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A conservative star rises in … Michigan?

A conservative star rises in … Michigan?

Until recently, I knew nothing about Patrick Colbeck.

I still know very little about him except for one thing … he is responsible for achieving the once unthinkable, a measure of freedom for workers in Michigan through the just-enacted right to work law.

As reported by Reuters, Insight: How Republicans engineered a blow to Michigan’s powerful unions:

As a trained aerospace engineer, Patrick Colbeck applied his penchant for data analysis and “systematic approach” to his new job in early 2011: a Michiganstate senator, recently elected and keen to create jobs in the faded industrial powerhouse….

From outside Michigan Republican circles, it appeared that the Republican drive to weaken unions came out of the blue – proposed, passed and signed in a mere six days.

But the transformation had been in the making since March 2011 when Colbeck and a fellow freshman, state Representative Mike Shirkey, first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan. Such was their zeal, they even went to union halls to make their pitch and were treated “respectfully,” Colbeck said.

The upstarts were flirting with the once unthinkable, limiting union rights in a state that is the home of the heavily unionized U.S. auto industry and the birthplace of the nation’s richest union, the United Auto Workers….

They built from the grassroots, bottom up, rather than from Snyder and top leaders in the legislature. If anything, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville was viewed as an obstacle because he represents a labor-friendly area.

Read the whole thing.

I don’t know enough about Colbeck to say he is the next big thing, but based on what he achieved and how he achieved it, he is someone to watch for future higher office.

He certainly will be watched and targeted by the unions, so we’ll be watching out for him as well as we serve our guard duty on the wall.


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As a result of the tea party uprising, an unprecedented number of State legislators and Governors swept into power.

Every major news organization talked about it. Never Mentioned Michigan.


Noted that Kasich, Walker, Daniels,, took the spotlight off Nerd– to his, ours , and my benefit.

I’d rather keep it that way.

Michigan is as red as red can be. Independant, self-supporting, individualists–less the I-75 corridor.

We finally have a State government that understands that their constituents do not exist merely to support/enable “Metro-Detroit”.

I’d rather we go about this quietly, without any national attention…..

….seeing how those that shine the “national spotlight” don’t exactly have most Michigander’s best interest in mind.

    Badger Pundit in reply to Browndog. | December 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I concur on this observation. I have a key interest in Wisconsin, and thus followed closely the substantial national coverage of the 2010 Republican sweep there, but I don’t recall any such coverage of Michigan. Puzzling, really, as economically Michigan is more important than Wisconsin. Then again, Wisconsin is a potential swing state in presidential politics, whereas Michigan isn’t (yet).

    Of course, there was substantial national coverage recently of the Democratic win in a critical Michigan Supreme Court race. Seems that any political developments in Michigan which make Democrats look good are covered nationally; otherwise, not so much.

legacyrepublican | December 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

So shines a good deed in a weary world!

Colbeck for President! Sounds like he’s got ideas, nerve and a public servant’s heart. More than I can say for anybody else in the current GOP “leadership”.

    Browndog in reply to raven. | December 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Cool it.

    Media matters, and their ilk data mine. Two weeks from now he’ll be more evil that Mitt Romney if you guys keep it up-

    We never learn…

Wow, he went into the lion’s den. Bravo!

… Colbeck and a fellow freshman, state Representative Mike Shirkey, first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan

For reasons much too obscure and convoluted to herein explain, I follow politics in Mr. Shirkey’s district somewhat closely on a regular basis and I was most pleased to read his excellent article in defense of Right To Work laws that was published in the local sheet that serves his district the other day.

For those who may want more insight into Shirkey’s politics and rationale:

    Browndog in reply to Samuel Keck. | December 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    He lost me when he cited polling to justify his position.

    You either believe in right or wrong, or you believe in who thinks you’re right or wrong to justify your position.

    Being a “republican” amidst a liberal environment does not make you right (correct), or virtuous.

    As the media would have it, it just makes you “controversial”.