Camp, Calley, highlight annual Republican Lincoln Day event


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 9:09 am on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, delivers a speech Saturday during the Montcalm County Republicans Lincoln Day event at Shenefield’s Event Center in Greenville.

GREENVILLE — As U.S. Navy veteran Rosemary Posekany carried the American Flag, joined by U.S. Army veteran John Johansen, who carried the state flag of Michigan, during the presentation of colors for the annual Montcalm County Republicans Lincoln Day event, a crowd of spectators stood with many saluting or placing their right hand over their heart.

It was a fitting tribute to a fundraising event themed around the American flag, the military and veterans for their service to the country.

As everyone took their seats in the grand hall of the Shenefield’s Event Center in Greenville, Mistress of Ceremonies and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, introduced the first of two guests to speak during the annual Montcalm County Republicans Lincoln Day event.

“We are honored to have here today, our friend, and our personal warrior in Washington D.C., Dave Camp,” Emmons said. “We are very grateful that he is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for our country. He’s a rock star now, and he is making us very proud.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley speaks to the crowd Saturday.

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, took the stage thanking everyone in the crowd for their continued support, not only of the Republican party, but for him and his recent battle with cancer.

“We wouldn’t have had the successes we’ve had in Michigan in the last election without you,” he said. “It’s because of all of you who are here and have done what needs to be done to make sure at the local and state levels, we are electing the right people.”

Camp focused his speech on several national issues that he said have raised concerns in Washington, as well as the general state of the economy.

“The main focus I’ve been working on in congress is, how do we get our economy growing?” he said. “How do we make it stronger? Obviously we’ve made advances and there are some bright spots around the state, but I don’t really see that as I travel around.”

Camp said there have been improvements, but not enough.

“If you look at the number of people who have stopped looking for work, it’s at the highest level it’s been since the Carter administration,” he said. “The national unemployment is over 11 percent, and I know it’s over that in Montcalm County.”

Camp said his solution involves an adjustment to the current tax code.

“If we can get a flatter, more fair, efficient tax code — put a focus on tax reform — then we can get the kind of growth that we want to see,” he said. “Our tax code is just way too complex. There have been over 4,400 changes to the code in the last decade. I think the average person should be able to fill out their own taxes without having to hire an accountant or buy software.”

From left, Gerri Patin-VanOcker, Pat Patin and RoseAnn Patin, of the Patin Trio, sing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” Saturday during the Montcalm County Republicans Lincoln Day event.

Camp also addressed several issues he said were plaguing Washington D.C. lately, with a heavy focus on two recent developments, the CIA and IRS.

“Obviously we know we have terrorist threats,” he said. “Whether you’re going to a football game, a basketball game or running a marathon, we know that Al Qaeda and the terrorists are recruiting home-grown people to do these things. But is the government really doing this in the proper and legal way?”

On the IRS, Camp said he thought recent targeting on conservative groups was a giant red flag.

“It is unbelievable to me that people should be targeted for their conservative political beliefs,” he said. “What we know is, they went to conservative donors and said ‘these are gift taxes.’ They tried to really target them because they were contributing to conservative causes.”

After lunch was served to everyone in attendance, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley spoke. Calley said he would keep his focus on Michigan as Camp brought news from the Capital.

“As we look at the state of Michigan today, where we stand, it’s interesting to separate out the states that elected Republican governors in 2010,” Calley said. “You’ll find the economic statistics from all of those states are driving the good news in the economy.”

Calley said he believes Michigan has seen much progress in the job market since Gov. Rick Snyder was elected in 2010.

“Michigan has created 182,000 private sector jobs since January 2011,” he said. “We started governing the same way that you govern your own household.

You make sure there is a reasonable relationship between the money coming in and the money going out.”

The grand hall at the Shenefield’s Event Center in Greenville was full Saturday for the annual Montcalm County Republicans Lincoln Day event, which featured guest speakers U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

Calley said he believes a sense of stability that was missing prior to the latest administration has been a big boost in helping move the state economy forward.

“Debt has been reduced and cash flow has been improved with balanced budgets submitted on time,” he said. “We have a sense of stability that has been missing for the better part of a decade. There’s a lot of optimism moving forward.”
In closing, Calley thanked everyone in attendance, noting that Montcalm County makes a big difference and is not forgotten in the eyes of Lansing.

“Debt has been reduced and cash flow has been improved with balanced budgets submitted on time,” he said. “We have a sense of stability that has been missing for the better part of a decade. There’s a lot of optimism moving forward.”

“It all starts with choosing the right people to make the policy decisions, and that’s where the Montcalm County Republican Party has helped make a difference.”

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