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by: Eric B.

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 23:37:25 PM EST

Off to the left is a photo of Archie Bailey, Genesee County Commissioner for District 7. He's been a Genesee County Commissioner for 12 years, but his public service started with the Berkley school board in 1962. This is also his last year of serving the people of Genesee County District 7 ... at least, he said, for the time being. Next year, he will retire from that seat and although the future for his is an uncharted map, he said he'll get involved with the Innocence Project. He's also spoinsoring Michigan Liberal this week. Please thank him by following the link to his official Genesee County Commission page.

Speaking of thanks, Bailey said he has a lot of people to thank especially his two mentors, Sandy and Carl Levin. With his retirement pending, Bailey also said that he'd like to get in touch with his many friends across the state. If you know him, take this opportunity to reach out, because I think he'd like to hear from you.

As for me, this sponsorship lasts a week, so by Black Friday we'll be sponsorship-less and in the middle of the holiday season. If you think this means I'm going to act all depressing and pathetic and try to play on your sympathies to sponsor this website, then we're probably good, close friends because you know me very well. If you've thought about sponsoring Michigan Liberal before, this is a good time to do it to spare everyone a heaping helping of indignity. Cost is $25 a day, $100 by the week, or $360 for one whole month. Contact me at ebaerren@michiganliberal.com, via text message at 517/881-8008 (there is nothing on earth I hate more than talking on the telephone) or via social media. I'm not a hard man to get ahold of.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

SD-20: McCann requesting recount

by: ScottyUrb

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 14:35:33 PM EST

The 20th State Senate race was one of the heartbreakers of this election - perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit for us, yet we still lost.

Or maybe not.

Friends,

After much thought and consultation with my family, my team and supporters, I have decided to request a recount of the election results in the 20th Senate District.

More than 80,000 ballots were cast in the race, and the results showed a difference of only 59 votes, or 0.07% of the total votes cast, less than one vote per precinct. We think that this extremely close margin warrants a recount.

We also heard from many voters who expressed concerns about their votes being counted. Multiple issues with finalizing the local results give us enough concern that we believe a recount is appropriate.

Discuss :: (16 Comments)

And we have an answer as to whether the monkey house will be controllable next term...

by: Eric B.

Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 15:30:00 PM EST

Anyone remember that election thing we had a few weeks back? Sure we all do. Immediately afterwards came words, full of wisdom and sobreity, from all corners of Very Serious Personville that the governor had earned a mandate and that all we needed to know is whether a more conservative Republican majorityin the House of Representatives (with weaker, more inexperienced leadership) could be tamed and bent to his will. Today -- the day after one member of that soon-to-be caucus (and who has yet to officially take office) demanded partisan investigations into how the state handled one consultant -- we get the answer.

Tea party darling Todd Courser, now a state representative-elect, wasted little time going on the offensive against his Republican colleagues.

What's more, he's calling for the ouster of House Speaker Jase Bolger -- who only has about nine session days left in his reign -- if the speaker pursues a measure that would prevent discrimination against gays.

Answer: No.

I look forward to watching the reaction -- probably equal parts muted and confounded -- of Very Serious Personville next year when these people start offering up legislation commemmorating the South's victory at Chancellorsville during the War of Northern Aggression.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

CapCon picks up Gary Glenn's ball and runs, immediately clotheslined by real reporting

by: Eric B.

Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 14:41:28 PM EST

Yesterday, we noted that Gary Glenn was demanding an investigation into the high crime committed by the state in paying an expert in healthcare economics to consult on implementing a heathcare product. What we didn't note was that Tom McMillin the committee chairman he wants to investigate this, implied that Jonathan Gruber, the consultant in question, is a fraudster. Today brings word that one of the drones at CapCon has taken up the banner of trying to make this an actual news story

A consultant considered an architect to the federal health care law who said a “lack of transparency” and “stupidity of the American voter” were critical to getting it passed reportedly received $481,050 from the state of Michigan, and a recently elected state representative said he wants an investigation.

Unfortunately for said drone, someone did take him up on this, MLive's Emily Lawler.

A 2012 Michigan contract included $481,050 in state money related to a health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, said Michigan Department of Community Health spokesperson Jennifer Smith, and represented all the money that the state itself spent on state exchange-related activities.

“Regarding state funding, $481,050 in state funds was spent and that money went to the consulting firm Health Management Associates. HMA then had several subcontractors of their own,” Smith said.

It’s clear from the contract that Gruber was to be one of those subcontractors.

In other words, Gruber did get money. Just probably not half a million, the figure being whipped out of shape by people demanding what are thinly veiled attempts to beat on Obamacare in the state Legislature. If McMillin gets shut down, of course, Glenn will actually become a state representative next term with a House Speaker who will probably be more open to catering to the knuckle draggers of his caucus.

For added hilarity, here's the guy from CapCon -- the guy whose "reporting" was corrected by MLive -- talking trash today about MLive.

Psst, Tom ... MLive is in ur base, killin' ur d00dz.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

A hearing today into how to make Michigan less relevant in election years

by: Eric B.

Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 11:53:36 AM EST

They're having a hearing today to advance Peter Lund's silly electoral vote idea. I don't suppose it'll have any impact, because I really don't think the leaders of our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect really care what people think, but Jack Lessenberry writes about it today.

But now State Representative Pete Lund, a term-limited Republican from Macomb County, wants to change that in Michigan, replacing it with a complex system that could have dire national consequences. Lund doesn’t like the fact that Democrats have been winning Michigan in recent presidential elections. Earlier he tried to get a bill through that would have given Republicans most of Michigan’s electoral votes even when they lost the popular vote.

That was seen as too unfair to fly. So now he has a new bill that is almost impossible to understand, but is designed to give Republican presidential nominees a chunk of Michigan’s electoral votes even when they are badly defeated statewide.

This has the potential of doing two things: Making Michigan almost irrelevant in presidential elections, and causing a ripple effect that destroys all public trust in how we choose our leaders.

I don't think people actually have that must trust in how we choose our leaders. I think people are turned off at what politics has become, and have done it mostly because one party has gone batshit insane and the other is too cowardly to fight for anything. What Lund's bill will do is guarantee that the state will become totally irrelevant in presidential elections, because candidates will already basically know how many votes they'll pull out of Michigan and will spend their time campaigning in states with higher payout.

But, we all know that Lund's scheme has nothing to do with increasing Michigan's clout and everything to do with making sure that Republican candidates get something from Michigan ... contrary to how everyone has always done things.

As to the idea of a national popular vote, which is the alternative to an Electoral College vote, it's a worthy idea; and by worthy, I mean it's one that is probably good but might have some unitended consequences that would make it even worse. I just can't think of them. What I am certain of is that if we go to that system, we should do it as a whole country rather than piecemealing it and that if we piecemeal it Michigan shouldn't be leading the pack because that makes us less relevant.

People keep saying that Randy Richardville will kill this thing. I hope so, because the governor has given us zero reason for confidence that he'll do it. I think that as long as he can cobble enough votes together to get road funding that he won't particularly care what has to get broken to get that done because at the end of the day you get the impression that the actual governance part of being governor bores him and that he'd rather spend his time being a CEO.

Discuss :: (42 Comments)

Gary Glenn already using office he doesn't yet occupy to grandstand

by: Eric B.

Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 11:07:35 AM EST

Congratulations, Midland, on being taken to the cleaners two weeks ago.

If outgoing lawmakers don’t have time to investigate the matter during the waning days of the current legislative session, Glenn said he will ask for an investigation when new lawmakers take office in January.

“Taxpayers and those of us entrusted with spending our tax dollars deserve to know why (Gruber) pocketed more tax money from Michigan than from any other state, even more than the Obama administration itself paid him,” Glenn said. “Why did Michigan taxpayers get (stuck) for nearly half a million dollars paying for Gruber’s propaganda pitch for an ObamaCare state health care exchange, which the Michigan House correctly refused to even set up? And who’s responsible for approving this waste of nearly half a million of our tax dollars to justify implementing ObamaCare in Michigan before it was determined the exchange would ever even exist?”

This is all related to the revelation from the Washington Post that Jonathan Gruber, who is the latest Republican anger and fear bogeyman because he said that people are stupid, got nearly half a million dollars from the state of Michigan. Is it true? No, although the Midland Daily News reported it as if it were true (great reporting, guys). Someone was good enough to post the contract to the Internet.

Project Team
The Michigan Insurance Market Modeling Project will be completed through a collaboration of three firms with experience in analysis related to health cost and coverage.

It was noted in the original reporting that sometimes Gruber wasn't the sole beneficiary of these state contracts, that sometimes he worked in collaboration with other people, which is what happened in Michigan ("Not all of the contracts could be found on public Web sites, but here is a sampling. In some cases, Gruber worked with other consultants, so the fees were shared. These figures also might not represent the final payout, and of course these are gross figures, before expenses. But it’s safe to say that about $400,000 appears to be the standard rate for gaining access to the Gruber Microsimulation Model."). How much did the state pay him? The contract doesn't say, only that the project he worked on with two other firms was almost a half million dollar payout. While that ain't chicken feed, it also ain't all that out of line with what he got paid in other states for access to a computer model used to predict health insurance access.

What it certainly isn't worth is the coming months of grandstanding by the Gary Glenn caucus in the state House over Obamacare this and Obamacare that. And that's what this is all about ... Gary Glenn grandstanding because his career has never been about proper governance but about building his own career through grandstanding. He did it for years as the state's foremost homophobe, at the end reduced to meddling in local human rights ordinance conversations and finally getting elected to the House. Congratulations, Midland ... you own this sham.

Update! ... Ezra Klein on this.

In that way, Grubergate is really Obamacaregate. What you think about it isn't based on what Jon Gruber said. It's based on what you think about Obamacare.

This is exactly right. Gary Glenn isn't grandstanding for hearings over a state contract. Gary Glenn is grandstanding for hearings about Obamacare. That's what he really wants, to put Obamacare on trial in the state Legislature by holding hearings into someone closely tied to it. This is about Obamacare, but even more so Gary Glenn trying to buff up his public persona by making it about Obamacare.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Humor is a good thing: Open thread

by: ScottyUrb

Sat Nov 15, 2014 at 15:03:55 PM EST

Never underestimate the power of satire to make a point. Examples: 

  • The Onion: Republicans Poised to Retain Control of Senate 
  • Borowitz:  Obama Urged to Work Closely with People Suing Him
  • Free Wood Post: American Voters: Things Were Getting Too Good, Time To Crash The Economy Again
  • Borowitz:  McConnell's Election as Senate Majority Leader Annouced with Puff of Toxic Black Smoke

Thread is open for satire, speculatuion, or whatever the heck else is on your mind.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Fear of a gay wedding cake

by: Eric B.

Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 12:36:04 PM EST

Our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect strikes again!

LANSING, MI — Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger on Wednesday proposed a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, calling it a necessary companion to new gay rights legislation designed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Both bills were met with immediate opposition from advocates pushing for broader LGBT protections and face an uncertain future in Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature.

“I believe workers should be hired and fired based solely on their work ethic and their work experience,” Bolger told reporters during a media roundtable. “And nobody should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs.”

See, now there's the thing ... discrimination against religious beliefs is already covered somewhere else. We don't actually need a separate law allowing this, unless what you want to do is undermine the companion law that you're running with it. So, why do people's religious beliefs need protection?

Bolger, offering an analogy, said he does not think a baker should be able to fire an employee for being gay or refuse to make a birthday cake for gay customer.

But that same baker should not be forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding if such a union would run counter to his or her religious beliefs, according to Bolger, who said courts would ultimately draw that line.

Got that ... Jase Bolger wants to prohibit bakeries from refusing to bake birthday cakes for gay people, but is okay with bakeries refusing to bake wedding cakes. Gay birthday cake? Okay. Gay wedding cake? Not okay.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Peter Lund does plan to bring up the Electoral College scheme

by: Eric B.

Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 10:53:02 AM EST

This is certainly disconcerting.

Michigan, like 47 other states, awards all its 16 electoral votes for president to the candidate who gets the most votes statewide. This doesn’t seem fair to some Republicans in Michigan, which has voted for the Democratic candidate for president every election since 1988. Term-limited state Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, has introduced bills during the last two sessions that would change the way Michigan’s electoral votes are awarded to a system that almost certainly would be more favorable to Republican presidential candidates, even if they get fewer votes than their Democratic opponent.

Lund hasn’t introduced a bill this session but told Bridge on Tuesday that he is likely to do so during the lame-duck session, which marks the end of his tenure in the House. Lund said he wasn’t certain yet how electoral votes would be awarded in his lame duck bill, but in the bill he sponsored in 2011, an electoral vote was awarded to the winner of each of Michigan’s 14 Congressional districts, with the winner of the overall vote in the state garnering two additional electoral votes. Because of the way the state’s congressional districts are drawn, Republicans dominate the vast majority of districts even though overall state voting patterns trend Democratic.

facepalm.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

And now, a word from our ... awwww, nuts

by: Eric B.

Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 03:30:00 AM EST

Today in sad animals, we have Sad Panda. Why is Sad Panda so sad? Sad Panda is sad because no one is sponsorsing this website. This makes Sad Panda feel like maybe this website has no friends and is lonely and cold and hungry, so he's sad on behalf of this website. What kind of terrible person lets Sad Panda be Sad Panda. What kind of terrible person wouldn't move Heaven and Earth to make Sad Panda, Happy Panda. The fact that I've ended the two previous sentences with periods rather than question marks speaks volumes, I think, to what the answer is.

If you'd like to help Sad Panda become Happy Panda, the way to do that is simple ... and cheap. Contact me at ebaerren@michiganliberal.com, via text message at 517/881-8008 or on social media to sign up. Rates are a low, low $25 a day, $100 by the week, or $360 by the month. What do you get out of it? The knowledge that you are helping this site be around until the next campaign cycle and that the content found here will not vanish. Plus, there's stuff coming up that you'll want to know about.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Forcing over causation: A gerrymandering story

by: Eric B.

Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 15:27:57 PM EST

Zach Gorchow at Gongwer posted an interesting piece that deflates a bit of the "gerrymandering" balloon. Well, if you look at last Tuesday and see only gerrmandering, it deflates it entirely. If you think of gerrymandering as having an influence, the effect is less.

Now, there actually are two different ways to look at the impact of redistricting on the 2014 elections for the Michigan Legislature.

The first one: Does the plan, written by Republicans with no meaningful input from the Democrats, design some districts that could have been more competitive to instead lean Republican and thus make it much harder for Democrats to win a House majority than Republicans?

The answer is, emphatically, yes.

The second one: In the actual races that Democrats and Republicans fiercely contested last week, did redistricting in 2011 stack the deck in favor of the Republican candidates?

The answer is, in most cases, absolutely not.

I fall mostly into the first category, because like-minded voters really do tend to live around each other. So, it's more likely that the Democratic base is apt to be consolidated into the major cities, which are harder to create more state House and Senate districts in. My own district is defintely one that was drawn 14 years ago to be safer for Republicans to hold, and he doesn't dispute that.

As to the second, I think this is really more an issue at the federal level, for houses of Congress. There isn't any good reason why Michigan regularly goes blue for federal races and has a Congressional delegation that is mostly Republicans. And they do toy with that every 10 years to make things more friendly to the party in charge. In 2011, I took a little flak, for example. for laughing off conspiracy theories that the 3rd District was made less safe on purpose so that Lil' Fella could be broomed out. And in doing so, they absolutely saved Tim Walberg from more substantive challenges. They also strengthened the seat that Mike Bishop is going to represent and which Mike Rogers is leaving.

But, really, the thing here is that the biggest impact you'd expect to see from gerrymandering is not the second cycle into the district maps but in the next cycle. That's the election that the maps will most heavily influence, although I guess in the Senate that would be this one.

As a rule, I don't tend to subscribe to magic bullet solutions. These things strike me more as having a relationship between global warming and weather events. It's not causation, but an influencing agent. You might have a lot of things that add up to a big conclusion, but you don't have one thing that mandates the conclusion.

In the 32nd, Republicans got rid of the Republican-leaning Gratiot County portion of the seat and instead added Republican-leaning portions of Genesee County. Even still, it remained a Democratic-leaning district. - See more at: http://www.gongwer.com/programming/blogindex.cfm?postid=41401#sthash.rAJoE5Y8.gH0cpbjL.dpuf

 

In the 32nd, Republicans got rid of the Republican-leaning Gratiot County portion of the seat and instead added Republican-leaning portions of Genesee County. Even still, it remained a Democratic-leaning district. - See more at: http://www.gongwer.com/programming/blogindex.cfm?postid=41401#sthash.rAJoE5Y8.gH0cpbjL.dpuf
Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Progressives a lot more worried about the GOP electoral college scheme than Republicans are

by: Eric B.

Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 15:00:00 PM EST

I don't count anything out during Lame Duck, or especially next term, but that Electoral College everyone is worried about?

The good news for liberals? Having spent many hours covering the previous outbreak of Rig-mania, I don't yet see the same enthusiasm this year. Problem one: The evidence of a groundswell comes from one National Review blog post and two op-eds by FairVote's Rob Richie, who opposes the GOP plans and favors a national popular vote. Michigan progressives are worried about Representative Pete Lund's statement that he wants the rigging bill taken up. But that's what he wanted in 2012, and Jordan Gehrke, a Republican strategist who helped Lund that year, tells me that he has heard nothing from him since the election. And Governor Rick Snyder already told Bloomberg's Al Hunt that he doesn't want to sign such a bill.

Yes, yes, I know. Right to Work was also not on the governor's agenda until it was put on his agenda. There's a slight difference this time: There isn't the same sort of pressure to make this happen within the Legislature as there was last time. Randy Richardville doesn't need to be worried about being bounced from his job as Senate Majority Leader because he's term limited out of office, anyway. So, we're not as likely to see the really repugnant shit we saw at the end of last lame duck. Besides, what's the rush. They've got two years to move this through.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Today in gallows humor

by: Eric B.

Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 14:12:46 PM EST

This is quite excellent.

Here are the near-final election results:

Rick Snyder (R) 1,605,034

Mark Schauer (D) 1,476,904

Other candidates: 69,987

Didn't give enough of a shit to vote: 4,181,505

Now that's what I call a landslide!

It's Lessenberry, and he makes the two very real points that not only was this a lot closer a contest than anyone is really to acknowledge (two weeks ago, everyone had it in their heads that Snyder was going to cream Schauer, and that was going to happen even if the margin of victory was 12 votes), but that Snyder underperformed ... in a year that nationally we're told was a GOP wave (they won races in red states and some of them by very thin margins so I'm not sure how wavy that actually is).

There is also this:

Nothing like a major bald-faced lie. Here's the truth about the next Snyder administration:

The governor will accomplish little — unless vain attempts to placate the far right count. The Republicans will be more unwilling than ever to compromise. Three of the most strident Tea Party crazies will be in the House, and vow to drive their fellows even further to the right.

This is likely Truth, with a capital T. He didn't mention the new House Speaker, who hails from the ultraconservative wing of the Republican Party. That means the guys leading both chambers are Senator Dark Money and Representative Anti-Stem Cell Research. Everyone who is saying that somehow they'll be more moderate next term and won't try to significantly change the way state government works has not been paying attention to the way they've governed the last four years ... or, at the very least, is looking at it through rose-colored glasses.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Two wave elections nationally, two very different results statewide

by: Eric B.

Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 11:21:52 AM EST

I generally hate to cite Wikipedia as a source, but in this case the facts aren't in dispute so this paragraph.

DeVos, buoyed by the political ads he ran, led in the polls for most of the Summer. DeVos' lead eroded when Granholm ads started running and Granholm had built up a lead as voters found out more about the candidates culminating in the three debates, and as political fortunes soured for Republicans across the country.

This was the last midterm election that was most similar to last week's election in Michigan: Out of power party running an incumbent governor in a wave year that favors that incumbent's party. A lot over the last week has been made about why the polls showed a neck-and-neck race between Schauer and Snyder going into the last weekend, which is somehow supposed to be an indictment of pollsters who had the race within the margin of error. This is how the Granholm-DeVos race was described in the press going into the last weekend of the race.

The election thus will hinge on whether Ms. Granholm is able to energize traditional Democratic voters, especially in Detroit, and whether she can summon political star power to help her cause. Her campaign contributors include Madonna, a Michigan native.

Perhaps I'm the only person who remembers that going into the weekend before the 2006 gubernatorial election, that the media also reported that the race was a tossup. In fact, it's listed as such at the above snippeted article ... which showed Granholm up on DeVos by 13 points, which also happened to be pretty close to Granholm's margin of victory. Keep in mind that Rick Snyder's margin of victory is roughly one-third the size.

The difference? The media treated Granholm for four years like she was some kind of pretender to the throne, while last week the Free Press declared last Tuesday's election to be absolution for all of Rick Snyder's policy decisions ... in a year that was so favorable to Republicans that if the playing field were level (which will never happen for a lot of reasons), Snyder quite possibly could have lost.

There was a Senate election in 2006, too. Debbie Stabenow crushed Mike Bouchard by 16 points. This year, a Republican wave year and running for an open seat, Gary Peters beat Terri Lynn Land by 13 points.

What's my point? I'm nobody's bandwagon boy. In fact, what I hear most often is that I hate everyone, which is basically true (especially you). What we also continue to hear concerning last week's election, however, is analysis that takes the election as if it happened in a vacuum. It unfairly piles on the Democratic Party and grants an unrealistic mandate to Republicans that just simply does not conform to the data. If it were a real stamp of approval for policy initiatives, our benevolent overlord's margin of victory, based on the closest precedent we have to measure it by, would have been substantially larger. It was a bad year for Democrats nationally (although a lot of the races they lost were a lot closer than anyone appears willing to admit), and if it were really a wave election, Mark Schauer wouldn't have lost with the margin of error for polls that said the race was up for grabs (and, P.S., we had polls showing the last incumbent with a substantial lead going into the last weekend of the 2006 race with basically the same media in many cases also saying that it was too close to call).

Finally, after the 2006 election, there were some of the same media tropes as there were last week: The Republican Party had some soul-searching to do. This is a common theme after every wave election -- the party that got creamed has soul-searching to do -- even if the election in question is just two years after it won a wave election. So, let's stop pretending that election results are signs that the party that lost has soul searching to do, because by now it's lame and cliched to say so. There is no soul searching to do. There is only figuring out how the next time to get more voters to the polls.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Michigan's least necessary political columnist (again) concern trolls Democrats

by: Eric B.

Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 13:33:04 PM EST

Is everyone as sick of election post-mortems as I am? Of course. So why not read one more, this time from Nolan Finley. Can anyone predict what general tenor it will take? I bet not!

One of the more intriguing story lines of Tuesday's election was the failure to materialize by the Democratic Party's much-hyped voter turnout drive.

Actually, it's not all that intriguing, since in Michigan things reflected a nationwide trend of voters -- primarily Democratic voters -- staying home. Why else? Because it's the sixth year of a presidency, and by the sixth year of presidencies anymore, everyone is basically tired of the guy they re-elected ust two years previously and his voters stay home while the other party's voters show up. The last time we had this scenario, in fact, was the last president ... something Finley cites in his own column.

But I have a feeling I know why he finds this story line so intriguing.

He identified 900,000 Democratic voters who failed to vote in 2010 and convinced his party he could round them up and get them out this year, handing Democrats a victory built on superior turnout.

Later on, he asks whether Johnson is a snake oil salesman for having connived Democratic party leaders into believing that if more Democrats go to the polls than Republicans that more Democrats will be elected to office. Rochelle Riley, in writing probably the worst election post-mortem in the history of election post-mortems, said basically the exact same thing (it is so terrible that I refuse to link to it). What is it with our chattering class that during the campaign they obsess with poll numbers as if they are points in a sports contest but after the election pooh-pooh the idea that the team with the highest score wins?

Johnson and I failed to connect. Had we, I wanted to ask why he built such high expectations if he wasn't certain he could meet them. Why didn't he stealthily execute his turnout strategy, and if it worked, surprise everyone on Election Day, instead of talking so darn much beforehand?

One doubts that before the election took place, that this is a question that Nolan Finley really wanted to ask him. But this does show a competent media strategy on behalf of a Democratic state party chairman: Don't bother talking to Nolan Finley. Nothing useful will come of it. The question, however, is a good one. Why did Lon Johnson promise so much that he wasn't sure that he could deliver?

It is true that during the campaign that he said that his job performance will be judged based on the results from the election. People who select the party chairman next year can very rationally ask the question why he should be rehired for the job under those circumstances.

Let me offer an explanation for why he made those promises, however. Going in to Johnson's tenure, most of us knew there would be heavy resistance to his new ideas from the same God damned people who never wanted to change anything in the first place, the same people who thought that the magic bullet to getting Democrats out to vote was putting the minimum wage on the ballot. Earlier this year, I heard via grape vine that people were grumbling about the fact that Johnson wanted to raise money -- raise money! -- to build party infrastructure. And, because there is no thing harder on Planet Earth to reverse than years and years of depressing, crushing failure, successful outcomes were overpromised to get people to go along with him. I don't know for certain, because I don't know Lon Johnson and have never met the guy. However, having seen the way things function in the real world, it strikes me as a reasonable explanation. He overpromised to fight organizational, failure-based inertia, took too big a gamble, and didn't produce the desired outcomes.

In a successful organization, the leadership would recognize that and let him skate under by saying, "Okay, some things worked (Schauer overperformed, some previously safe Republican seats were highly competitive), and some things didn't (voter tunout). Let's fix things and try again," because no one capable of fogging a mirror actually expected wonders the first time at bat. Like the Obamacare exchange, there are always tweaks and modifications that have to be made once something is tested out live (rather than in theory). But, this is the Michigan Democratic Party, so there's a real chance they'll toss Lon Johnson (which they have cause to) and everything he tried (which would be the stupidest fucking thing imaginable) and go back to putting highly complicated constitutional amendments on the ballot because ... voter turnout.

One last thing.

Brewer got booted largely because of the routing state Democrats took in 2010. Can Johnson survive this epic embarrassment?

Brewer got booted in 2013. If he was fired largely because of 2010, they would have fired him in 2011. They fired him in 2013, because the Michigan Democratic Party's plan for 2012 was mostly just put a bunch of overly complicated constitutional amendments on the ballot, all of which lost by large margins and because Bob King needed a scapegoat to cover up the fact that he was politically incompetent.

Discuss :: (18 Comments)
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- West Michigan Rising
- Windmillin'

Mid-Michigan:
- Among the Trees
- Blue Chips (CMU College Democrats Blog)
- Christine Barry
- Conservative Media
- Far Left Field
- Graham Davis
- Honest Errors
- ICDP:Dispatch (Isabella County Democratic Party Blog)
- Liberal, Loud and Proud
- Livingston County Democratic Party Blog
- MI Blog
- Mid-Michigan DFA
- Pohlitics
- Random Ramblings of a Somewhat Common Man
- Waffles of Compromise
- YAF Watch

Flint/Bay Area/Thumb:
- Bay County Democratic Party
- Blue November
- East Michigan Blue
- Genesee County Young Democrats
- Greed, Eggs, and Ham
- Jim Stamas Watch
- Meddling Outsider
- Saginaw County Democratic Party Blog
- Stone Soup Musings
- Voice of Mordor

Southeast Michigan:
- A2Politico
- arblogger
- Arbor Update
- Congressman John Conyers (CD14)
- Mayor Craig Covey
- Councilman Ron Suarez
- Democracy for Metro Detroit
- Detroit Skeptic
- Detroit Uncovered (formerly "Fire Jerry Oliver")
- Grosse Pointe Democrats
- I Wish This Blog Was Louder
- Kicking Ass Ann Arbor (UM College Democrats Blog)
- LJ's Blogorific
- Mark Maynard
- Michigan Progress
- Motor City Liberal
- North Oakland Dems
- Oakland Democratic Politics
- Our Michigan
- Peters for Congress (CD09)
- PhiKapBlog
- Polygon, the Dancing Bear
- Rust Belt Blues
- Third City
- Thunder Down Country
- Trusty Getto
- Unhinged

MI Congressional
District Watch Blogs:
- Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood (CD08)

MI Campaigns:
MI Democratic Orgs:
MI Progressive Orgs:
MI Misc.:
National Alternative Media:
National Blogs:
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