Sunday, January 6, 2008

Kudos for Hoogendyk!

Evidently I went on vacation in time to miss this story.

Jack Hoogendyk is a Republican state representative from the district just to the east of mine. I have met him and like him. He and I share highly similar political viewpoints. We also apparently share a tendency to "tell it like it is." The story copied below is from the Kalamazoo Gazette of December 21 (click here), although I first read it on The Western Right (WMU College Republicans blog—click here).

And if he runs, as I hope he does, he can expect my vote...and it won't cost him a penny.

If Jack runs for Senate, it will be on the cheap (by Charlotte Channing, 12/21/07)

Dick DeVos spent millions of dollars of his own money, outspent his opponent, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and still lost the governor's race in a landslide last year.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been far outspending opponent Mike Huckabee in advance of the Iowa caucuses, and guess what: Huckabee is leading Romney.

None of this is lost on Jack Hoogendyk, the Republican state representative who is considering seeking the GOP nomination to run against U.S. Sen. Carl Levin next year.

So when a conservative political consulting firm, Maurice Bonamigo and Associates, earlier this week made a pitch to Hoogendyk, offering its services to his campaign, it explained via e-mail how he would need to go out of state to raise enough money to challenge Levin, get on the top national political programs and gather a "strong management team that will be capable of handling ALL aspects necessary for a successful campaign.''

Hoogendyk, true to his direct nature, responded in an e-mail: "I have NO interest in a bunch of high-paid consultants who are going to drain me of valuable and limited resources. I don't want a bunch of 'experts' telling me what to say, how to say it, or when to say it. ... I will not be 'handled.' ... I am Dutch, cheap, and my wife is even cheaper. I cannot stand wasting money, especially on high-priced out-of-towners who think they can snow me into thinking they are going to make me a winner by throwing my money away.''

You'd think Bonamigo -- who is listed as having a home in Portage and told the Kalamazoo Gazette that he is a constituent of Hoogendyk's -- would be aware of the state rep's blunt nature, but apparently he was a little taken aback by Hoogendyk's response.

Bonamigo senior political consultant Darrel Zeck blasted off this response to Hoogendyk via e-mail: "Since it would take about $20 million for you to have a CHANCE at unseating Levin, I would step away before you waste people's hard-earned money. Based on your lack of understanding of this process, and your complete inability to professionally respond to an e-mail, you may want to consider not running (again) for public office at all.''

Hoogendyk is undeterred by this welcome into statewide campaigning.

And he's adamant he won't go into debt for this campaign.

"It's a reflection on the candidate,'' he said. "If a candidate goes into debt on his campaign, what is he going to do'' with taxpayers' money once in office?

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