whole event will come out of the (county party coffers) and all the proceeds will go to them.” Interesting. And where will the fund-raiser be held? “Those good Republicans that love to destroy cigars by smoking them, it will be a place where they can do that,” he said. To that we say, “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.” And hopefully they can also stand on desks wherever the fund-raisers are held.
2010 REPEAT IN STORE? The GOP is giddy like schoolgirls these days. At least, that’s what state Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield) said following the swanky Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference last weekend. “Two years ago (in 2009) when we had the conference, it was not upbeat at all. The attitude of the delegates and the attitudes of the elected (officials) are entirely different. There’s real excitement in the air that we see the possibilities to get back on track.” For those hiding under a Ba-rock the past few years, let’s do a quick recap: Republicans were shunned in 2006 and 2008. Democrats got shunned in 2010. Kowall, who announced his bid against U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled Lake, Wixom) for the U.S. House at the conference, said he had the chance to speak with some high-flying presidential hopefuls, particularly former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (with an “E,” not an “A,” as Stephen Colbert wants people to think). “It was just a real nice experience being able to talk to Romney and Perry and a lot of the other people that are running for a variety of different offices, getting their perspective as to how things are shaping up in Washington.” For his part, Kowall has been scoring some pretty high-profile meetings lately, including a back-to-back-night dinner confab in Birmingham with Oompa-Loompa-colored Speaker of the House John Boehner a few weeks ago. Even though Romney and Perry-With-An-E got to chew the fat with the first-term state senator, it’s the Stormin’ Mormon who has Kowall’s backing, and that of his wife, state Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-Highland, White Lake) for the GOP nod. Kowall says he and his family are long-time friends of the Romneys.