Because of the principled approach to vetting and endorsing candidates, the tea party networks in several states (including in Michigan) voluntarily operate in strategic partnership with the Independence Caucus organization in their state. It's a group of concerned citizens devoted to electing candidates truly committed to constitutional loyalty and fiscal responsibility, regardless of party, whose goal is the election of such candidates to not less than 40% of the available seats in the several state legislatures and both chambers of Congress . . . in each election year. The iCaucus concerns itself with candidate screening, endorsement, and advocacy, with a specific focus on constitutional loyalty and grassroots activism, and on integrity over money, which makes it a unique organization in contemporary politics.
There has been a shuffle in the statewide leadership of the Independence Caucus of Michigan, but the Senate Primary endorsement voting is finally underway. The voting window will close late Saturday, and if one of the four candidates receives a 60% supermajority, then the endorsee should be announced sometime on Monday. Otherwise, the top two will stand for a runoff next week, with the results to be announced probably Friday or Saturday following. The four candidates for the Republican nomination, and their qualifying scores, are:
The iCaucus will also be getting involved in at least three (and potentially four) congressional races:
CD-03: According to the iCaucus' Citizen Sentinel Project, Justin Amash's voting record is such that his re-endorsement was automatic as soon as he requested. (Unfortunately, District Seven's Tim Walberg, who was endorsed in 2010, and is in a contested primary this time around, does not have the same quality voting record.)
CD-06: The defending incumbent, Fred Upton, did not respond to the questionnaire invitation by the deadline provided. Therefore, because Jack Hoogendyk did respond within the deadline, and has satisfied the questionnaire requirements (and because he was an iCaucus endorsed candidate in 2010), Mr. Hoogendyk now has the status of "recommended pending endorsement vote." I'm told that his campaign team is confident that the endorsement will be confirmed.
CD-11: As with the 6th, the write-in candidate in this primary failed to respond before the deadline. (I'm told that her campaign team was genuinely afraid that I'd be on the interview panel.) However, since Kerry Bentivolio did respond in time, and did satisfy the questionnaire requirements, and was endorsed by the iCaucus in 2010, his status is identical to Hoogendyk's: "recommended pending endorsement vote." So far as I'm aware, the iCaucus will not be getting involved in the Special Election to finish off McCotter's term.
I have been informed that the Republican primary in District Five (Jim Slezak vs. Tom Wassa) is another contest that the iCaucus may get involved in, if the vetting infrastructure can be set up in time. The word on the street is that the iCaucus will also be getting involved in probably six State House races that contain republican primary contests. Stay tuned; I'll keep you posted.