Newsletter September 2015

In this September newsletter:

Notable Announcements:

  • September 10: Attorney General Bill Schuette BBQ, Village Club, Bloomfield Hills.  Register at 810-410-7277
  • September 16:  Second Republican Presidential Debate on CNN-TV with time TBD
  • September 17: 14th District Republican Committee Meeting, Jimi’s Restaurant in Royal Oak. 6:00pm dinner & networking, 7:00 p.m. business meeting topic “The Rubrics of Winning a Presidential Election”
  • September 19th-20th: Republican Mackinac Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island (see details below)
  • September 21: Oakland County Young Republicans meeting with guest editorial/political cartoonist Henry Payne at 7 p.m. at the Black Finn Restaurant in Royal Oak
  • September 29 - October 3:  State Policy Network annual meeting to be held in Grand Rapids (details below) with a theme of “Experience Freedom”
  • September 30:  Eastside Republican Club dinner featuring Ronna Romney-McDaniel at Sinbad’s Restaurant     

Local GOP Candidates Plan to Make a Difference this November

With much focus on the 2016 Presidential election, we need to also focus on our local  elections that happen in November 2015.    As of the publication date of this newsletter the following is a list of candidates who have announced for the office indicated.  Please connect with them to offer your financial support or help them walk neighborhoods to get out the vote for our Republican candidates!

Support our great local Republican candidates!  Please report any other 14th CD candidates for local elected office in November 2015 to Janine or Glenn Gilbert ([email protected]) so we can help promote their efforts.

New Charter School to Serve Chaldean Population

Nathan Kalasho was involved in public education in Hazel Park for seven years. He said that experience taught him the need for a stronger implementation of cultural studies for the region’s Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian populations.

It is that motivation that  led the West Bloomfield Township resident to found the Keys Grace Academy Charter School, which opens Sept. 8 in the former Edison Elementary School building in Madison Heights.

It is the first school of its kind in the nation.

What makes the school unique is its planned integration of Mesopotamian studies.

Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization, is the founding community of modern law, science, language and math, according to the school’s website. As its descendants (Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac peoples) continue to experience a population decline worldwide, it is imperative to preserve the language and rich history, Kalasho believes.  Keys Grace Academy has formulated a complete Modern Aramaic curriculum to incorporate as a required class for all students.  Aramaic is the language that Jesus spoke.

Keys Grace Academy anticipates an enrollment of 500 at its opening, and has the capacity to serve 800, according to an Associated Press report.

Kalasho became even more motivated to open such a school with the rise in Iraq of the Islamic State, which persecutes Christians, leading to an increase in the already significant  exodus of Chaldeans from the country.  An estimated 30,000 Chaldeans have left Iraq since 2007.

Kalasho has been active in efforts to help the refugees. He attended a meeting of President Obama’s national security team to discuss the problem in  July of 2014. He also has met with members of Congress and other officials regarding refugee assistance.  “We are struggling to find countries to take in these peaceful people,” Kalasho says. “We run the risk of extinction.  Not enough has been done to help these people.”

According to the Bingham Farms-based Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, Chaldeans  are an indigenous people of Iraq.  Most  are Eastern Rite Catholic. They are led by the Patriarch of Babylon and affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, but maintain their own separate Bishops and Dioceses.

Metro Detroit has the world’s largest Chaldean population outside of Iraq, with an estimated 121,000 people, according to the Chamber.  Many Chaldean’s  live in the 14th Congressional District. As the Key Grace Academy opens, Lisa Mansour, wife of Republican activist Al Mansour, is the school’s principal. 

Kalasho, the son of immigrants who also were educators, has spent $200,000 in preparing the building for the school. He is president of Kalasho Empowerment of Young Scholars, which will manage the school.

For more information, go to

U-M’s YAF has Ambitious Agenda

This is the fourth in a series profiling groups in the 14th District that support GOP positions.

Strobl photo.jpgGrant Strobl of Grosse Pointe Shores is convinced there is a large silent conservative contingency among the student body that hasn’t been encouraged to speak out on the University of Michigan campus. He and others who started a U-M chapter of YAF last year have tried to provide a platform for them to do so.

They succeeded beyond their wildest imagination last academic year, “starting from a small team of officers to becoming the prominent conservative group on campus successfully challenging the university, and winning national Chapter of the Year as a result,” Strobl says.

Strobl, 19 and now a sophomore, is a member of the 14th District GOP Executive Committee, where he is the youngest such elected member in Michigan.

Young Americans for Freedom is the chapter affiliate of Young America's Foundation. YAF chapters on college campuses and at high schools across the country advocate for the principles of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values and a strong national defense.

YAF was founded on Sept. 11, 1960 by a group of young conservatives who met at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. and wrote its founding document, the Sharon Statement. In 2011, YAF and Young America's Foundation unified, with the former becoming a project of the latter. YAF alumni have founded or played a critical role in numerous conservative organizations, including the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association, the Fund for American Studies, and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, according to the group’s website at

Strobl says most U-M students are apathetic, and the vocal students are liberal. But the conservatives will emerge when they are passionate about the topic at hand, he says.

YAF was “incredibly successful in having the majority of interested students support our efforts to bring back the ‘American Sniper’ screening” after University officials had cancelled it, getting over 700 petition signatures, Strobl says.

“This is an example of boldly advancing ideas that can mobilize students to make change, a model that conservatives have forgotten since the rise of the conservative movement in the 60s and 70s.”

The chapter has organized projects such as the “9/11: Never Forget Project,” and “No More Che Day,” but also brought to campus speakers such as Jonah Goldberg and Deroy Murdock, drawing hundreds of attendees and national media coverage.

“We also, more famously, led the charge against biased professors and liberal activists with our opposition to professor Susan Douglas, who said that ‘we should all HATE Republicans,’” Strobl says.

The Ann Arbor chapter has an ambitious agenda for the upcoming fall semester.

“Our goal is to reach a record number of students by screening the movie ‘The Honor Diaries’, hosting Congressman Tom Price, as well as our generic projects like the 9/11 Memorial. We are also planning to hold a debate between Bill Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza,” Strobl says.

Strobl says the reason YAF hopes to show “The Honor Diaries,” is that over a year ago, CAIR convinced officials at University of Michigan to cancel a screening and a panel discussion on the movie. The Council on American–Islamic Relations bills itself as a Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization.

“We are looking for financial help to hold a screening and panel discussion ourselves, and bring the campus' attention to human rights issues in the Middle East.  You can donate here: All donations over $100 will receive the book, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, signed when he spoke at an event held by our group earlier this year. Your donation will go to speaker honorarium fees and advertising for the event. The event will be on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union.”

The YAF chapter, which has 150 members on its email list and an active membership of 20, typically meets weekly on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Welker Room of the Michigan Union. The meeting schedule and calendar can be found at

Strobl has been involved with Young Americans for Freedom for over four years. While at Grosse Pointe North High School, he fought the school administration to bring conservative Steve Forbes to speak. His continuing involvement earned him appointment to YAF’s National Board of Governors last year.

GWBR Hosts Successful Craft Beer Tasting at Cass Lake 

Craft Beer event August 2015.jpg

Part of the Greater West Bloomfield Republican set up crew for the Craft Beer & BBQ event held August 19. Nearly 100 Republicans attended the event held at the beautiful Cass Lake home of Gail and Jerry Kosmensky. GWBR Board members (l to r) are: Dr. Irving Ginsberg, Al Mansour, Marian Sheridan, Lauren Burris (event Chairwoman), Bill Rauwerdink and Julie Blair.

Order your MIGOP Clothing for the Fall

As the political season moves into high gear, show your support for our Grand Old Party by making a fashion statement.  Check out gear that shows the world you are a Republican at 

Last Chance to Register for MIGOP Leadership Conference

Since 1953, Michigan Republicans have gathered every two years at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to discuss ideas, to learn how to articulate the Republican message and to interact with fellow Republicans from across the state — and the country.  The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference has become one of the premier Republican events in the Midwest.   With former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Senator Rand Paul (KY), and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush all confirmed to speak, the conference this year stacks up to be one of the best ever.   Register at

Democrat Party Severs Ties with their Own History

Every family has its “crazy Uncle Harry” that many would like to scrub from the family tree and photos, but few families actually take such extreme actions.  Then we have the Democrat party.   It has decided to block the memory of its earliest party leaders from its future.   One being “scrubbed” is Thomas Jefferson.    Let’s hope the GOP builds on its history of being the party for freedom and never tries to scrub its history from popular usage within the party.  Details at

One GOP Debate Down and How Many to Go?

The first GOP debate held in Cleveland set an all time viewing record for a non-sporting event show on cable television.  Who says there is no interest in GOP politicians?  So mark your 2015 calendar for the upcoming GOP debate dates.

  • September 16 - CNN at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California
  • October 28 - CNBC in Boulder, Colorado
  • November TBD - Fox Business in Madison, Wisconsin
  • December 15  - CNN in Reno, Nevada

Of course, 2016 has its own dates for debates, but let’s just deal with 2015 for now.

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 pretty clearly.   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.

  • HR 2578 (Sanford Amendment) passed 290 to 134, with Lawrence voting AGAINST.  This resolution cut spending by 2.48% for the Department of Justice, Commerce and others for the next fiscal year.  The result is that these departments would have the same funding as the current fiscal year.  Only in Washington would this be considered a “cut”.
  • HR 2577 passed 216 to 210, with Lawrence voting AGAINST.  This resolution approved $55.3 billion for the Departments of Transportation, HUD and others for the next fiscal year.  This is $1.5 billion more than the current fiscal year, but $9.7 billion less that Obama requested.  Among the funding is $26 billion for public housing and $1.4 billion for railroads.
  • HR 2042 to delay EPA carbon dioxide emission regulations passed 247 to 180, with Lawrence voting AGAINST.   This bill extends the time to comply with restrictions imposed by the EPA on existing power plants and lets state governors refuse to comply if the regulations would significantly increase rates or reduce reliability.
  • HR 1190 repeals the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (“IPAB”) established under Obamacare (i.e., ACA) and passed 244 to 154 with Lawrence voting AGAINST.  The ACA required Congress to either enact IPAB or substitute other changes.  IPAB is the agency called a “death panel”  by ACA opponents.

State Policy Network Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids

SPN is the largest national organization of free-market organizations.  This meeting will bring together leaders, policy experts and activists focused on advancing the liberty agenda.  With a theme of “Experience Freedom”, this is the second time that Michigan has hosted this groups’ annual meeting.  SPN had previously met in Midland in 1993.  To learn more about this event, co-hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, check or email [email protected].

Gentle Reminder About Membership

Are you a member of the Republican 14th CD?  Mail your $25 membership check 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.

News Links of Interest

  1. Fifteen motivational quotes that will keep you going.
  2. How successful people get more things done.
  3.  45 Artists Paint Murals in Eastern Market
  4. 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 tickets now!
  5. Bold plan to bring gigabit fiber to Detroit.   
  6. Chaldean charter school started in metro-Detroit
  7. Pure Michigan’s “We Run on Brainpower” ad is amazing.
  8.  Another great story where Michigan is ranked among the best states to earn a living
  9. President Ford to be honored with new documentary about his presidency. Learn more:
  10.  Dequindre Cut to be Turned into Designer Playground this month
  11.  Take a virtual tour around all of Lake Michigan here


Andrew Richner is alive and well and serving on the University of Michigan Board of Regents. He was incorrectly listed as deceased in a story noting his role as a co-founder of the Eastside Republican Club in our August 2015 newsletter.

A Message from the Chairwoman

Dear 14th District Executive Committee Members, fellow Libertarians, Moderates, Tea Party activists whom all fit under the Republican umbrella, 


Thank you for all of the work you do to support the party. We are in a full headwind as we sail toward the November 3, 2015 elections.   The wind is strong and we need to remain steadfast in communicating, rallying and door knocking for the good of our local candidates. As you read this newsletter and future newsletters, please note the names you see over and over again because they are the volunteers who drive the 14th District. We always welcome new volunteers not only from the Committee, but also from Republican members at large. In short we always need volunteers to help us grow.

Have you heard about the new Chaldean school opening in Madison Heights?  Very exciting indeed. See in this newsletter an article that focuses on the first of its kind in the country, a charter school designed to meet the needs of the Chaldean population.  The Principal of the new Chaldean school is the wife of local GWBR Board member and activist Al Mansour. The 14th District salutes the new school as it opens this month. Congratulations!

The 14th Executive Committee kicks back into gear on Thursday, September 17 with dinner and networking (Join Us!) between 6:00 -7:00 PM. See details below.  The business meeting starts at 7:00 PM.  Our agenda is expected to include speaker Adam Raezler, Policy Analyst, who will discuss to the “Rubrics of Winning a Presidential Election” and a new proposed resolution regarding potential road funding.

As a reminder, the 14th CD in earlier meetings established the following fundraising events and community message committees for 2015.  The event/committee and its leader(s) are:

Fundraisers 2015- 2016:

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

Critically important, the 14th CD Executive Committee 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- Linda Stulberg
  • Community Events Coordinator - Carol Foster
  • Cultural Outreach - Aaron Tobin
  • Communications - Glenn Gilbert / Bill Rauwerdink

Iran Rally Pic.jpgStop the Iran Nuclear Deal Rally, sponsoredby Citizens Against the Iran Agreement, was held in Southfield just days ago.  14th Executive Committee member Eugene Greenstein (shown here speaking at the Rally) was a key organizer for this event.  Our Democrat politicians have largely come out in favor of the deal.  If you disagree, call them now.   Specifically Representative Brenda Lawrence has said she will vote FOR this deal and Senator Gary Peters, supposedly, remains “undecided”.  The final vote is expected in late September, so call now!

One of the 14th CD’s Oakland County Commissioners, John Scott, is keeping an eye on our tax dollars being spent at the DIA.   He represents the far northern end of the 14th District.  Check out his story at:  If you have other local or county elected officials who are doing a good job for us, let me know so we can promote their good work.

Next 14th CD Meeting:  September 17 at 6:00 p.m. for DInner and Networking
7:00 p.m.  the business meeting starts
Meeting location- Jimi’s Restaurant
714 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067


As always, ALL REPUBLICANS ARE WELCOME to attend this open meeting!  Please join us with your ideas, energy and help to make us grow!

Warmest Regards,
Janine Kateff
14th District Chairwoman

586 917 6118