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Video: E-mails and signs are being circulated to get the vote out for anyone but Romney to help President Obama.

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Lansing GOP chief warns of unions’ stirring up crossover vote in primary

Video: E-mails and signs are being circulated to get the vote out for anyone but Romney to help President Obama.

LANSING, Mich. — Many Republican leaders as well as pollsters and political analysts throughout Michigan have been dismissive of the scenario of a large number of traditional Democrats crossing over into the GOP presidential primary Feb. 28 to back whom they consider the weaker potential opponent to Barack Obama. But one key Republican leader insisted to us that labor unions in his county were telling their members to do just that.

Ingham County Republican Chairman Norm Shinkle, whose county includes Michigan’s capital city of Lansing, told HUMAN EVENTS Monday that “several friends of mine in unions” have said that there are e-mails and other signs that union leaders want their their members to vote in the GOP primary Tuesday.

“And Local 602, which includes [auto workers] who work at General Motors, has been especially active in this effort,” said Shinkle, citing reports from friends of e-mails and handbills encouraging votes in the Republican primary with the goal being to “support Obama.”  As to precisely who the union leaders want the cross-over voters to support, Shinkle said there were earlier reports that it was to vote for Ron Paul and more recently Rick Santorum.

Shinkle recalled the last time there was significant crossing over of labor-friendly voters to the Republican primary in 2000, when John McCain upset favored candidate George W. Bush. 

Then-GOP Gov. John Engler had said “Michigan will be a firewall for Bush,” said Shinkle, “and the unions decided to take him on.”  However, he also pointed out that union leaders were “very open” about their plan to embarass Engler by defeating his man Bush in Michigan and the current cross-over encouragement is not out in the open.

Much like State GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak in his interview with us on the same day, Shinkle predicted that the contest Tuesday would be “very close.  Mitt Romney is strong in Southeastern Michigan [Detroit and Oakland County) and Santorum is strong in Western Michigan.” 

But, like Schostak, Shinkle was not making any predictions.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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