Politics

Dave Camp

Longtime Congressman Dave Camp will not be running for re-election

Today may be April Fool’s Day, but Dave Camp’s announcement yesterday was no joke.

The longtime congressman and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee will not be pursuing re-election this year. He has served 24 years for the 4th Congressional District, which encompasses the central and northwest section of Michigan.

James Hoisington

Hoisington announces run against Outman

A union man has thrown his hat into the ring in a bid to unseat the State House representative for the 70th District. James Hoisington, D-Stanton, recently announced his intention to run against current State Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, in November’s general election.

Dave Camp

GUEST VIEW: Dave Camp looks at how to fix ‘appalling tax code’

There have been so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10 times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News. That factual statement usually gets a good laugh.

But what isn’t funny is the effect that constant tinkering with the tax code has had on the people who pay them, and on the economy.

Sen. Carl Levin

Sen. Carl Levin to speak at Montcalm County Democrat dinner Saturday

Before Sen. Carl Levin leaves the United States Senate in his final term after more than 30 years of service as the longest-serving senator in Michigan’s history, he’ll be making at least one final local appearance. The Montcalm County Democrats will welcome Levin to the 8th annual Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner on Saturday, along with State House Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, to be a featured guest speaker at the fundraising event.

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State Rep. Rick Outman sworn in to House after re-election

State Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, took the ceremonial oath of office Wednesday as a state representative in the Michigan House. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley administered the ceremonial oath in the Capitol in Lansing. Outman is serving his second term and represents the 70th House District, which includes all of Montcalm County and part of Gratiot County.

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Montcalm County Board of Commissioners organizes

New faces were in new chairs at Wednesday’s Montcalm County Board of Commissioners annual organizational meeting. Ron Blanding of Greenville, Ron Braman of Vestaburg and Steve DeWitt of Coral are the newest faces on the board, having been elected last year. Patrick Q. Carr of Lakeview was re-appointed by his colleagues as longtime chairman of the board, with Ron Retzloff of Crystal appointed vice chairman.

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Snyder vetoes concealed weapon bill

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, had mixed feelings when discussions during Monday’s Legislative Luncheon turned to the topic of a controversial concealed weapons bill that was passed by the House and Senate. Having voted in favor of the bill last week, and with it awaiting a signature from Gov. RIck Snyder, Outman said now was not the time for political discussion in the wake of the school shooting that occurred last Friday in Newtown, Conn.

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Local legislators reflect on right-to-work bill

Upon the passing of last week’s Workplace Fairness and Equity Act, more commonly known as right-to-work, Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, took time to discuss their thoughts on the passing of the bill at Monday’s Legislative Luncheon meeting at Montcalm Community College. “This was very controversial and there was a lot of demonstration at the Capitol,” Outman said. “It’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time, coming from the educational community.”

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, left, and Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, speak Monday afternoon during the monthly Legislative Luncheon at Montcalm Community College. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Legislators talk about key education bills that were struck down

One of the consequences of the legislative “lame duck” session, which occurs whenever one legislative body meets after its successor is elected, but before the successor’s term begins, is that it is common for a plethora of bills and laws to make their way through the house and senate and onto Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk without much discussion. As Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, pointed out at Monday’s Legislative Luncheon meeting at Montcalm Community College, that was very much the case this year as nearly 190 bills were passed within a 24-hour period last week.

Jaimy Knowlton of Belding, front, fills out her general election ballot at the Belrockton Museum in Belding on Tuesday evening as several other Belding residents fill the voting booths casting their votes. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Variety of problems caused delay in reporting Ionia and Montcalm election results

More than 60 percent of registered voters in Ionia and Montcalm counties exercised their right to vote Tuesday. Ionia County had 62 percent voter turnout, while Montcalm County had more than 61 percent voter turnout (down just a few percentage points from the 2008 presidential election).