Newsletter July 2015

In this July newsletter:

Winner Announced in 14th CD Logo Contest

Kari Cote a graphic designer formerly of Michigan who now works in Nashville, Tenn, decided to create a logo and banner the 14th CD Logo Contest. The 14th CD  Executive Officers considered all the applicants, but selected Kari’s work as the best of all.   

This marks the very first uniquely designed logo for the 14th district and it will be used to identify the 14th from this point forward. A huge shout out goes to Kari for her excellent work!

Kari’s design portfolio includes logo & banner. We will use these two items for buttons, letterhead, business cards, newsletter and website as well for use with social media.

Kari entered the contest at the suggestion of her parents, Peggy & Larry Grant who live in Ann Arbor.  Though Kari was unable to attend the unveiling of the logo, on her behalf, Peggy and Larry accepted the thanks of the entire 14th CD at its July meeting.   As our volunteers start using our new logo and banner you will see Kari’s creativity put to use in all our 14th CD materials.

Notable Announcements:

  • July 2: Farmington Area Republicans (FAR) meeting [see details below]
  • July 16 to 19: FAR booth at the Farmington Founders’ Day [see details below]
  • July 17-18: MIGOP State Committee meeting, Lansing
  • July 20:  Oakland County Young Republicans meeting with guest speakers Senator Marty Knollenberg and Mike Goetz, candidate for Oakland County Prosecutor at 7 p.m. at the Black Finn Restaurant in Royal Oak  
  • August 3-8: Wayne County Republicans booth at Wayne County Fair, Belleville [details below]
  • August 19: Craft Beer & BBQ on the Lake hosted by the Greater West Bloomfield Republicans.  Hold the date or get details by calling (248) 444-5700
  • August 25: Oakland County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting
  • September 10: Attorney General Bill Schuette BBQ,  Village Club, Bloomfield Hills
  • September 19-20: Republican Mackinac Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island  
  • September 30:  Eastside Republican Club dinner featuring Ronna Romney-McDaniel at Sinbad’s Restaurant
  • Next 14th CD Meeting:  Thursday, September 17 at 6:00pm
Meeting location- Jimi’s Restaurant
714 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067
All meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month.

All Republicans are welcome to attend this open meeting!  Please join us with your ideas energy and help to make us grow!

Reagan Freedom Quote.jpg

14th District Supports End to Civil Asset Forfeiture

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard spoke “for” the notion of civil asset forfeiture and Jarrett Skorup, policy analyst and content manager for Michigan Capitol Confidential at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Midland, MI) spoke “against” the idea.   After hearing from these experts, the 14th District Republican Executive Committee meeting at its regularly scheduled July meeting overwhelming voted to support a resolution that would effectively end Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws.   See the related press release at [email protected].
In that press release our chairwoman noted, “Our resolution notes that the Michigan Legislature has recently passed bills which would partially reform the civil asset process.  However, the 14th Executive Committee resolution calls for even more action to end the process of seizing assets without due process”.

Meet Matt Schonert: State Committeeman

This is the fourth in a series of profiles about our 14th District state committee members.
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Matt Schonert, who lives in Hamtramck, was elected to the 14th District Executive Committee in 2013 and was re-elected in 2015.  He was elected State Committeeman for the 14th at the 2015 State Convention.  Matt serves as Vice Chair of the Technology Committee for the MIGOP.  He is also treasurer of the Wayne County Republican Party.

He is a lifelong Michigan resident, originally from northern Michigan. Professionally he has worked in Detroit for the last five years as a web developer.  In the 14th District, Matt has served on the fundraising team preparing for an outreach project with Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that repairs and improves homes for people in need in Detroit. He also works on technical issues related to our website and newsletter.

A Hillsdale College graduate (Economics), after graduation Matt worked there for three years managing technical aspects of Hillsdale’s online presence, including e-delivery of the college's monthly publication (named “Imprimis”) and building a web site for the college's Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies & Citizenship in Washington, D.C.

Over the past few years, Matt has volunteered at many precinct delegate recruitment events throughout Michigan.  Further, he is a frequent volunteer for Republican information booths and petition drives to organize opposition to tax increases, government surveillance and gun control.  Any time not committed to his GOP causes is devoted to kayaking and bicycling.

“I urge all Republicans to take the legislative season as seriously as we do the election season, because winning in the legislature is just as important as winning at the polls on election day,” Matt says.

Farmington Area Republicans (FAR) Stress Freedom

This is the second in a series to profile groups in the 14th District that support GOP positions.
Bill Belcher says he likes to refer to the Republican Party as the Freedom Party.
Belcher, president of Farmington Area Republicans, points out that the GOP was born in the early 1850s through the efforts of anti-slavery activists.  In the early 1860s, of course, Republicans worked to pass the 13th Amendment (which outlawed slavery), the 14th Amendment (which guaranteed equal protection under the laws) and the 15th Amendment (which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans).

“In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor Women's Suffrage and the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was passed by a Republican majority in Congress over strong Democratic opposition,” he states.

“The 1957 Civil Rights Act, and the 1960 Civil Rights Act were passed with strong Republican support. These are some of the reasons I like to refer to the Republican Party as the Freedom Party.”
A predecessor Republican group, founded in the 1980s by the late Ben Marks, ended its activities in about 2010.  Belcher worked with a group of strong Republican leaders to relaunch what is now known as FAR.
“We have focused many of our efforts on making sure that FAR is diversified so that our membership looks like Farmington’s population.  We have been successful in attracting Jewish, African-American, Asian Indian and other ethnic members.   Of course this is an ongoing effort,  but our efforts to date have been very valuable to FAR” Belcher says.
FAR holds informative monthly meetings. For example, at its June, 2105 meeting the club heard from Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst and editor of, a web site that provides searchable, sortable descriptions of every vote by every member of the state Legislature.  Members also heard an update on news from Farmington City Hall by Mayor Bill Galvin and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Scneemann.
In the past FAR has endorsed candidates running for local offices and many FAR members have been personally active in supporting or opposing various millage proposals..
“FAR has been a big supporter of the Farmington Founders’ Day event, which is an important community event.   Each year we staff a booth and walk in the parade.  We’d love to have more people from the 14th District join us on July 16 to 19”,  states Belcher.   Check out Founders’ Day by clicking here and to participate connect with Terry West, event co-ordinator for FAR,  at [insert his email}.”

Other leaders of the club besides Belcher are Bill Largent, past president; Kerry Jackson, vice president; Renee Murphy, secretary; and Mike Evangelista, treasurer. Directors are Fritz Beiermeister, membership; Sue Burstein-Kahn, communications; Carol Foster, issues; Terry West, events; and Terry Johnson, parliamentarian.
More information is available on the club’s website at, by emailing [email protected] or calling 248.766.0714.
FAR meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Farmington Hills City Hall. Registration is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts promptly at 7 p.m

July 2nd FAR Meeting to Hear From “Climate Change” Expert

In a timely presentation, Dr. Irving Ginsburg will speak at the FAR meeting on Thursday July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Farmington Hills City Hall.  Dr. Ginsburg’s talk is titled:

ANTHROPOGENIC (MAN-MADE) CLIMATE CHANGE (ACC):   Settled Science or Unsettling Propaganda

The presentation will examine and analyze both sides of the "man-caused climate change" debate.  The scientific arguments will be presented such that any one with a high school education in science should easily understand.

Among Dr. Ginsburg’s relevant experiences are:
  • Consultant to Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Chief Scientist, Department of Energy Remote Sensing Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV
  • Manager of Information Analysis Laboratory, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM)
Get smart about “climate change” by attending this event!

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 votes.   Her role in supporting the Democrat Party line can be seen.  After considering her positions, please feel free to call her office at 202-225-5802.
  • HR 2250 (which Lawrence voted against) would reduce the 2016 federal legislative branch proposed spending by 1% (yes, one percent) or about $30 million. (The Capitol police would be exempt.)


  • HR 2250 (Ratcliffe Amendment), which Lawrence also voted against, would eliminate $5.7 million in spending for an Open World Leadership Center which would allow legislators and their staff to connect with “political elites” from the former Soviet Union.


  • HR 1735 passed 230 to 180 (and which Lawrence voted against) prohibits any federal agency from using funds to transfer or release prisoners from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This addresses a loophole where the prohibition only applied to the Defense Department.


  • HR 2578 (Flores Amendment) passed 236 to 190, with Lawrence (of course) voting against.   The National Ocean Council was created by an Obama Executive Order.   Though this Council never received congressional approval or review, the Council in 2012 issued regulations for all of the nation’s waterways.  This amendment prohibits funds from being used to implement those regulations.

Time to Sign up to Make a TEDexDetroit Presentation

TEDxDetroit, a nonprofit that hosts conferences centered on short, live presentations from a broad spectrum of business and nonprofit leaders, will host its next event Oct. 8 at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.  The deadline for speaker submissions is Aug. 8.  The call for speakers and attendees is open.  Potential attendees can submit their ideas to a selection committee, while attendees may request an invitation to the event on

Wayne County Fair will have GOP Booth

Wayne County Republican Committee (WCRC) will host a booth at the 69thannual Wayne County Fair in Belleville from August 3-8.   Volunteers will meet with voters, have fun and distribute material in support of the GOP.  WCRC will also sell candidate and party buttons and very cool GOP T-shirts.   To help with this volunteer effort, connect with Dillon Breen at 734-718-0207 or email him at [email protected].  Be a part of the GOP excitement in Wayne County.

Gentle Reminder About Membership

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

News Links of Interest

  • Tour de Troit
    • The 14th annual Tour de Troit ride is September 19th! This is Michigan's largest bike ride and the chance to experience "Motown Sans Motor" with thousands of other riders. It's really a chance to see the city in a different light! With the price of your ticket, you'll also receive police escorting along the route, a rest stop, post-ride food & beverages and a t-shirt. Buy your at  tickets now!

A Message from the Chairwoman

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


What an amazing four months!   As your 14th Congressional District adjourns for summer recess (yes even Republicans get to enjoy our Michigan summer) we can all look back on some huge accomplishments.  Specifically, over the last few months your Executive Committee has identified six money raising activities, each with a named leader,  to generate cash to support local and state GOP candidates during the upcoming election cycle.  The 6 activities we chose to implement over the next year are:

Fundraisers 2015- 2016

  • Reagan Dinner- Janine Kateff
  • CPL Class- Robert Oestreich
  • Rebuilding Detroit Project- Michelle DiNardo
  • Guns & Roses Class- Robert Oestreich/ Wayne Bradley
  • Dinner Event- Chris Konja
  • District Bowling League- Matt Beer

Critically important, the Executive Committee has also voted to support fourteen activities that drive the Republican message to specific targeted groups and through specific actions.   Our community messaging actions have been divided into four groups:

Community Message Committees

  • Education Outreach- Sue Burstein Kahn
  • Community Events- Fritz Beiermeister / Carol Foster
  • Cultural Outreach- Gina Barr
  • Communications- Glenn Gilbert / Bill Rauwerdink

Leaders need volunteers!  So that means we need you to get involved, have some fun and meet new like minded republicans!  Connect with me and I will get you to your area of interest!  Watch for results with an organized effort from the 14th.

We were honored that the parents of our Logo Contest winner could attend and be recognized at our June 18 meeting.  Out new logo is shown above in this newsletter and will be rolled out as we launch various communications. Congratulations to Kari Cote who won the contest.

Your Executive Committee voted overwhelmingly to support a resolution calling for the end of the civil asset forfeiture process.  Our action here calls for our elected officials to do even more to end the process of seizing citizen’s assets without due legal process.  See our press release on this topic at our website.

On a more serious note, Sheldon Blair our beloved precinct delegate, GWBR board member and staunch Republican, passed away last week after a seven month struggle with brain cancer.  Please join me in reaching out to his family with prayers and support.   We love you Sheldon.

Mark your calendar for our next 14th District meeting: Thursday, September 17, at Jimi’s  Restaurant in Royal Oak with  6:00 p.m. for Dinner & Networking and the Meeting at 7 p.m. .

Happy July 4th, have a wonderful summer, enjoy your family and stay in touch!

Thank YOU for all you do for your District, State and country!

Warmest Regards,

Janine Kateff
14th District Chairwoman
website -
586 917 6118