By Michele Bourdieu
CALUMET -- "Pizza with Scott," a reception for Scott Dianda, Democratic candidate for Michigan's 110th House seat, will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, June 25, at The Station Restaurant in Iron River, Mich. There is no charge for the event and it is open to the public. A variety of pizza and beverages will be available.
An RSVP can be made by calling 906-228-8196 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I would like to invite my friends, supporters and interested voters to come and visit with me about the issues of concern across the 110th District," said Dianda.
Photo, top, left: Scott Dianda, Democratic candidate for Michigan's 110th House seat. (Photo courtesy Scott Dianda Campaign)
Dianda speaks to supporters in Laurium
Clarence McDonald, chairman of United Auto Workers (UAW) Retirees of the Western U.P., introduces Scott Dianda to supporters gathered at a reception for the candidate at the Irish Times Restaurant in Laurium June 13, 2012. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)
Public education, jobs, infrastructure, local control of government and PA 38 (which Dianda opposes because it will tax seniors' pensions and give tax breaks to wealthy corporations) were the main issues Dianda discussed during a reception held for him on June 13 at the Irish Times Restaurant in Laurium. Democrats from Houghton and Keweenaw counties attended the event and expressed their support for Dianda's campaign. He emphasized his wish to represent the people of the 110th District, which covers seven counties, from Marquette County and Ishpeming Township to Copper Harbor, to Crystal Falls and west to Ironwood.
Here is a brief video clip of Dianda speaking at that event:
Scott Dianda, Democratic candidate for Michigan's 110th District House seat, speaks to supporters at a reception held for him at the Irish Times Restaurant in Laurium, Michigan. Click on YouTube icon for a slightly larger screen. (Video by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)
Dianda also expressed his thanks to Democrats for their endorsements of his campaign, in particular, former state legislators Mike Lahti, Mike Prusi, and Paul Tesanovich; United Auto Workers retirees represented by Clarence McDonald; and the Michigan Nurses Association.
Lahti, former 110th District Representative, expressed strong support for his fellow Democrat and would-be successor.
"I think Scott's a good man," Lahti said. "He works hard. He understands what we in the UP are concerned about; for example, he wants strong schools and jobs so our people can stay here."
Keweenaw County Democrats attending the reception in Laurium included, from left, Jacquie Jaaskelainen, Keweenaw County Democratic Party chair; Frank Stubenrauch, Keweenaw County Commissioner; Angie Piche; Don Piche, Keweenaw County Commissioner; Gordon Jaaskelainen (not facing camera), Keweenaw County Road Commissioner; and Tom Renier.
Many local residents who attended the reception have known Scott Dianda, a Calumet native, for a long time and told Keweenaw Now of their support for his campaign.
John Parsons, a retired teacher who taught at Calumet High School for 33 years, said Scott was a student of his years ago.
"I do think he has a chance," Parsons said. "I support public employees. We've taken such a hit. We can't have the entire state government be in the hands of one party -- it's not good. We need balance.
Another retired teacher, Judy Rupley of Chassell, who taught elementary school in L'Anse for 32 years, said she herself is running as a Democrat to represent Houghton County District 5 on the County Board of Commissioners. It is her first time running for public office.
"We need Democrats running -- not only for District 5, but for all of Houghton County," Rupley said. "We're all in this together for the good of the people."
Judy Rupley of Chassell (left), candidate for District 5 on the Houghton County Board of Commissioners, is joined here at the Laurium reception for Scott Dianda by other Houghton County Democrats, from left, Mike Makinen, Houghton County Prosecuting Attorney; John Laitanen, Franklin Township Trustee; Reba Andrews; Pat Sohlden; Clarence McDonald, chairman of UAW Retirees, Western U.P.; and Janet Gregorich, Houghton County Democratic Party vice-chair.
Rupley added she would like to see District 5, which includes Chassell as well as Duncan, Portage, Elm River, Laird and Stanton townships, as a place where businesses would be welcome to create opportunities for employment and where people would want to live in a clean environment with good schools.
Another Democratic candidate for Houghton County Commissioner, Rick Kasprzak, who is running for County District 1 (Hancock and Calumet townships), also expressed his support for Dianda.
"I'm enthusiastic about supporting Scott because I know he will be the voice of Houghton County in Lansing," Kasprzak said. "We have a lot of possible representatives for our interests here in the UP, but it's going to take the rest of us to help put them in office. We have to knock on doors and talk to friends, relatives and neighbors and inspire them to go to the voting booth and make a difference. And one of the things I thought I could do to make a difference is to run for County Commissioner."
Rick Kasprzak, candidate for Houghton County Commissioner, and Scott Dianda, candidate for Michigan's 110th District House seat, chat with Joanne Thomas of Allouez (Keweenaw County) during the reception for Dianda in Laurium.
Dianda, in turn, said he supports Kasprzak's candidacy for Houghton County Commissioner.
"I've got everything good to say about this guy," Dianda noted.
While Dianda did not mention the name of his opponent, Republican Matt Huuki, who defeated him for the 110th District seat in 2010, Brian Rendel, Houghton County Democratic Party co-chair, did not hesitate to make a comparison.
"Scott works hard," Rendel said. "His heart is in the right place. We need a representative in Lansing who represents the people of the 110th District. We don't have a representative in Lansing right now. I don't think Representative Huuki is living up to his title. He represents special interests and Republican leadership in Lansing. He does what they tell him to do. We need a representative of the people."
Learn more about Scott Dianda by visiting his Web site.
Click here for a partial list of 2012 Democratic candidates on the Houghton County Democratic Party Web site.