Friday, August 31, 2007

ICDP Annual Family Potluck Dinner Has New Theme Next Week – Blue Tiger Democrats Coming to Town

Frank Houston, the Michigan Coordinator of the new program known as Blue Tiger Democrats, will be the guest speaker next Thursday at the ICDP Annual Family Potluck Picnic at Chipp-a-Waters Park.

Festivities begin on Thursday night, Sept. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. or so. The location is the same as last year, Chipp-a-Waters Park, at 1403 W. High Street in Mt. Pleasant located on the west side of town on West High Street. For detailed directions, click here.

Old-timers know our annual picnic that includes free hot dogs and cold pop and some of your best dishes is one of the biggest social events of the year for folks of all ages. Newcomers are welcome to come to a traditional Michigan potluck, but out of doors. If you are not sure what that means, ask a Dem, a CMU Dem or check this out. One local custom, we supply the plates and utensils and some interesting guests. It’s a rain or shine event.

Experienced Dems will meet both old and new Dems and new Dems can make some great new friends. Families are welcome to the only pavilion in Chipp-a-Waters Park where one of the nicest playgrounds in the area resides. City Park restrooms are handicapped accessible a short distance away.

Big news this year is about the Blue Tiger Democrats and we’ve got the best spokesman for a new a program we’ve seen in quite a while. Some of you may have seen him on our TV program, Democracy Matters on public access TV earlier this summer on our local public access channel.

Frank Houston is a dynamic young man who is working to help bring the Democratic Party back to its roots. You can check out some details here. Tim Caldwell is spearheading the initial effort and needs plenty of help. Michigan is only one of a few states where the program is being started and Isabella County is ready to take the next step, engaging more Democrats in making a difference all-year long, not just on election day.

There are some other new things going on at this year’s picnic including a 50/50 Raffle and some other surprises. As always, we have some new buttons and new this year, magnets will be available to delight you and your friends for an incredibly small donation. There are still a few cookbooks left at the discounted $6 price we charged at the fair. They make great gifts.

As always, if you haven’t had time to renew your membership or want to become a formal member, please stop at the table marked membership and go from there. Information about membership is also available on our website this year and you can now handle that transaction on line by going to our website and clicking near the top of the page on Contribute.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will My Excess Weight Become a National Crisis? Has It Already?

Any political analyst who only pontificates about war, health care, global warming, energy, gay rights and abortion and doesn't think about tomorrow's issues may be missing a major issue that could have considerable influence in upcoming elections -- how fat we are. What?

It's not just me and how fat I am.

Sure, I am fat, actually obese by any measure. But so are a lot of other people and now, according to at least one source, the problem has reached crisis proportions. They've only been talking about this for 10 years or more, but now...

Health officials say the latest state rankings provide evidence that the nation has a public health crisis on its hands.

Unfortunately, we're treating it like a mere inconvenience instead of the emergency that it is," said Dr. James Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy devoted to improving health care.

Perhaps I've been wasting my time worrying about our present problems including infrastructure neglect, election reform,etc., when our nation has more than 30 percent of us who are not just overweight, but obese. It's hard to go to any public venue in Michigan and not notice that my roundness is not unique. Hell, there are a lot of fat folks out there and I am just like them, so why worry. Everybody does it, right? Well, not the other 70% who are not obese. A good bunch of them are just "pudgy," "chubby," or maybe even "feeling the freshman 15."

Now comes word that Michigan is among the worst in the nation. How could that be? Our Governor is a fox, slim, healthy and about as vigorous as governors come. O.K. lets, not mention our Lt. Gov.

But we have some pretty healthy Democrats here, don't we? Sure, I was the fattest guy on the dais at the Jeff-Jack dinner, but those very polite Dems didn't mention it. Not one of them said I was a crisis. They might have been thinking it, but they didn't say it. Maybe I was chosen to represent those 30% or at least the token white fat guy with a beard. If only I had known -- I could have been throwing my weight around.

Maybe John Cherry has a natural 30% constituency he hasn't thought about. Pay attention, Mark B., but don't look in the mirror just yet. You've got enough on your plate.

But seriously, folks, issue development takes time before the general public becomes fully aware of the true proportions of an issue, pun intended.

Health costs are out of sight and if we are ever able to put together a national health care program that makes sense, even an effective state health care policy, we need to address obesity. We need a plan and some slogans.

It's easier to think about slogans first even though we know the slogans should come from the plan and be another tool to carry out the plan.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask how many pounds you can lose for your country.

Might work.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Plea for Progressives To Understand the Juggling on Primaries and Impeachment

Disagreements among progressives about impeachment and how Michigan should be involved in selecting our next president are counterproductive. They are beginning to get nasty and divisive at a time when we are about to enjoy the fruits of our labors -- a solid Democratic victory next election.

It is clear from watching the arguments bounce off the walls of the blogosphere here in Michigan that Mark Brewer is dealing with issues at a level of complexity that even some of the most intelligent progressives don't understand.

In Washington our beloved John Conyers faces similar, if not more complex, issues dealing with impeaching an incompetent, deceitful president.

"Why don't they just..." Those are the words that often precede some comments and now because nothing seems to be happening the comments are turning more harsh.

As a young journalist several decades ago, I often turned to analogies to explain complex issues like planning and zoning to my readers. In wider venues like state and national politics the issues are more complex. If the analogies are appropriate they reduce complex matters to something familiar that would raise awareness levels and grant my readers a glimpse at matters they didn't quite understand.

I have never used analogies in explaining what is happening in Michigan and Washington before so this might not work, but I am fearless and will give it a try.

Let's try the juggling analogy. Most Americans, even those who live in Mount Pleasant, know what juggling is. It is either an idle past time or a skill that can get you a job in a circus. Some people can juggle and some can't. Some people take it seriously and some don't. But it does take skill and patience and some level of intelligence to do well.

Both Mark Brewer and John Conyers are master jugglers, but balls and bowling pins and torches are not what they are juggling. They are juggling a complex set of facts in order to effectively make decisions on what is the optimum outcome of their endeavors.

If you have ever tried to master juggling yourself you know it can be done at some level. If you are an average juggler you can readily master, after some practice to juggle maybe 3 to 5 balls with some ease. Beyond that, you are getting into a very small percentage of doing 7 to 9 balls. If you can do more than that you are indeed a master juggler capable of a job at Ringlings, Barnum and Bailey or its modern equivalent, the Cirque Du Soleil.

In Brewers case one area of juggling, what to do about a Michigan primary/caucus, has so many variables involved that even Mark may get mighty tired of juggling at the end of the day. I can see perhaps 26 balls that Brewer is juggling and some of his progressive critics can't even juggle 9.

But they don't get it. Oh, sure they can juggle 20 in another area of expertise, but they are not competent jugglers in Mark's area of expertise and most of us know that Harvard-educated attorney is a 15 ball juggler in a half dozen areas and doesn't often drop a ball.

In Conyers case, Saint John has been juggling balls for so long for the progressive cause that he can out juggle most members of Congress. Conyers knows our President doesn't juggle, but he has surrounded himself with some highly competent jugglers, none of whom are public figures and a few who are like Karl Rove. Of course, being a master at dissembling is not a highly regarded skill in some circles, but one that is admired by many non-jugglers.

Maybe I am pushing this analogy a little too far.

But the point is my progressive friends, unless you are aware just how complex the issues are that Brewer and Conyers are dealing with, I ask you to give them a break. They really are better jugglers in their area of expertise than you are.

Here in the Michigan's geographic center we have some extremely competent jugglers in some fascinating areas of expertise and most of them teach at CMU. Internet voting is an issue where we have some 30 ball jugglers who are talking with 85 ball jugglers about that issue.

One of Mark's failings, in fact, most people's shortcomings, are that we don't have a clue what other folks are juggling. Sometimes it is simply easier to use shorthand which is also another effective way to communicate.

Let's try that.

Give Mark and John a break. They know more than you think.

And Internet voting may or may not be an issue in Michigan. But if it is we will be bringing out some interesting jugglers to explain why Mark needs to make sure he doesn't drop that ball.

We love you Mark and John. Keep juggling. You are fun to watch.

If you haven't seen Amy Goodman's interview with John Conyers this morning, you missed something that might expand your awareness of just how many balls Conyers is juggling.

Brewer's strategy is to keep his juggling skills quiet. At this time. For the most part.

Monday, August 27, 2007

This Is Not EVEN a Normal Monday

When you wake up to the news that Gonzales is out of there without impeachment everyone I know must be ecstatic.

But my euphoria ends when I realize the jokes I saw and thought about last week about another stupid Bushie appointment are actually true, it blows my mind.

Outrage fatigue has really set in this time. How can the leader of the free world actually believe that the guy who heads up Homeland Security would make a perfect AG?

It just reminds me how the Twig thought about losing a city and his first thoughts are, "Good job, Brownie."

So what do we look forward to now, "Good job, Mikey," after the next AG completes the destruction of the Constitution and there is rioting in EVERY American city?

Perhaps that last 27% of Americans who believe George Bush is their god and savior, might become born again moderates after Bushie's new fiasco. I am finding it hard to be positive when American leadership sucks.

But really now, isn't there a kind word in there somewhere. The day has just begun. I'll think of something. Maybe.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another US Health Care Outrage

Every time I hear about another horror story about the American health care system I want to scream at Republicans who don't notice what I see.

How can they claim our health care system is the best in the world when we all know it isn't. Now that a majority of Americans know the truth and "Sicko" merely confirms what most of us already know, perhaps, the time has come for a complete overhaul of the American health care system.

Need some more evidence? How about today's CNN horror story that could only happen in America. A guy kills his wife. Why? Because they don't have health insurance.

Incredible!! Outraged yet? I don't know about you, but it really pisses me off and I don't normally use that kind of language.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Democrats and Dieting

Since I rejoined political activism in 2004 inspired by the possible re-election of the Twig, I have met Democrats of all shapes and sizes. Although Democrats are wonderfully tolerant of all shapes and sizes, colors, genders and sexual preferences, I suspect the folks whose votes we need the most are not so forgiving of obesity.

Of course, my behind the scenes role doesn't demand a fit physique, so the issue is not a personal one. But many fit Dems don't give quite as much credibility to a fat consultant, although they might feel confident I am not likely to compete with them on election day. And wide girth is not a complete disqualifier for public office, just another hurdle that needs to be overcome to be taken seriously by the general electorate.

In any close election though, the fit person is the likely winner all other things being equal. So there is no good reason why any candidate shouldn't try to get into fighting shape to do well in the months before a grueling election for a national or statewide office.

That, of course, brings to mind Michigan's heavyweight Lt Governor John D. Cherry. All Dems I know feel very positive about him, as far I know. I like him a lot because he is just a lighter me without the beard and he is also a friendly likable guy. He is also a masterful public speaker and could be our likely nominee for Governor when our present governor ends her term in 2010.

Maybe I should issue a personal challenge to JDC to join me in the battle of the bulge since he needs a lifestyle change as much as I do to give him another competitive edge. We always know whoever the Republican candidate is, they are likely to outspend the Democrat, so our side needs all the help we can get.

Going into a Governor's race with a handicap is not wise and the one thing about Cherry that I do know, is that he is as smart as hell. In fact, I would be surprised if he isn't already dieting. I wonder if he would be offended if I asked him about that. Maybe the next time I see him I could say something like, "Hey John, you look like you have lost weight. What kind of diet have you been on?" Actually he does look like he has lost some weight, but for the most part, Democrats I know don't discuss weight with me and I don't wonder why.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Clinton Wins ICDP Isabella County Fair Straw Poll

The cows and chickens are going home and the rides are being trucked off the fair grounds just a few miles north of Mount Pleasant, Michigan and hundreds of Isabella County Fair straw poll voters have decided that Hilary Clinton should be our next president.

I have a feeling if we polled our e-mail list the result would be different, but the people who stopped at our voting table and circled their ballots at the Isabella County Democratic Party's Isabella County Fair booth have spoken and their choice is Clinton with 34.89% of the vote. Obama took 28.97% of the county fair votes and Edwards polled 20.25% of the 312 votes that were cast.

Straw polls don't mean anything 15 months before an election but the MSM (mainstream media) don't know that yet. Bloggers are inherently smarter than the MSM dweebs, but that is our little secret and why the evolution of the blog in the next 10 years is going to change things. Wishful thinking or prediction? You decide.

Need more information about the straw poll? Just ask any Isabella Democrat to fill you in on the details. They have spreadsheets.

Outsourcing At Its Best

Local Democrat Kevin Ross passed this along. I wouldn't ordinarily post this one on the blog, but I can blame it on county fair fatigue.

, DC
(AP) -- Congress today announced that the
office of President of the
United States of America will be
outsourced to
India as of November 1, 2007 .

The move is being made in order to save the President's $500,000
yearly salary, and also a record $521 trillion in deficit expenditures
and related overhead the office has incurred during the last 5 years.
"We believe this is a wise move financially. The cost savings should
be significant," stated Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R-WA). "We cannot
expect to remain competitive on the world stage with the current level
of cash outlay," Reynolds noted.

Mr. Bush was informed by e-mail this morning of his termination.
Preparations for the job move have been underway for some time.

Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices,
Mumbai , India will be assuming
the office of President as of
December 1, 2007 .

Mr. Singh was born in the
United States while his Indian parents were
vacationing at
Niagara Falls , thus making him eligible for the
position. He will receive a salary of $320 (USD) a month but with no
health coverage or other benefits.

It is believed that Mr. Singh will be able to handle his job
responsibilities without a support staff. Due to the time difference
between the
US and India , he will be working primarily at night,
when few offices of the US Government will be open. "Working nights
will allow me to keep my day job at the Dell Computer call center,"
stated Mr. Singh in an exclusive interview. "I am excited about this
position. I always hoped I would be President of the
U.S. "

A congressional spokesperson noted that while Mr. Singh may not be fully
aware of all the issues involved in the office of President, this
should not be a problem as President Bush was not familiar with the
issues either.

Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable him to respond
effectively to most topics of concern. Using these canned responses,
he can address common concerns without having to understand the
underlying issue at all. "We know these scripting tools work," stated
the spokesperson. "President Bush has used them successfully for

Bush will receive health coverage, expenses, and salary until
his final day of employment. Following a two week waiting period, he
will be eligible for $140 a week unemployment for 13 weeks.
Unfortunately he will not be eligible for Medicaid, as his
unemploym ent benefits will exceed the allowed limit.

Mr. Bush has been provided the outplacement services of Manpower, Inc.
to help him write a resume and prepare for his upcoming job
transition. According to Manpower, Mr. Bush may have difficulties in
securing a new position due to limited practical or successful work
experience. A Greeter position at Wal-Mart was suggested due to Bush's
extensive experience shaking hands, as well as his naturally goofy

Friday, August 10, 2007

Clinton Now Holds Almost Insurmountable Lead in the Isabella County Fair Straw Poll

With only three hours on Saturday left to vote the presidential race may be all over at the Isabella County Fair. Sen. Hilary Clinton on Friday added to her lead over Sen. Barack Obama in the Isabella County Democratic Party's Straw Poll at the Isabella County Fair.

Clinton now leads with 103 votes to Obama's 90 votes. John Edwards now has 61 votes, but is not likely to make up that gap when the Merchants Building at the county fair reopens at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The final tally will be made at 4 p.m. or so and recorded for history.

We are not saying that as goes the Isabella County Fair, so goes the nation. But if it does, you heard it here first.

The next closest candidate to the top tier candidates at the straw poll fair vote only got 15 votes, and those were all write-ins for Al Gore. Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich each now have 11 votes.

Mike Gravel, who is a lot like the embarrassing uncle who comes to your family Thanksgiving dinner to speak the truth, but nobody wants to hear it from him, got another vote on Friday to bring his total to 3. Poor Joe Biden got no votes on Friday at all to leave his county fair total at 2.

The esteemed Friday night vote counters had a few spoiled ballots to rule on. We clearly asked folks to vote for just one of the folks on the ballot or write comments if they wished, but one voter circled both Clinton and Obama. "Can't we just tear it in half and give one vote to each?" one of the vote counters suggested. But the majority ruled that ballot shouldn't be counted.

"Now what do we do with this one?" It was a write in for Joe Thompson. That vote wasn't counted either. The vote counters know who Fred Thompson is, but Joe Thompson, wherever you are, you got a vote at the Isabella County Fair. But it didn't count. A total of 305 folks have voted thus far and unless Saturday is an unusual day no more than 20 or 30 more votes are likely to be cast. Unless one of the candidates brings a bus load or two of supporters to the Isabella County Fair tomorrow, the results are not likely to change.

The Isabella County Fair wraps up tomorrow and the final vote tally will be at 4 p.m. Hordes of people are expected to be on hand for the historic moment. Well, some people will be there anyway. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Clinton, Obama, Edwards Gap Narrows on Thursday Poll at the Isabella County Fair

It was the strongest day of voting on Thursday at the straw poll conducted at the Isabella County Democratic Party's (ICDP) booth at the Isabella County Fair.

With just two days left to go the three top presidential contenders in the Isabella County Democratic Party's straw poll at the county fair has tightened considerably in the fourth day of voting on Thursday.

Sen. Hilary Clinton maintained the lead on Thursday after ousting it from Obama with a strong showing on Wednesday. The New York Senator garnered another 27 votes to bring her four day total to 68 votes. But Illinois Senator Barack Obama also had his strongest showing on Thursday too just one vote shy of Clinton's 27 votes. Obama's 26 point Thursday showing now has his county fair total up to 61 votes. Just seven votes now separates the two leaders.

But the most interesting candidate has been John Edwards, who each day of the fair has about doubled the number of votes he had the day before. On Monday Edwards had only 3 votes, on Tuesday he had 5 and Wednesday 10 and on Thursday he took 23 votes to bring his four day total to 41 votes. Now Edwards, a distant third, has become a very strong third closing the ICDP straw poll among the top three contenders.

Yes, we know our straw poll is very unscientific and ten times more people passed us by and didn't want to cast a ballot, but among the more than 200 folks who have cast ballots thus far, a woman and a black man are the top vote getters in the same county where John Engler was born. That's kind of interesting.

Not too surprisingly, folks that go to a county fair in the middle of Michigan, still have identified the same three front runners that the MSM (the mainstream media) think are the three top contenders.

The second tier of candidates at the Isabella County Fair though includes Al Gore as a write-in candidate now with 10 votes, including the 3 he picked up on Thursday, Bill Richardson came in second on the second tier with 9 votes and Dennis Kucinich had 6 votes. Richardson took 4 votes Thursday and Kucinich added another 2 from the Thursday tally.

Bringing up the rear in the third tier of candidates were Gravel, Biden and Dodd who each added another vote on Thursday. Gravel now has 2 votes, Biden 2 and Dodd has 3 votes from the four days of the straw poll.

Friday may or may not be a big day of voting at the county fair. The Merchants Building at the county fairgrounds on Friday opens at 1 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. where the ICDP has its now infamous presidential straw poll. Will Edwards close the gap and take over the lead? Will Hillary lose the lead to Obama? Will it be a 3-way tie?

Of course, we don't know. But we did rule as an invalid ballot a write-in for Fred Thompson on Thursday. We aren't sure whether that ballot was cast by a misinformed Democrat or a Republican who just wanted to have some fun. Can't blame them though -- all the fun was down at the Democratic Party booth.

By the way, the Isabella County Fair only costs $3 to get into and that's to park a whole vehicle full of good Democrats to come on over to vote. There are some other things going on at the county fair too that are kind of nifty, like animal things and ride things and the elephant ears are kind of tasty.

Not too surprisingly the best food is served at the 4-H Food Barn and the volunteers are working very hard, both young and old to raise money for a fine cause. Peter Gallinant said the Fried chicken dinner on Thursday night was great. Peter, a former president of the CMU Dems, worked 3 shifts at the county fair and was by far the top vote getter in the ICDP. He got more people to vote than any other ICDP fair volunteer. It's great to have a bunch of young people working with us at the county fair.

Come on out to the fair on Friday or Saturday and cast your vote in the straw poll. Any dedicated group of supporters could take this election. Come for the politics, but enjoy the fair too. It's still a good old-fashioned county fair untainted by the glitz of bigger and fancier fairs. There are still more cows than country singers at the Isabella County Fair and we have fun doing politics too.

You might even meet a candidate for drain commissioner while you are there. We haven't had a Democratic drain commissioner in Isabella County for decades.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hilary Pulls Ahead on Wednesday at the Isabella County Fair

It doesn't move as drastically as the stock market, but on Wednesday the Isabella County Democratic Party's Presidential Straw Poll being conducted at the Isabella County Fair did take a wild swing.

Of course, the vote is very unscientific, but among those county fairgoers who were coerced, cojoled or persuaded into marking their ballots and stuffing them into our ballot box, Hilary Clinton was the clear favorite garnering 23 votes on Wednesday to build her 3-day tally now to 42 votes. Barack Obama only garnered 14 votes on Wednesday to bring his tally to 34 votes. John Edwards also had a surge of 10 votes on Wednesday bringing his 3 day tally to 18 votes. The three front runners remained the three front runners.

The highest vote-getter outside the top three was a candidate who is not even officially running but is the recipient of a groundswell of Michigan supporters who want to draft him to run, former vice president Al Gore. Gore's 3-day tally of write-in votes moved to seven with the addition of one write-in on Wednesday.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson also picked up another 4 votes on Wednesday to bring his fifth place tally to 5 votes. Just one vote away is Dennis Kucinich who now has 4 votes, picking up two on Wednesday.

Bringing up the rear were Joe Biden and Mark Gravel who both finally got one vote each on Wednesday. It was the first day they both manged to garner a vote.

Thursday is always one of the busiest days at the Isabella County Fair, so it is hard to tell what will happen next. Obama hung on to the lead on Monday and Tuesday, but Hilary has now clearly pulled ahead. Then there is the Friday and Saturday votes to count.

Which way will the vote go tomorrow at the ICDP County Fair Booth? It depends on who stops by the booth to vote.

One interesting sidelight -- a youngish woman in her mid to upper 20's stopped by the booth with her significant other and made it clear she was voting for Hilary. Her male companion, said loudly," There is no way I will ever vote for a woman," and he said the ever with emphasis.

We asked him if he would like to vote. He said loudly, "NO."

She smiled.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Obama Lead Narrows at Isabella County Fair as Gore Write-In Vote Emerges

The results of the unscientific straw poll at the Isabella County Democratic Party's booth at the county fair took an interesting turn on the second day of the fair on Tuesday.

Al Gore supporters who are trying to draft Gore to run for president made their presence felt on Tuesday unduly influenced perhaps by campaign literature inadvertently left on the voting table. But integrity has been restored to the voting process by moving the Gore lit over to the the free literature table where it belongs.

Hillary Clinton won the day on Tuesday by just one vote ahead of Barack Obama, but Obama still holds the overall lead at the county fair so far. With four more days to go at the fair it is anyone's guess which direction the Isabella County Fair vote will go.

Now for the gory details or perhaps Gore-y details. On the Tuesday poll Clinton lead with 12 votes, Obama had 11 votes, Gore had 6 write-ins, Edwards had 5 votes, Kucinich had 2 votes and Bill Richardson had 1. Thus far Joe Biden and Mike Gravel have failed to get any votes from the Isabella County fair visitors. But there is still time to make their mark if their supporters come by the voting table in the Merchants Building at the Isabella County Fair.

Now the overall vote total for the two days at the fair still has Obama leading Clinton with 20 votes to Clinton's 19. Edwards now has 8 votes and Gore has 6 write-ins. Dennis Kucinich tallied his two votes on Tuesday and Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson are still lagging with just one vote each.

So come on out to the fair. Your vote could be the one that moves this election.

Obama Leads Clinton at Isabella County Fair

The straw poll being conducted at the Isabella County Democratic Party's booth at the County Fair is admittedly very unscientific and it was just the first shift on opening night of the Merchants Building of a week long event.

But the results were not far off from what many Democrats are thinking -- that there are three front runners in the early part of the Democratic presidential race and the rest of the candidates aren't making much of an impression.

It will be interesting to see how fair week ends and our mini election process finally tallies out. But we did manage to convince a small bunch of fair voters to circle their favorite candidate and slip their ballot into our little blue ballot box.

The results were Obama - 9 votes, Clinton - 7 votes, Edwards - 3 votes and Dodd - 1 vote. The other four got no votes.

We were a bit disappointed that so many folks declined the opportunity to vote, but we understand when elephant ears and lamb judging contests await, it may be difficult to interest some folks in politics. "I'm not registered," one reluctant non-participant offered. But she also declined when we offered a real registration card. That was a low point for a political activist.

But it was good to see the interest from so many folks who came to us to tell us they see themselves as independents, but will be voting Democratic for president. One independent made a point to tell us he was an Obama supporter. "He's not like some of those other Democrats," he said as he walked away. I wanted to ask him a bit more, but had another person waiting to chat.

The initial results at the county fair are not unlike what voters were telling us at the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival earlier this spring. Isabella County could be an Obama, Clinton close one. It will be fun to follow.