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Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Pete Hoekstra, Herman Cain return to Ypsilanti Township's Big Sky Diner

By Tom Perkins

At Ypsilanti Township’s Big Sky Diner on Thursday afternoon, Dennis Bozung wore a T-shirt with a red circle and cross over Barack Obama’s name. Below it, the shirt read “End the Obamination 2012” and “Vote like your life depends on it.”

He was among the many energized Tea Party members who came to see former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra campaign with former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Hoekstra is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Debbie Stabenow, and it’s the third time he has stopped at Big Sky on Ecorse Road. He said he was on home turf at the diner, which hosts the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus meetings every Friday evening.


Pete Hoekstra shakes hands with Ann Arbor resident Dwight Bornemeier.

Tom Perkins | For

Bozung manufactures political T-shirts in Brooklyn, Mich., and, like many others at the rally, he said it’s important for him to have a fiscally conservative candidate representing Michigan.

That candidate, he said, is Hoekstra.

“That’s key and that’s what’s on everyone’s mind,” Bozung said. “We need a conservative to step up and take charge of the economy in Michigan.”

Ann Arbor resident Dwight Bornemeier echoed Bozung’s thoughts.

“You need to be able to pay for it before you can get it, and if you don’t have enough money, then you shouldn’t even want it,” he said.

His wife, Jean Elder, said she was concerned that Stabenow was simply voting lockstep with liberal senators from the northeast.

“We need a senator who cares about issues in Michigan, not somebody who is looking to the northeast block of senators and asking “What are you going to do?” she said.

But Hoekstra and Cain devoted little of their time to Stabenow, instead taking aim at Obama and his policies. Hoekstra questioned what the president was doing about rising gas prices and said he would work to increase coal, nuclear and natural gas production, as well as take advantage of North American oil reserves.

He said he would also work to repeal “Obamacare” and push for deregulation that he claims would open the door for job growth.


Pete Hoekstra talks to a crowd gathered at the Big Sky Diner on Thursday.

Tom Perkins | For

Hoekstra came under fire recently for his controversial campaign aid featuring an Asian woman riding a bike along what appeared to be a rice paddy and speaking in broken English while she thanked "Debbie Spend It Now" for spending so much U.S. money in China. The Hoekstra campaign has since said they were phasing out the ad.

Cain, who was a frontrunner in the Republican presidential field until his campaign was engulfed in scandal over alleged affairs he had outside his marriage, focused on the need to beat Obama and sought to energize the crowd. He said old guard Republicans, Tea Partiers and conservatives all need to get behind the nominated candidate and “be prepared to engage in a struggle over the next eight months.”

“Even if your favorite candidate doesn’t get the nomination, get over it,” Cain told the crowd of around 75.

“The mission is to beat Barack Obama,” he continued to loud cheers. He later added several times voting for Obama is “stupid.”

Cain last campaigned at Big Sky as a presidential candidate in November.

Ypsilanti Township resident Edward Crislip is unemployed after losing his job at the former General Motors Willow Run plant. He questioned what Hoekstra would do to bring jobs back to Ypsilanti Township.

Hoekstra replied by pounding on his deregulation theme.


Herman Cain and Pete Hoekstra at a Hoekstra rally at the Big Sky Diner.

Tom Perkins | For

“Get government out of the way of business and you’ll be amazed at what this country looks like in two years, in four years,” he said.

Crislip, who didn’t know much about Hoekstra and was there more to collect information, said he approved of the response and liked that the politicians were paying attention to Ypsilanti Township.

He said the Obama administration's policies were behind the loss of manufacturing jobs.

“(Deregulation) needs to be done,” Crislip said. “We were once a great manufacturing town and now there’s nothing left. That hurts all the businesses.”

Pittsfield Township resident Denise Schlotz is a member of three Tea Party groups but she also knew little about Hoekstra until the rally. She said she liked what she heard, especially with Hoekstra's views on oil and energy, but she added that the Cain endorsement was the clincher.

Schlotz also said she was “definitely in favor of getting rid of Debbie Stabenow.”

“She’s been in there a long time and done nothing to effect change,” Schlotz said.


Bob Krzewinski

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Hoekstra said "he would also work to repeal "Obamacare" and push for deregulation that he claims would open the door for job growth. Just a simple question for Mr. Hoestra. If you repeal "Obamacare", what is your solution to make health care available, and affordable, to everyone? Please, please answer the question with a specific plan for health care.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Cain and Hoekstra ,even the t-party types came to this event wondering who these guys are.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

My question is,why does Hoekstra need a job so badly? He seems to run for every political office. Whats next dog catcher?


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Bozung manufactures political t-shirts. Please not more of those silk screen made in your basement variety that the t-party types wear as badges of honor. I wonder if he frames them too.

Leonard Thornton

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

How can anybody blame President Obama on what happen too all the auto jobs lost. He was not in office when things went down hill. If you going to blame him you need to add one more person Expresident Bush. It's time too work together instead of finding blame.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

What a circus!

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Seventh paragraph from the end... I seem to have heard rhetoric like that before. I'm surprised he didn't add, "And in FIVE years, you're gonna be blown away."

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'>;Address=&amp;County=28&amp;State=&amp;Letter=&amp;Hit=DirectSearch&amp;CountHit=No&amp;Partial=false</a>


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Oh BTW aren't you the one who is always making anti-Ypsi comments with no facts to back you up? like crack and meth houses line Cross Street ( yea, I remember that one )


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:10 p.m. about you pull up a years worth of inspections for places you eat at ? please ?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Cain was actually checking the place out as a possible future pizza place, or maybe looking for a job.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

There are a few restaurants I avoid, such as McDonald's and Krazy Jim's(home of the infamous blimpyburger). I avoid those places because of the food and their arrogance, especially Mickey D's. For a different reason you can add the Big Sky Diner to those two. Thanks to the Tea Party you can forget about ever seeing my face in that place.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

TDW: I live less than one mile from Big Sky Diner and pass by it at least 6 times per day. So yes my personal boycott effects them. If a business wants to be blatant with their politcs I can be blatant in choosing not to spend my money there. Big Sky Diner allows the nutcase Willow Run Tea Party to meet there once a week, Cain has been there twice recently, and now Hoekstra. No one forced Big Sky Diner to become so &quot;political&quot; and blatant with their views. I have made two boycott Big Sky Diner comments on two seperate Big Sky news articles and they two of the most popular comments regarding the articles. What does that tell you? I have also called Bug Sky Diner and asked them if the nutbag Willow Run Tea Party still meets there and they said yes. So I informed them I would continue not to spend my money there


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Have you ever been to Big Sky ? do you even know where it is ? I bet not.At any rate, your face won't be missed.I bet if it was a Democrat you'd be jumping up and down saying how the regular middle class guy supports the Democrats

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Hey, Tea Party. Hey. Hey. So you're so-o-o-o keen on letting the marketplace decide? Your rally drew a whoppin' great 75 people. Just sayin'.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Gotta love left wing liberals &quot; SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES ! &quot; ( that is only if they agree with me, otherwise to hell with the business and their employees &quot;


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

aawolve...Nope. I honestly don't think Republicans would want to boycott a local business because of their views.I've seen plenty of liberals wanting to boycott business because of their political views but not the other way around.Sorry but I pity you if you don't see that


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

&quot;A very blue collar area.&quot; You mean Ypsi? Thanks for the tip tdw. If the diner put on a few Obama events, you would see similar comments from the other side, and I do feel pity if you can't see that.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

For those that don't know Big Sky is in a VERY blue collar area.At one time the majority of the people there either worked for the Big three or auto related jobs


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : noon

They think hate is a family value. Big Sky Dinner will be fine, I dont think liberals tip very well anyways. Look to Biden's $369 in Charitable Givings. You would think he could do better, I know I do.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:21 a.m.

Big Sky Diner supports the Tea Party, Cain, and Hoekstra = boycott Big Sky Diner.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

Ciinabun: Too busy working taking care of your children

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

As if you patronize that restaurant anyway.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

They're in Ypsi. Of course they do.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

Dont worry I dont think they take bridge cards.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:01 a.m.

Hermie's endorsement sure helped Gingrich, right? Now he's on his way to support Joe the Plumber in Ohio. I'm sure he needs some support, tho generally it's legal help he's needed. In any event support from Cain is the kiss of political death. LoL.

Mark Hergott

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

I am so sorry, Tom. You don't deserve to have to endure this in the name of filing a story.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

If I wanted credibility I'd be sure to get Herman Cain to vouch for me.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:24 a.m.