Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why does Michigan Liberal hate Sharon Renier?

Wow. What did Sharon Renier ever do to Michigan Liberal? She seems to be public enemy #1 over there.

Last time I checked, this site was supposed to support liberals, not rip them a new one.

I like Sharon. I voted for her last time around. I got hooked on Michigan Liberal in the 06 election because of their posts about what a loser Tim Walberg was and they'd always end with "Now go work for Sharon Renier!"

But now I read that Sharon is chopped liver- those are their words. Sharon doesn't like that the Democrats are playing favorites. I know it's been hard for her to try to run this time. She expected some support from blogs that used to support her. But they love Mark Schauer and told her to get lost. Actually, it was a lot ruder than that. They sound like a bunch of snotty high school kids:

"If Sharon Renier wishes to get angry at someone, it should be the god of political probability, who says that come August that in all likelihood she is going to get pummelled by a superior candidate. Working to that is not something that I need to justify to anyone, including anonymous hit piece authors who may or may not have just last Fall publicly complained about anonymous blogger hit pieces in a column written for the Battle Creek Enquirer.

It's also unfortunate that Sharon Renier thinks we should feel obligated to remain on the sidelines until after the primary. This says much about why, in this case, we aren't remaining neutral. While Renier complains about how she has no money and nobody loves her, Schauer is out raising cash and building organization."

I'm trying to remember the last time any Republican got that kind of ass-kicking. You'd think Sharon shot Mark's dog. I hope she doesn't take this crap. This kind of stuff makes me embarrassed to be a Democrat.

They should take a page from Blogging for Michigan. They understand what it means to be a Democrat and have apologized to Sharon in a nicely named post "No Democrat Is 'Chopped Liver.'" That's a class act.

I think when we're months away from the primary that we can make up our own minds on who to vote for. But thanks for telling us what to do, Michigan Liberal. At least we know Mark Schauer has won three votes from them. Not that any of them probably live in the seventh district anyway.

I have to be honest. I didn't think Sharon's odds were great since everyone knows Mark Schauer. But if his supporters are ripping Sharon Renier this hard, I guess they're worried. Good for her.

I really hope that Mark is paying these wannabes good money. But the sad thing is you know they're carrying water for him because they think he really likes them. Maybe they think they're going to DC with him! That's so cute. Aren't they smart enough to see they're being used? Mark doesn't need the three bucks they'll raise for him. He just wants their PR. He could care less about them.

A lot of us volunteered our time to help Sharon last time. She did a great job. She should be appreciated for that. She's a nice person and her heart's in the right place. Maybe some of those bloggers should actually meet her and see what she's about.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Campaign finance for charlatans

The Battle Creek Enquirer recently did a compare-and-contrast piece on the political fundraising practices of Tim Walberg and Mark Schauer.

The article takes both candidates to task.

"What I find revolting is that both men swim the sewage of politics and don't retch - they actually seem to feed off the stench," writes author Susan J. Demas.

It's worth a read.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Meet Ken Brock

"liberal, Jewish trial lawyer."

Those are the words of Ken Brock, chief of staff to state Sen. Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek), in dismissing the chances of Schauer's fellow congressional candidate David Nacht. Brock didn't specify whether he was against all Jews, all trial lawyers or just Jewish trial lawyers.

Nacht, who dropped out of the race on Friday, says he's not offended. Brock said he meant no offense. (Click here for the article quoting Brock.) But I'm offended, and you should be offended, too. Here's why.

Brock is a Michigan state employee. His salary as chief of staff comes at the expense of the taxpayer, probably to the tune of $90,000 a year. His role is to manage the Senate Democratic staff in an effort to advance the Democratic Caucus' legislative agenda.

We already have a Republican congressman who secured his seat by campaigning in churches. Now we have a Democrat on the taxpayer's dime using religion to marginalize other campaigns.

I don't often agree with RightMichigan, but it's hard to argue with the truth:
David Nacht may very well be liberal and he may very well be a trial lawyer and those are things that may very well be important in a Congressional race. But what, Mr. Brock, does his Jewish heritage have to do with anything?

Brock explains away his bigotry as simple political analysis. But the fact of the matter is, in the months since Nacht announced his candidacy AT NO POINT did his religion become a topic of derision or even mere discussion.

When did Nacht's religion become an issue in the campaign? When Brock injected it into the discussion. And shame on David Nacht for trying to justify this anti-Semetic rhetoric. He may not have offended you Mr. Nacht, but he did offend me and many others.

Ken Brock is not a private citizen. He's a public employee taking our tax dollars as compensation for the job of doing state business. Instead he is speaking with reporters about a political campaign. If that were not bad enough, he cheapens politics by playing the religion card. Brock should not think for a minute he can justify this kind of action with, "that's not what I mean't to say." He meant exactly what he said.

The most prudent action would be for Schauer to terminate Brock or for Brock to resign. It would be a wise move for Schauer to show the voters he is a man of character and worthy of holding a seat in Congress to help make sure this happens.

Call or e-mail Senator Schauer and tell him what you think should be done about Ken Brock. His contact information is here:

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Lesson from Virginia

Submitted by TheMaverick09
In the '70s, independents started aligning with the GOP. In the '80s, a slew of conservative Democrats (led by now former Sen. Chuck Robb) wooed them back. The '90s saw the Republicans take advantage of the Democrats moving slightly too far left to win four out of five major races. Now the Democrats are on their own winning streak, thanks to putting on a more practical governing face and a Republican Party that's lost touch with the independents.
Michigan Democrats could learn a great deal from the Virginia political landscape as detailed by NBC news analyst Chuck Todd in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.

The lesson for Michigan Democrats is two-fold: First, recognize the political importance of the independent voter in deciding the outcome of elections. I argue that the independent voter will be especially relevant in the 2008 election because the Republican Party has taken such polarizing positions on critical issues such as stem-cell research, the war in Iraq, the environment and health care. Second, the Democratic Party in Michigan must remember that its candidates for office represent a “practical governing face” and not a partisan governing face.

At this early stage of the political discussion for 2008 it is clear there is a real swing toward Democratic candidates. With this swing will come pressure on candidates to accept the entire platform of the Democratic Party and then present him/herself as the “best Democrat” among the candidates. This tendency will prove a dangerous position for a would-be Democratic nominee in 7th Congressional District of Michigan.

For a number of years now, the 7th has been viewed as a staunchly conservative district and that is simply untrue. A general election victory is only achievable with broad voter appeal. In general elections, the majority of voters look to the candidate and the qualities he brings to the office and do not simply vote for someone based on their political affiliation. There is something to be said for cross-over appeal.

Mr. Todd offers up Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia as an example of an elected official who has never failed to appeal to his district’s independent voters.
What's fascinating is that from a 30-year perspective, Mr. Warner hasn't lost touch with Virginia ideologically. The two parties ebbed and flowed past him, while he's continued to appeal to independent voters. Over the past four decades, they've traded dominance in statewide elections, with one party or the other winning three or four major races in a row. In this state, each party has been able to hold the upper hand, through the support of independent voters, for about a decade at a time.
The Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional seat must follow a mold similar to Senator Warner if the party wishes to win and maintain this seat. The candidate should be intelligent, secure in his/her convictions, possess an understanding of his entire district and not be beholden to a rigid party platform. More importantly, we must have a candidate capable of appealing to the independent voters. Some of these independent voters have always been fiercely independent. However, in 2008 many independent voters will be moderate Republicans disgusted with the direction their party has taken of late. These newly independent voters will not be comfortable supporting an anointed partisan who fails to understand the broad spectrum of political issues that are important to them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Forest from the Trees

Submitted by TheMaverick09.

We should keep in mind the big political picture for 2008. Animosity-laden posts of late are really unproductive and only serve to undermine the success of Democrats in the 7th. The questioning of blogger’s motives and conspiratorial quips is ridiculous.

The Democratic candidates in the 7th District present an interesting aspect of the 2008 election. However, the infighting is beginning to resemble the inner-party squabble that has kept Democratic candidates from defeating Republicans and, in the past, prevented a Democratic majority.

I fear our conversation has lost its focus. I see the 7th District race as more of a test for the Democratic Party and the extent to which we are capable, at a state and national level, of making smart candidate choices and properly allocating resources behind the most viable candidate in the race?. The blogosphere is an important new addition to politics and campaigns and is destined to reshape politics forever. However, Democrats ought to keep in mind that politics is a science. And when it comes to the 7th Congressional race and how the 08 election is shaping up, certain candidates will be stronger than others. No matter how passionate one may be about one candidate or another, there will be one who is the best bet to oust the Republicans. It is also a fact that a messy and expensive primary race does not help the cause. I have said it before and I will say it again and again, in many cases primary races serve only to hurt a party when it comes to the general election.

My hope is the conversation here is not founded only in emotion, wild speculation and calls for censorship of opinions. Rather, lets try to elevate the conversation and have discussions in the Netroots based on political science and strategy. In doing so, the party will be better able to help clear the way for a Democrat who is most likely to defeat Walberg.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Focus is on Walberg

From an anonymous poster at WalbergWatch and To Play the King.:

I think everyone-especially when they post here, needs to remember that the focus is beating Walberg.

I like Mark Schauer and think he is doing a good job in the Senate.

I think Jim Berryman was a good State Senator and fought a good fight against Smith in '98.

As Republican's go, I think Joe Schwarz was a good Congressman and if he switched parties would do an excellent job.

So, ironically, after so many years of wandering the wilderness of nobody to run or having a nobody run against "Do Nothing Nick"-Reiner, Crittendon, etc, we seem to have too many qualified candidates to run against Walberg.

The logical thought then, seems, to boil it down to who is doing what now.

Sen. Schauer is a sitting Senator, currently serving the largest poplulation centers in the 7th. Then, along with that, the complex and important role of leading one of the four caucus' and (presumably) preparing the caucus for both the 2010/12 re-districting fight and 2010 election.

Jim Berryman is fighting for teachers benefits with the MEA.

Joe Schwarz is working on Health Care issues and (I assume) continuing his medical practice.

We can debate the relative importance of Congress/State Senate, but it is irresponsible to suggest that either isn't or is more important than the other. Maybe to you, one is bigger than the other, but they are both big. It matters who is serving and the policys they promote.

At the end of the day, I return to my opening line, focus on beating Walberg.

If Berryman continues to run or Schwarz jumps in as a Dem, then I think it is probably better to have Schauer stay in the Senate. Both Berryman and Schwarz are credible, realistic alternatives to Walberg.

Ultimately, I think any of the 3 (S,S,B) can beat Walberg, but lets say Schauer does. Then we are left with a special election in the 19th.

Would Simpson run? Griffin? Whomever-hopefully-the Dems in Calhoun have elected to replace Nofs?

The bets on all of the above are long. All are/would be important to keeping the Dems in charge of the State House.

What would likely happen? Probably the first of an 8 year run in the Senate for Mike Nofs.

Now, how bad can that be? Well, doing the math on the Senate today, the Dems have 17 seats. Ultimately, when the budget and the rest of the important decisions are made in Lansing, the Senate Republicans have two marginal seats-Kahn and Richardville. Both will have to be very careful how they vote btwn now and the next election. So, they are the most likely to join with the Dems on a "mission critical" vote (Education, taxes, cuts, etc.) With the two of them today, that gives you 19, with the Lt. Gov breaking a tie.

Take the 19th/Schauer off the table, put in Nofs, and you drop to 18. Or, to put it another way-wave goodbye to getting anything done during the last two years of the Granholm administration.

I like Schauer. I like what he is doing, but I would also like him to stay in the Senate.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Demas Opines on Possible Schauer Run

The Battle Creek Enquirer's Susan J. Demas hits the nail on the head with her column from today, "Schauer should sit this one out."

No one questions Senator Schauer's abilities as a state legislator. That's not the issue. The issue is where he can best serve us, and that's in the Michigan Senate. Some highlights from the column:

Yes, everyone was shocked, shocked this month to learn Mr. Schauer wants to go to Washington. Ever since former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz fell to Tim Walberg in last summer’s bloody GOP primary, Dems have sounded an anguished cry: “If only
Mark had run.”
Maybe that’s why his political machine didn’t do battle for Sharon Renier, the ne’er-do-well turkey farmer who last fall came within four points of beating Walberg anyway.

Michigan is facing its worst crisis in history, between the hemorrhaging auto industry, embarrassingly low college-graduation rates and a state government that lacks the dough to keep the lights on. Schauer can’t possibly accomplish more for the state as a freshman congressman — one out of 435 — than as minority leader of Michigan’s upper chamber. He’s Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s go-to guy and the Dems’ strongest voice on budget matters.

Demas' column reinforces the view of one very astute commenter on this blog. I'm reposting it virtually in its entirety here:

We need Senator Schauer doing the good work he’s doing in the Senate. When he’s there, good things happen (or bad things--like censorship--stop). When he’s not there, we lose our leader.

Case in point: Schauer has taken Senate Republicans to task for not getting the job done. A few days ago, he held a press conference to raise hell, and raise hell he did. “My caucus members are sick and tired of being part of a do-nothing Senate.” Well said and good job, Senator.

That’s why we need him in Lansing. But now, Republican partisans are taking him to task for leaving the country for an Israel trip. They note Granholm press secretary Liz Boyd’s statement that "Every day the Legislature is on vacation and not working on the budget hurts the state.”

Schauer should have stayed in Lansing in his office, demonstrated how hard Democrats are working and continued to fire away at the irresponsible, let’s-take-a-break legislators. Instead, he went to Israel and undercut the governor’s message. He’s allowed the Republicans to say, “Well, Mark, that’s like the pot calling the kettle black. You weren't here either.”

Senator Schauer should be in Michigan giving the Republicans hell, not in Israel giving them a pass. I think your concerns about a Schauer congressional run are well founded. He should focus on the task at hand and spread the Democratic love. Good Democrats can’t afford distractions, neither can the state.