Newsletter February 2016

In this February newsletter:

Notable Announcements:


  • February 3:  Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) at the University of Michigan is sponsoring a debate between Bill Ayers (remember this radical’s influence on BHO)  and Dinesh D’Souza at 6 p.m. in the Michigan League Ballroom. Free and open to the public, but seating is first come, first seated.  Please register at   See article below.
  • February 4:  Farmington Area Republican (FAR) meeting at FH City Hall features Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen and Representative Klint Kesto (R-District 39)
  • February 4:  Lunch with Dinesh D’Souza hosted by Bloomfield Republican Women’s Club. Registration required at
  • February 5-6:  MIGOP State Committee Meeting in Lansing
  • February 6:  Republican Presidential Debate from Manchester, NH broadcast on ABC News
  • February 12-14:  Detroit Winter Blast at Campus Martius 
  • February 13:  Republican Presidential Debate from Greenville, SC broadcast on CBS
  • February 15:  Oakland County Young Republicans meeting with Oakland Commissioner John Scott at Black Finn in Royal Oak.  Email Shawn at [email protected] for further details.
  • February 16: Eastside Republican Club meeting in Grosse Pointe Farms features Michigan Supreme Court Justices Joan Larsen. Click here for details.  
  • February 18:  14th District Republican Committee Meeting, Jimi’s Restaurant in Royal Oak. 6:00 p.m. dinner and networking, with a 7:00 p.m. business meeting.  Speakers include MIGOP Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano and Dr. Rob Steele.
  • February 23 and 25:  Greater West Bloomfield Republicans host their"Valentine's Day" CPL Class.   Note date change and get more details at
  • February 23:  MEDEFCO meeting; details at
  • February 26:  Republican Presidential Debate from Houston, TX broadcast on CNN
  • March 3:  Michigan Political Leadership fundraiser featuring GOP strategist Karl Rove and others in Livonia.  Please contact Jennifer Oram for tickets at [email protected]
  • March 8: Michigan Presidential Primary

Valentine’s Day CPL Class

Back by popular demand, the Greater West Bloomfield Republicans will host its popular Valentine’s Day CPL class.  As the saying goes, "A couple that shoots together stays together."  

Join GWBR on February 23 and 25 with NRA-certified CPL Instructor Mark Cortis as he teaches the NRA-certified class "Personal Protection in the Home."  This class fulfills all of the training requirements necessary to apply for a State of Michigan Concealed Pistol License.

 Each registered attendee will receive 50 rounds of handgun ammo along with snacks, refreshments, and range time with the instructor.  Get details at the GWBR facebook page or register by clicking here. 


D’Souza vs. Ayers Debate in Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan chapter of Young American’s for Freedom will host a “showdown” debate between Dinesh D'Souza, the bestselling conservative author, and Bill Ayers, the anti-war activist and longtime radical friend of President Obama, on February 3.  

D’Souza is director of award winning films, including “2016: Obama's America.”  Ayers is author of “Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident” and is a University of Michigan graduate.   

 he debate will be moderated by Dean Andrew D. Martin of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.  The debate topic will be:  "What’s So Exceptional About America?"

 The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged by clicking here.

 Grant Strobl is president of YAF and is a member of the 14th CD’s Executive Committee.  This event is financial supported by the 14th Congressional District.


What President Obama has Spent  Seven Years Talking About

We all wonder what is he talking about?!  Really, we do. Frequently his comments are followed by a few words of our own directed toward the President.   Well, now we
all can know what he has been talking about.  Check out this analysis of the topics talked about over the last seven years here

Wayne County GOP is Unique and Here is How

Sixth in a series profiling groups in the 14th District that support GOP positions.


Republican conventions in all 82 Michigan counties will be held on August 11, according to rules promulgated by the Michigan GOP. These conventions will choose delegates to the 2016 state party convention to held later that month.

But wait a minute: Aren’t there 83 Michigan counties? Is this a mistake?

 No, for as the proposed rules state,  “the term ‘county committee’ shall be read to include the congressional district committees in Wayne County and the congressional district portion committees within the boundaries of Wayne County.”

 Why is there a separate standard for Wayne County?

 Well, the answer goes back as far as 65 years, but perhaps no one knows exactly for sure how far back this goes.

 Back in the 1950s or ’60s, the Michigan Legislature felt that because of its population size, Wayne County was too dominant in the processes of both of the state’s political parties. It therefore adopted a law prohibiting any county with over 1 million in population from having a county party organization. As Oakland County approached 1 million in population the legislature raised the figure to 1.5 million, so it would apply only to Wayne County.

Ed Haroutunian, one of the most prominent people in modern Wayne County GOP politics, recalls that a challenge to this law grew out of the Pat Robertson GOP presidential campaign in 1988. In 1990, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati ruled the statute, which prohibited a county organization and required a separate delegate selection process just for Wayne County, was unconstitutional.

 The ruling necessitated that a new system be devised for selection of Wayne County delegates to state conventions — either apply the same system to Wayne as Michigan’s 82 other counties or come up with something else.

 “We met and in 1991 put together bylaws and set up the current system,” Haroutunian recalls.

 The Wayne County Republican Committee was created and Haroutunian, a Bingham Farms lawyer who lives in Detroit, became its first chairman. The committee’s purpose was to give the county a voice in state party affairs, but it was seen as somewhat of a “threat” to Congressional district committees within the county that had long been choosing state convention delegates.


Therefore, the state party permitted an exception to be carved out for Wayne County in deference to the sentiments of Wayne Republicans. There have been as many seven U.S. congressional districts encompassing parts of Wayne County, but today there are four, Haroutunian notes.

 Eric Doster, who has been general counsel for the MIGOP for 20 years, guesses it has been nearly a decade since anyone has questioned the setup.

 “I suppose that if everyone agreed it would be possible to change this,” Haroutunian says. “But the culture is not that because this structure has been this way so long.”

 The bottom line is that it will be Wayne’s 14th District Committee, currently headed by Dan Grano, that will be selecting delegates to the state convention from the portion of the 14th District in Wayne County. Other Congressional Districts located in Wayne will have similar meetings.

 Meanwhile, it will be at the Oakland County convention where the Oakland County portions of the 14th District will choose its state delegates.

 So there you have it. This process may be arcane, unique or even strange,  but it is a part of Michigan’s political history.

Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan Elects its Board

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan held its state convention [on  Dec. 5] and  elected 12 members to serve on the RLC MI board.  Among those elected were 14th CD Executive Committee member Robert Oestreich (Farmington Hills) and 14th CD State Committeeman Matt Schonert (Hamtramck).  Also elected was 14th CD activist Peter Trzos (Keego Harbor).  Each will serve a one-year term. Oestreich was also elected Treasurer.


RLC is a 527 voluntary grassroots membership organization dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and free markets. More details here:

Have the Major Political Parties Really Flipped?

Some say that the major political parties have changed sides or become similar to each other over the years.   To see if this is correct, CLICK HERE
.  The University of California has recorded the official party platform for each party receiving Electoral College votes for over 150 years.  None of the parties are “your grandfather’s (or grandmother’s) party” that’s for sure.  Go armed with facts.  When you hear something is (or is not) in a party’s platform, now you’ll know.

Immigration Crisis Explained Using Gumballs — Really!

Roy Beck uses gumballs to explain why immigration to the U.S. is not a solution to the crisis of needy people around the world.   His fun and graphical presentation makes it all simple.  Click here to check it out.

Meet Max Rohtbart, 14th District Secretary

This is the fifth in a series of profiles about our 14th District Executive Committee leadership.

Max Rohtbart’s journey toward becoming a Republican was really set before he was born.

 His grandfather, Marcus Rohtbart,  who is about to celebrate his 90th birthday, came to this country from Poland at the end of the Second World War, having fled the Eastern Bloc.

 “He is a Holocaust survivor and was in many camps from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Dachau,” Rohtbart says. “He is the bravest person I know and I love him.  My grandfather is  a big supporter of Ronald Reagan. He was a large donor to many of his campaigns and has photos and certificates lining the walls of his home.  So I was already predisposed to become a Republican.”

 But as with all of us, it had to become personal. For Rohtbart, who is secretary of the 14th District Republican Committee, the experience crystallized in a middle school history class.

 “My teacher was the most leftist person I have ever known and I was from a very young age a history buff.  So when she gave me watered-down stories of history, which I knew to be false, this made me realize that the leftist thought process was based on warped views of history,” Rohtbart recalls.   “By manipulating our past they hoped to influence our future. This revelation set me down the road to become a Republican.”

 His parents’ experience in business probably underscores his free enterprise views.

 “I am the proud son of a father (David) selling wholesale beef and a mother (Carol) who is an entrepreneur starting a new business.”

 He has been involved with Republican politics since before he could vote, starting out as a volunteer on the John McCain campaign for president in 2008.

 His political involvement really took off after he became an intern in Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign starting in May of 2010.

 “I was enthusiastic about his campaign, memorized his entire platform and started to volunteer  in April,” Rohtbart recalls. “By May I had an internship that would last until November. While I was an intern it was recommended that I run for precinct delegate, which I did and won my seat easily.  I attended my first county convention and loved the process. I was elected as an alternate and attended the 2010 fall state GOP convention, which was one of the best experiences in my life. The people shouting on the floor debating fundamental conservative values kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.”

 Rohtbart, currently an Oakland University student double majoring in political science and history, has attended all but one MIGOP state convention as a delegate or alternate since that time.

 In 2011 he was appointed youth vice-chair of the 9th Congressional District Republican Committee and vice president of the Oakland University College Republicans. Later that year he was elected secretary of the Oakland County Lincoln Club, where he was on the executive committee of the dinner that raised over $100,000 for the Oakland County Republican Party.

 With the volunteer mindset going strong, in 2012 he worked with for various campaigns,  including those of U.S. Congressional candidates Kerry Bentivolio and Mike Rogers, and presidential  candidate Mitt Romney. He also served as chairman of the Students for Romney Campaign at Oakland University.

 To better understand how meetings should be conducted, in 2014 he joined the Louis Saks Parliamentarian Club and currently serves on its bylaws committee. With this knowledge, he was appointed parliamentarian at the 2014 Oakland County Fall Leadership Convention. In 2015 he was elected secretary of the 14th Congressional District Republican Committee.

Rohtbart has also worked in Bloomfield Township and the City of Rochester on Election Day as a precinct chairman, election inspector and a member of the Absentee Counting Board since the 2012 presidential primary.  

Outside of politics Rohtbart is a student studying history and political science at OU. He is also a high school sports official for football, baseball, hockey and lacrosse contests. He graduated first in his class at the National Football League Officiating Academy and is a Member of the National Association of Sports Officials.  “I recently went on an archeological trip to Israel this past summer and spent three weeks digging at Tel Lachish which is a biblical historic site,” Rohtbart says.

 “I am a process-driven guy. I believe that how we win matters as much as if we win. My future goals are to improve transparency on the convention process, have fair elections in our party and heal the divisions in our community.”

Democrat Rep. Brenda Lawrence “Votes for Us” in Washington

Your Democratic 14th Congressional District U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence has been
busy in Washington, D.C.  Here is a recap of several of her recent and shocking votes.   Her role in supporting the Democrat Party line and not Michigan values can be seen very clearly here.   Her votes often are like this:  think of a logical idea/opinion and then vote the opposite way.   After considering her positions, please feel free to call her office at 202-225-5802.


  • HB 22 passed 359 to 65 with Lawrence voting FOR.  This approved a five year $275 billion spend for transportation.  The 196,000 word bill contains uncountable provisions including money for AMTRAK, building ferryboats and car rental safety programs.  Also included are numerous provisions unrelated to transportation, such as reapproval of the Export Import Bank which the House had voted to not fund earlier this year.
  • Luckily for us, Congress has not been in session that much so there has been less damage done this month.

News Links of Interest

  1. Valentine candy from Sydney Boggs?  Isn’t that store closed?  Nope.  
  2. Tour Oakland County ski slopes 
  3. Carhartt.  A 124 year old American company here in Detroit.  
  4. Fourteen places to visit in 2016 and one might be a surprise 
  5. Hillary’s view of how V.A. Hospitals treat vets 
  6. Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) named one of world’s best clubs 
  7. This will help understand the lack of leaders in elected positions 
  8. Generational wealth is mapped for the US 
  9. What to do with leftover holiday beer  
  10. Tour Michigan Using Google Trekker.  Amazing!  
  11. Nothing happens until someone sells something 
  12. Age of elected officials much older than population they represent   
  13. What is the real problem with government pension plans?  
  14. Ten productivity killers most people don’t bother to fix 
  15. Apple CEO says something of interest here in Detroit about automobiles 
  16. Fifty posters that ROCKED the world 
  17. Ten bad reasons to get a job 
  18. Six workplace myths you need to stop believing 
  19. BHO takes military grade equipment away from local first responders.  Let’s unilaterally disarm. 
  20. Detroit Zoo has record attendance in 2015 
  21. Grand Rapids ranked as a top boom town in the USA 

Gentle Reminder About Membership

Are you a member of the Republican 14th CD for 2016?  Mail your $25 membership check to Treasurer Chris Konja, 6575 Stonebridge E., West Bloomfield, MI. 48324. Your dues and our other fundraising activities support Republican candidates and organizations the 14th CD.

A Message from the Chairwoman

Dear 14th District Executive Committee Members, and fellow Republicans;

 Our January 21, 2016 meeting began with a bang!  With a large crowd in attendance, I presented the “State of the 14th District”, otherwise known as a year in review.  

 11 months ago, after I was elected as Chairwoman, we discovered the 14th District had

$0 dollars on hand, 0 emails to use, 0 previous events and no newsletter, Twitter, Facebook page or website in place.

 11 months ago we identified three overall focuses:

  1. Grow our base in the 14th District
  2. Raise funds to support future candidates via fundraisers
  3. Educate members

 11 months ago the 14th District collectively at its meeting selected:

  • 5 fundraising goals and
  • 3 Committees to do community outreach work.

Today, 11 months later, thanks to the collective work of many Republicans listed below,  I am proud to report the following achievements for the 14th District.

 Grow Our Base - Accomplishments

  • Attendance at our monthly meetings averages about 60. We have been as low as 47 and as high as 92. Our base has grown significantly. Based on previous quarterly meeting attendance (which was often only a handful of people) before I became chairwoman, our base has grown by at least 69% based on an average number of 69 members attending monthly meetings.
  • Membership dues have collected approximately $1,200  over the past 11 months.
  • Design a Logo Contest included several entries that brought new members and a GREAT new Logo for the District. The Executive Committee chose the Logo you now see proudly displayed on this newsletter and elsewhere. 

Raise Funds for Candidates - Accomplishments

  • A CPL class waslead by Robert Oestreich (Farmington Hills) who raised $2,200 while growing our base and supporting 2nd Amendment rights. This was a first fundraiser for the 14th District and we had 4 gracious sponsors. THANK YOU ROBERT
  •  Feliz Navidad Christmas Party - Although this item was NOT officially on the list of fundraisers, we always knew we were going to have this party. Gloria Rocha (Detroit), Donzell Green (Detroit)  and Matt Schoenert (Hamtramck)  stepped up to lead this event with a Latino theme. The event was held in Detroit’s Mexican Town at the Mexican Village restaurant featuring authentic Mexican food and live performing Latino dancers. Baskets were auctioned off and a good time was had by all. We raised $1,500 from this event and had a RECORD of NINE sponsors!!! THANK YOU GLORIA, DONZELL and MATT!!
  • In all we collected just under $5,000 in 11 short months.  With elections coming up, we are in position to actually financially support our terrific GOP candidates!


Educate Members - Accomplishments

  • The 14th District passed three Resolutions in these eleven months. 1.) Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform (which was similar the law later amended in the State Legislature). 2.)  Against the Prop 1 Tax Increases (as we know Prop 1 was voted down by historical proportions in a statewide special election on May 5, 2015), and most recently 3.) To Suspend Refugee Resettlements into Michigan


Communications Committee - Accomplishments

The most notable Committee that has accomplished an extraordinary amount of improvements for the 14th District is the Communications Committee. This Committee has created a state of the art professional quality and monthly 14th District Newsletter, established a full featured website, an active Twitter account, and an active Facebook page.  Further, the 14th has issued sixteen press releases many of which have been successful in attaining local media coverage.  As a result, together we have collected MANY emails to add to receive the monthly Newsletter.


Congratulations go to Editor Glenn Gilbert (West Bloomfield), Bill Rauwerdink (West Bloomfield), and Matt Schonert (Hamtramck). AWESOME JOB and CONGRATULATIONS GENTLEMEN!!!


The 14th District has accomplished many goals!   And we are just getting started!

 We had two other important matters on hand at the January 21 meeting.  We conducted a Presidential  “straw poll”. Members voted for eight candidates; Senator Ted Cruz took first place and Donald Trump was a close 2nd.  Combined, the two leading candidates received nearly 60% of the total votes cast.  The remaining votes were spread fairly evenly across the other six candidates.  Stay tuned!

 The Executive Committee heard the second presentation on  Refugee Resettlements.  This presentation was “‘Pro’ Refugee Resettlements” and our guest speaker was Attorney Serene Zeni who did an amazing job presenting this hot topic.  

 After Serene’s brave presentation and a thorough Q&A session, the Executive Committee passionately debated and ultimately voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to support a temporary suspension of Refugee Resettlements. Specifically the resolution suggests suspension until the vetting process is more complete and more transparent. Our resolution is in keeping with statements from the FBI and Homeland Security.

 Most importantly, I was proud of the respect and honesty displayed by the Committee and guests, not only for the Speaker but for each other. No one person felt threatened or feared shut down and the result was that everyone spoke freely. We learned a great deal about each other that night. In short, we were able to agree or disagree with respect. I even heard a few words like “I still love ya” after the vote took place. What a great segway into being able to understand each other’s perspective.

 We observed mutual respect and the freedom to speak openly and honestly.

You made me proud!  You set the example for all Republicans to follow.

 The resolution has been sent to GOP leadership throughout the state and can be seen by clicking HERE.   While the vote was strong in one direction, this was a tough issue with strong feelings on each side. Thanks to all who participated.  


I recently submitted a similar Refugee Resettlement Resolution to our MIGOP. A special thanks to Dorene Weisberg, Dick Manasseri, Dr. Irving Ginsberg,  Linda Stulberg and Sue Burstein-Kahn (14th CD MIGOP Committeewoman) for their help in composing this Resolution. The proposed resolution will be considered at the MIGOP State Committee meeting to be held in Lansing on February 5 and 6. We are hoping it will be approved there, too.


 Remember your special Valentine on February 14.  See the article in this newsletter about a unique gift for your special person!  Get your CPL together as a couple --or individually!  As they say…“A couple that shoots together stays together!”  At the same time, you will be supporting our wonderful GOP candidates for a 2016 win!

Next 14th CD Meeting:  February 18 at 6:00 p.m.

Guest Speakers: Ronna Romney McDaniel (MIGOP Chair), Justice  David Viviano, Dr. Rob Steele and many more candidates!

Meeting location- Jimi’s Restaurant

714 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067


All Republicans are welcome to JOIN US!

 All Republicans are welcome to attend our open meetings!  Please join us with your ideas, energy and help to make us grow!  Happy Valentine’s Day!


Warmest Regards,



Janine Kateff

14th District Chairwoman


email - [email protected]

Like our Facebook -

website -

twitter -

586 917 6118