Thank you!

Well, victory in the primary was achieved!  

It was one of the hardest periods of my life. Unfortunately, my family had to endure some very negative, untruthful last-minute attacks mailed out by an anonymous group or individual. Even though that was a difficult thing to go through, the campaign as a whole was a wonderful experience.

It was fantastic to have so many dedicated and committed volunteers help us by knocking on doors, sending out postcards, walking in the parades, working at events and manning precincts.

I also want to thank the donors who made it possible for us to share the “Run With Runestad” conservative message.

Kathy and I are so grateful and humbled by all of the time, effort and resources that so many committed to help us win this campaign. I cannot thank all of you enough!

Now onto the November general election!

June Campaign Fundraiser

dsc_0550Every election cycle features candidates crooning splendid rhetoric, later…we pay the piper. Let’s send to Lansing what we can trust: The Runestad Record

Jim Runestad’s record as a tireless conservative fighter speaks for itself! Let’s not miss this chance to send a conservative “change agent” in Lansing!

 

dsc_0561YOU ARE INVITED to the Run With Runestad CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISER

Join Oakland County Executive, Brooks Patterson, State Senator Dave Robertson, current 44th District Representative Eileen Kowall, and many others in this festive opportunity to support and send a principled conservative to Lansing!

When: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Billy’s Tip ‘n Inn, 6707 Highland Rd., White Lake, MI 48383
Enjoy Billy’s culinary delight and cash bar
Cost: $50 (only personal checks, money orders, or credit cards please)

 

 

GLEP Endorses Runestad

Posted on May 7, 2014 by Gary Naeyaert

GLEP_LogoLansing, MI – The Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) today announced 24 additional endorsements in a number of campaigns for the State Senate and State House of Representatives.

“We’re very proud to endorse these outstanding individuals in these races,” said Gary Naeyaert, GLEP Executive Director. “Political elections are hard fought contests. We urge every voter to take a good look at their past records and positions on key issues and make the important decisions about which candidates to support,” Naeyaert continued.

Candidates endorsed by GLEP today include the following:

Senate District #02: Rep. John Olumba (D-Detroit)
Senate District #14: Senator Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc)
Senate District #26: Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton)
Senate District #29: Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell)
Senate District #30: Senator Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive)
House District #07: Nicole Wells-Stallworth (D-Detroit)
House District #09: Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit)
House District #11: Lisa Hicks-Clayton (D-Dearborn Heights)
House District #17: Charles Londo (R-Carleton)
House District #19: Laura Cox (R-Livonia)
House District #21: Carol Ann Fausone (R-Canton)
House District #25: Nick Hawatmeh (R-Warren)
House District #38: Kathy Crawford (R-Novi)
House District #44: Jim Runestad (R-White Lake)
House District #45: Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills)
House District #46: Rep. Brad Jacobsen (R-Oxford)
House District #61: Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo)
House District #64: Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson)
House District #66: Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton)
House District #72: Rep. Ken Yonker (R-Caledonia)
House District #74: Rep. Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker)
House District #89: Rep. Amanda Price (R-Holland)
House District #94: Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp)
House District #101: Rep. Ray Franz (R-Onekama)

“We’re confident these candidates will be forceful advocates for children in the Michigan Legislature, and we’re pleased to endorse and support their campaigns,” said Beth DeShone, GLEP Advocacy Director.

GLEP’s endorsement process includes an examination of past voting records, personal interviews and results from the organization’s extensive candidate questionnaire. It should be noted that priority issues for GLEP include school choice and early literacy, while there are a number of education policy issues for which endorsed candidates may hold a variety of positions, including K-12 funding, Common Core State Standards, student assessments, etc.

Today’s endorsements are in addition to the 9 early endorsements made by GLEP on April 21, resulting in a total of 33 endorsed candidates so far in 2014. Additional endorsements will be made in the future.

###

For more information about the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP), a bi-partisan advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education, please visit www.glep.org.

$500K proposed to look into county’s options for water as talks with Detroit put on hold


The Orion Township water tower along Brown Road, pictured Thursday March 20, 2014.
(Vaughn Gurganian-The Oakland Press) 

By John Turk, The Oakland Press

Oakland County officials have proposed to put $500,000 towards a study into the county’s other options for water treatment as talks to join a regional water authority run through the Detroit Water and Sewage Department have come to a crawl.

The county has hired lawyers to protect contracts it has with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, or DWSD, while Detroit’s leaders have announced they’ll begin to look at other options, though Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has said he’d rather lease the water department through an authority that includes Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

Commissioner Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said this is a crucial period for decision makers because what Oakland decides in the coming months will ultimately impact billions of dollars for residents’ children and grandchildren.

“These decisions will affect jobs, income taxes, property taxes, business retention and recruitment and more over many decades,” said Runestad, who introduced the resolution to the Board of Commissioners during a Wednesday public meeting. “There are a number of considerations to be made, so we have to do this appropriately … it will cost less than a dollar a (county resident). We’re making 40 years worth of decisions this year alone.”

The fate of the DWSD, which provides services to around 4 million residents in eight counties, has been a major factor in Detroit’s bankruptcy, and city leaders have sought ways to make money through it to pay for police, fire and infrastructure.

One of those ways was a proposal from Orr to lease the DWSD through a regional authority — a plan that could be expected to lock Oakland and other counties in for 40 years at around $47 million a year.

For some local residents, the outcome of any talks on water isn’t of interest, as they get water elsewhere.

Sherry Lazdinsh, who lived in Clawson until mid-2013, used to pay about $600 a year for water. Clawson is one of about 33 Oakland communities that receives water services through Detroit.

“I didn’t think it was ridiculously high, as my other utilities such as gas and electric were triple the price,” she said. “But now I live on a well and we pay about $10 a month for water as the well uses electricity to get the water to the house.”

Northern Oakland County resident Nina Irwin wrote in a Facebook post: “Thankful I have well water.”

But Runestad said quality of life ramifications will be seen throughout the county when a decision is made, regardless whether residents get their water locally or through the DWSD.

The options
Plans for a water withdrawal pipeline from Lake Huron through Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac counties under a formed entity called the Karegnondi Water Authority are already underway. Runestad and others have proposed that Oakland hook onto the pipeline for water.

Another option considered by Oakland’s previously-formed study group is consolidating the county’s water hubs in Pontiac, Farmington, Farmington Hills and other locations inside county lines.

The timeline for a study into the options, and for the county to actually make a decision, is six months to a year, said Oakland County Deputy Executive Gerald Poisson.

However, the outlook from any angle is dismal, he said.

“About $2.5-$5 billion over 10 years are needed regardless of who runs the (water) system. Ultimately, the rates will go up,” he said.

Meanwhile, the county continues to wait for DWSD’s balance sheets, but hasn’t received anything since June 2013, added Deputy Executive Bob Daddow, who commented on a quote Detroit’s Orr recently made to the Detroit Free Press.

“He said he’s going to give us the information, which confirms — this is 10 months into the discussions — that he doesn’t have it,” Daddow said. Those are the “games that are being played. We don’t get into games.”

 

 

Kids speak up to improve Michigan foster care

Farmington-Press-PWF-Blue-BabiesFarmington Press – Overcoming adversity was the theme in story after story told by former foster youth Feb. 24 at the Oakland County Commissioners Auditorium in Pontiac, Mich.

As each storyteller shared bits of their life in the foster care system, their testimonies prompted a range of emotional responses from the audience, which included Oakland County and Michigan state officials. The youths’ stories also garnered a great deal of respect for the way they each met and confronted the many hardships they faced.

The testimonies were part of KidSpeak, an event that provides former foster youth the opportunity to speak about their experiences in foster care and suggest solutions to improve the system. Park West Foundation was among its co-sponsors, with the foundation’s program director Saba Gebrai making introductory comments and supporting the speakers.

“It’s just something you can’t help,” said Saba. “Once you connect with a child and once you realize this issue is real, it moves anyone to do something about it, and that’s basically what happened with [Park West Foundation].”

KidSpeak
Park West Foundation program director Saba Gebrai stands at the podium with Shanetta Young after her testimony.

More than 20 former foster youth took the stand to give area lawmakers a glimpse into their former lives. Several shared common experiences, ranging from poor communication with caseworkers and lack of mentorship to difficulty forming trusting relationships and abuse.

“I feel that the workers need to be more involved and have more of a connection with the cases that they have,” said Lana White, a student at Oakland Community College. “I also think a lot of workers are overwhelmed.”

Most speakers had ideas for improving the lives of children in foster care, too. “All I ask for is stability and security for the kids that come into the system,” said Angel Wilson. D’mya Smith talked about how medication is frequently used in the system, something she thinks should change in favor of greater involvement and compassion from psychiatrists. “I want to abolish medication being used unless absolutely necessary,” she said.

Despite the struggles, some speakers mentioned that being in foster care had a positive impact on their lives. “It has made me stronger and more determined to become something and someone,” said Lana.

KidSpeak-9-of-19KidSpeak Event – Oakland County Park West Gallery
The two young men pictured at right spent time together as boys in a foster group facility and then were each embraced by caring foster families. They were happily reunited at the KidSpeak event. Lloyd Rader (left) joined his friend Tyler Price as he gave his testimony to the chamber. (Photos credit: Juan Carlos Perez)

“A lot of children that go through foster care, they’re very strong morally, intellectually,” said Dennis Schneider, a student at Western Michigan University. “They need people to guide them because we’re all children.” Marie Fleming, a Wayne State University student, agrees. “We’re not a charity case,” she said. “We just need a little guidance.”

More about this powerful event was reported by the Oakland Press.

KidSpeak is a signature event of the Voices for Michigan’s Children. Since 1993, Michigan’s Children has served as a statewide independent and non-partisan voice for children, focusing on reducing disparities in child outcomes from cradle to career, engaging public officials, business and community leaders and advocacy partners to improve public policies and programs that give all children the opportunity to thrive. The Park West Foundation has been dedicated to innovative and creative solutions for youth aging out of foster care since 2006 in Michigan. Important to the success of Oakland County KidSpeak event include Foster Care Alumni of America-Michigan Chapter and Oakland County’s work with Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative. Special thanks to commissioner Jim Runestad who, as a foster parent for many years, has advocated for foster parents and children as a private citizen and elected official.

Study on hooking to Genesee water pipeline proposed in midst of talks on regional Detroit authority

By John Turk, The Oakland Press

POSTED:  | 

Oakland County Commissioner Robert Gosselin, study chair, is flanked by commissioners Mattie McKinney Hatchett, left, Michael Gingell and Shelley Goodman Taub at the commissioners auditorium. The bi-partisan study group is requesting transparency of the Detroit Water and Sewer Department and releasing information vital to the decision making process for a proposed regional water and sere system. Thursday, February 6, 2014. Tim Thompson-The Oakland Press 

 

While Oakland County waits for a balance sheet from Detroit’s auditors before considering to join a regional authority that will control the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, one commissioner is looking north for possible solutions to where the region’s future water supply will come from.

“There are no simple solutions,” said Jim Runestad, R-White Lake Township, “but there’s a simple idea. Why can’t we hook up to the (water withdrawal) pipeline that’s moving forward in Genesee?”

A proposal to set aside $125,000 for a study group that would look into this option and more will be voted on later this month, in the midst of discussions within a <URL destination=”http://www.theoaklandpress.com/general-news/20140206/oakland-county-commissioners-want-more-information-in-detroit-water-negotiations”>previous study group to look into a regional plan proposed by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

While Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has voiced opposition to joining such an authority, it is unclear what any action would mean for county water rate payers. However, he has said that water rates could triple through Detroit.

Plans for the Genesee pipeline — which includes Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac counties under a formed entity called the Karegnondi Water Authority — are already underway.

Another option the study group has loosely proposed is consolidating the county’s water hub in Pontiac.

Detroit Water and Sewerage provides services to almost 4 million residents in eight counties across the region, covering nearly 1,100 square miles.

 

Pervasive government surveillance merits call to action

The Oakland Press
By Jim Runestad

Recently a Gallup poll reveled 72 percent of American’s now view our federal government as the biggest threat to their future. The study shows we currently dread the Feds more than big business or big labor. Americans now fear IRS audits if they have associated with groups critical of presidential policies and are distressed their advocacy of freedom could categorize them as “potential domestic terrorists.”

According to a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report, you are just that if you have had the wrong president’s bumper sticker on your car, opposed illegal immigration, or are a veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. How far down the rabbit hole have we gone where our soldiers who have risked their very lives in battle for this country are considered potential enemies of the state?

Since Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the extent of the National Security Agency domestic surveillance program, the American people have been told two things by our government. The first is that surveillance is only being done to protect us (though the NSA has not been able to point to one instance in which domestic spying has prevented a terrorist attack). The second line we are being fed is that the NSA only collects “meta data” and not any private information, but both NSA head Keith Alexander and National intelligence director James Clapper have been caught misleading Congress on this issue.

Recently, Germany’s “Der Spiegel” reported that the NSA has been working with the CIA and FBI to intercept laptops and other electronics bought online to install spying tools before those devices are delivered to government “targets.” Perhaps the NSA will soon simply direct all manufacturers to insert spy chips as a part of their normal production operations so that all electronics manufactured in this country will be covered. Domestic drones are beginning to fill America’s skies, and there is talk in D.C. of putting tracking devices in all new cars. Is this level of surveillance compatible with our constitutional principles? Is this what our founders fought and sacrificed to defend.

It seems too few Americans grasp the severity of what is occurring, but even for the aware, they feel powerless to stand up against “Big Brother.” Politicians assure us that the only defense against terrorism is to allow the government unlimited access into the private lives of innocent citizens. This is the same government that told us that the Tsarnaev brothers charged with bombing the Boston Marathon, who were both born overseas, and the older brother having received terrorist training in Chechnya, were “homegrown terrorists.”

In 1972, the Watergate “plumbers” tried to bug the headquarters of the Democrat National Committee. Eventually, 48 people were indicted, tried, and convicted, including dozens of top government officials. But back then the American people recognized the dangers of domestic spying, and the Supreme Court in the United States v. U.S. District Court, also known as the Keith case, established the precedent that a warrant must be obtained before beginning domestic surveillance even if national security issues were involved.

If there is one thing these Snowden disclosures have shown it’s that those who are concerned about the encroachment of government surveillance are not paranoid. They are confronting reality. The scariest part of these ominous new revelations is that now the domestic spying programs have been revealed, no one is being held accountable for these unparalleled privacy invasions. So what are we to do? Well, there is nothing that can match the power and voices of over 300 million American people if we unite to speak out and demand that these attacks on our privacy rights cease.

Jim Runestad is the Oakland County Commissioner for the 6th district.

 

No amnesty for the undocumented

By Jim Runestad, The Detroit News
POSTED: 12/17/13, 7:40 AM EST

As we give thanks for the season I am reminded of the many unemployed here in Michigan and across the nation. These workers have lost jobs, income, and homes, but most of all they have lost the dignity that results from being able to provide for themselves and their families through their own hard work and initiative.

The Great Recession and the “recovery” that has yet to materialize have disproportionately affected the working and middle classes, while providing a boon for the economic and political elite. Since President Obama took office, Wall Street profits have soared to record heights while income and employment levels have plummeted. The labor participation rate now stands at a 35-year low and there are 1.5 million fewer people working today than there were before the recession began, despite the working-age population increasing by 12 million during that time. Are these the signs of a strong economy?

Although a lot of politicians espouse all the right bromides, there is little evidence that they truly care that their fellow Americans are struggling to find stable, well-paying jobs. I doubt that many politicians who are firmly ensconced in office and well-fed by special interest lobbyists lose any sleep worrying about constituents who are out of work. The proof of this is that the establishment wings of both parties are pushing amnesty as the only way to “grow the economy.” What they fail to tell you is that the economy will grow in a way that continues to benefit a narrow elite at the expense of the American public.

There are over 21 million people looking for full-time work in the U.S., and a record 91.5 million are not in the labor force. Why is this not dominating debate in Lansing and in Washington, D.C.? It is because politicians are far removed from the economic realities working men and women have to face — one reality being competition for jobs from illegal workers who provide a discount to employers. That taxpayers are being bled to fund unemployment programs and other benefits for marginalized Americans only increases the power of the officeholders who control the purse strings. In order to hide their real agenda, politicians who support amnesty cloak their intentions behind the shroud of compassion, while never showing compassion for Americans who are being treated like second–class citizens in their own county.

There are legitimate disagreements about the best way to reform the immigration system. But shouldn’t reform that puts the interest of the American people first be something that the leaders of both political parties can agree upon?

Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, represents the 6th District on the Oakland County Commission

GUEST OPINION: American interests should be placed first and foremost in immigration reform

By Jim Runestad, The Oakland Press
POSTED: 12/16/13, 9:41 AM EST

As we give thanks for the season, I am reminded of the many unemployed here in Michigan and across the nation. These workers have lost jobs, income, and homes, but most of all they have lost the dignity that results from being able to provide for themselves and their families through their own hard work and initiative. The Great Recession and the “recovery” that has yet to materialize have disproportionately affected the working and middle classes, while providing a boon for the economic and political elite.

Since President Obama took office, Wall Street profits have soared to record heights while income and employment levels have plummeted. The labor participation rate now stands at a 35 year low and there are 1.5 million fewer people working today than there were before the recession began, despite the working-age population increasing by 12 million during that time. Are these the signs of a strong economy?

Although a lot of politicians espouse all the right bromides, there is little evidence that they truly care that their fellow Americans are struggling to find stable, well-paying jobs. I doubt that many politicians who are firmly ensconced in office and well-fed by special interest lobbyists lose any sleep worrying about constituents who are out of work. The proof of this is that the establishment wings of both parties are pushing amnesty as the only way to “grow the economy.” What they fail to tell you is that the economy will grow in a way that continues to benefit a narrow elite at the expense of the American public.

There are over 21 million people looking for full-time work in the U.S., and a record 91.5 million are not in the labor force. Why is this not dominating debate in Lansing and in Washington, D.C.? It is because politicians are far removed from the economic realities working men and women have to face – one reality being competition for jobs from illegal workers who provide a discount to employers.

Taxpayers are being bled to fund unemployment programs and other benefits for marginalized Americans only increases the power of the officeholders who control the purse strings. In order to hide their real agenda, politicians who support amnesty cloak their intentions behind the shroud of compassion, while never showing compassion for Americans who are being treated like second–class citizens in their own county.

For Republicans pushing amnesty it comes down to a short game. They are seeking campaign cash from corporate donors whose political goal is to depress wages of working Americans and thus to increase profits. This economic model depends on taxpayers to foot the bill for all the costs of increased immigration, including healthcare, education, and public safety. It’s a good deal for big business interests, but one that has proven unpopular with the average American, despite the relentless media campaign to convince us otherwise.

For Democrats, it’s all about voting demographics. While blathering on about a “living wage” or “income inequality,” they know all too well that they can garner 65 to 70 percent of the immigrant vote while pushing amnesty, which if passed would expand the Democratic base considerably. Democrats are more than happy to sell out working-class Americans as they play Santa Claus with taxpayer monies. They believe amnesty will ensure a bloc of millions of new impoverished voters who will help bring about a permanent Democratic majority.

There are legitimate disagreements about the best way to reform the immigration system. But shouldn’t reform that puts the interest of the American people first be something that the leaders of both political parties can agree upon?

Jim Runestad is the Oakland County Commissioner for the 6th District.