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Michigan State House District 52: The past week's news plus a Progressive Kick for state offices

by: Neon Vincent

Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 04:17:14 AM EDT

Washtenaw County State House District Map
Map of the Michigan State House of Representatives Districts in Washtenaw County.

Democrat Christine Green is locked in a heated contest with Republican Mark Ouimet for the open 52nd State House seat currently occupied by the term-limited Democrat Pam Byrnes.  Follow over the jump for the latest news from the Washtenaw County Elections 2010 Examiner on this race, which turned from positive to downright ugly in the space of the week.

Crossposted to Daily Kos.

Neon Vincent :: Michigan State House District 52: The past week's news plus a Progressive Kick for state offices
Christine Green from Facebook
Christine Green picked up the endorsement of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters this week.

Examiner.com: Dueling endorsements for 52nd House--conservation voters for Green, chamber of commerce for Ouimet
By Vince Lamb, Washtenaw County Elections 2010 Examiner

Two major organizations came out with endorsements in the 52nd State House of Representatives race this week.  Yesterday, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) endorsed Democrat Christine Green to represent the 52nd District State House of Representatives.  The day before, the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce endorsed Republican Mark Ouimet for the same seat.  The local chamber also endorsed Republican Rick Snyder for Governor.


In its announcement, Michigan LCV cited Green's "consistent advocacy to establish new, green jobs in Washtenaw County - while also improving the quality of life for constituents living in both the rural areas and cities in the district" and "her commitment to, and understanding of, important environmental issues" while serving on the Scio Township Board of Trustees and as a Trustee on the Board of the Michigan Environmental Council.  The press release also described her as having "the kind of fresh leadership the region needs."


During the primary, the Michigan LCV endorsed Democrats Rebekah Warren for the 18th District State Senate and John Hieftje for Mayor of Ann Arbor.  Warren is opposing Republican John Hochstetler for the State Senate seat.  Hieftje, the incumbent mayor, is being challenged by independent Steve Bean.

The Michigan LCV also endorsed both Democrat Virg Bernaro and Republican Rick Snyder in their respective primaries for Governor.  The organization is currently waiting for both campaigns to answer a set of eight questions.  At this time, it is not endorsing either of them in the general election.

More at the link in the headline, including details of the endorsements of both Green and Ouimet.

Mark Ouimet from Facebook
Mark Ouimet and Christine Green are engaged in a rough campaign in the 52nd State House District.

Examiner.com: AnnArbor.com and Heritage Newspapers--the gloves come off in 52nd State House race
By Vince Lamb, Washtenaw County Elections 2010 Examiner

Last week, candidates Christine Green (D) and Mark Ouimet (R) were touting the the endorsements of major organizations on their campaign websites and attempting to emphasize the positives in their respective campaigns for the 52nd State House District seat.  Over the weekend, two local newspapers described how organizations external to their campaigns have turned the race from positive to negative.

Saturday, Heritage Newspapers published a story that summarized a call by the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) for an investigation of Ouimet for what the WCDP claims is Ouimet's improperly billing Washtenaw County thousands of dollars of fees and expenses during his six-year tenure as County Commissioner.

Sunday, AnnArbor.com followed up on the allegations against Ouimet, adding details to the story that Heritage Newspapers broke.  In addition, AnnArbor.com described the negative campaign tactics waged by the Michigan Republican Party against Green.

Details of the allegations against Ouimet, along with reactions from both Ouimet and Green, at the link in the headline.

Defaced Christine Green sign

Defaced Christine Green campaign sign on Pleasant Lake Road near Fletcher
Photo credit: Lisa McGuire Heller

Examiner.com: Negative campaigning and vandalism against Christine Green campaign in 52nd Michigan House race

Over the weekend, the campaign in Michigan's 52nd State House district turned negative as the Washtenaw County Democratic Party accused Republican candidate Mark Ouimet of improperly billing the county for expenses incurred while he served as a Washtenaw County Commissioner.

Ouimet was not alone in having his campaign beset by outside forces.  An article published by AnnArbor.com summarized how the Michigan Republican Party has been attacking Democratic candidate Christine Green with negative campaign flyers mailed to potential voters in the 52nd House District.

In addition to the attack ads, Green has been the subject of a series of robocalls attempting to link her local campaign to national and state Democratic policies.  There have also been several incidents of vandalism against her campaign signs.

Green has objected to the negative campaigning and called upon Ouimet to "renounce and stop the misleading attacks."  In response, Ouimet has maintained that his campaign was not responsible for the attack ads on Green.

Details of the negative campaigning being run by the Michigan Republican Party against Green and her reactions to it, descriptions of the vandalism directed against her signs, and a slideshow of the negative campaigning and vandalism at the link.

This race, which was fairly sedate until recently, has now become very interesting.  Who says local politics is boring?

Also, like the race in the Seventh Congressional District between Schauer and Walberg, is one that is taking place where my wife and I used to live.  In fact, one of the vandalized signs is a block away from our former residence!

Now, the action item.

Christine Green is one of several Michigan politicians who are featured in a page on Act Blue called Win Big by Thinking Small.    Here's what the text on the Act Blue page says.

Progressive Kick is committing at least $125,000 we've received from major donors exclusively for dollar-for-dollar matches to donations raised on ActBlue for progressive candidates for state legislature & down ballot statewide offices (Secretary of State etc.). That's a quarter of a million dollars for these wonderful candidates - but it'll only happen if you participate! We've vetted these candidates very carefully with multiple experts/polling data in each state and are sure that each one is in a close but winnable race and that control of Congressional redistricting in their state is at stake.

All of our candidates are progressive leaders with real backbones unlike some Democratic members of Congress who we'll have to hold our noses to vote for in order to keep a majority. Many of our candidates on this page will be the progressive Congressional candidates of the future. All money donated on ActBlue through our page will be deposited directly in the accounts of the candidates, not in ours. But we're only matching donations made through our own ActBlue page, so tell your friends to come here and double their impact with no extra cost.

Other Michigan candidates listed are Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State, Art Reyes for State House District 51, and Dian Slavens for State House District 21.

Other states with candidates listed on this page include Ohio (Secretary of State, State House), Oregon (State House, State Senate), North Carolina (State House, State Senate), and Pennsylvania (State House).  If you live in one of these states, or just want to help progressives in these states, please contribute.

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