A SoapBlox Politics Blog
[Mobile Edition]
About
- About Us
- Email Us (news/tips)
- Editorial Policy
- Posting Guidelines
- Advertise Here
Feedburner

Subscribe to Michlib daily email summary. (Preview)
Enter address:

Donate
Become a sponsor and support our work.

 MichLib sponsor list

Michigan Political Blog Ad Network

Advertise Liberally

50 State Ad Network

Dem Congressmen endorse Lon Johnson for state party chairman

by: Eric B.

Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:45:40 AM EST


I am merely passing this along. It arrived via Ye Olde Inbox.

Dear Michigan Democrat:

In 2012 we were able to achieve some important victories.  Unfortunately, we suffered disappointing State losses and we now face many challenges in Michigan with the actions of the Governor, the State legislature and the Michigan Supreme Court. We have a lot of work to do together to change this dynamic and win at the state and local  levels.

We believe that the combination of challenges and opportunities that dramatically confront Michigan Democrats today have called on us as elected Democrats to urge a new and inclusive chapter in MDP leadership.

There exists around our state an abundance of leaders, committed activists and talented local elected officials and now is the time to send a clarion call to all – those involved in the Party and those not yet involved – that the Party is the place to gather to advance Democratic values. We must build a stronger organization that reaches out to more constituents, conducts more organizing activities, pushes the envelope on technology, communicates a consistent message, builds infrastructure around the state and raises a broad range of resources to accomplish these objectives.

That is why we are excited to support Lon Johnson to be our next State Party Chair.  He is a strong leader who represents the future of our Party in Michigan.

For more than 20 years, Lon has served in critical strategic roles for political campaigns and committees, advocacy organizations and businesses, including key positions at the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Congressman John Dingell’s 2002 campaign.  In 2012, he ran for the Michigan State House of Representatives in the 103rd District, and received more than 47% of the vote in a Republican district.  Lon grew up in the Downriver community of Rockwood.  He currently lives in northern Michigan with his wife, Julianna Smoot, who served as Deputy Campaign Manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

We believe Lon is the right leader and will bring to the Party vision, energy, and a commitment to collaboration.

As a Democratic family, we have worked hard together on so many issues important to our state. We respect the hard work and long service of our current State Chair, the MDP staff, volunteers, and organizations throughout the state. This is about uniting for the future of our Party. We invite you to join us.

   
Senator Carl Levin
Senator Debbie Stabenow                  
Rep. John D. Dingell
Rep. John Conyers      
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. Gary Peters
Rep. Dan Kildee

Presented without comment.

Eric B. :: Dem Congressmen endorse Lon Johnson for state party chairman
Tags: (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

"Turn out the lights, the party's over" (4.00 / 1)
I think that Mr. Brewer will think better of trying to soldier on in the teeth of a vote of no confidence by the entire Dem Congressional delegation. I expect that he will gracefully withdraw at this point. I could be wrong, obviously.

I don't want a fait accompli... (4.00 / 2)
...but at this point that's probably what we're getting, and all we'll be doing on the 23rd is making it official.

But I want to be wooed, gorramit. That in itself would be a huge break from the past -- a Chairman candidate who cares enough about the local clubs, county parties and district organizations to want to meet them.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Since posting this, I have emails from Sandy Levin AND Mark Brewer (4.00 / 2)
Sometimes wishes do come true...I'm being wooed after all.

Game on!

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Can you post the emails? (0.00 / 0)
NT.

[ Parent ]
Brewer's letter took longer to reformat... (0.00 / 0)
...but both are posted below.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Seniority & experience (4.00 / 1)
So nice to see that so many of our congressional members, and our Senator for that matter, value experience on the job.  Let's see, what are their respective ages and how long have they been serving in their roles?  And, in safe districts no less.  Just sayin'.

"Action is what separates a belief from an opinion."

[ Parent ]
To be fair, those "safe districts" were drawn without their input (0.00 / 0)
The whole point was to protect the Republican incumbents (even Lil' Fella out west) and force Rep. Gary Peters to run against another incumbent (Levin, McCotter or Clarke).

Back in 2011, no one could have predicted Thaddeus McCotter's implosion -- though I did make the argument to Peters face-to-face, twice, that McCotter was vulnerable and he should run in the new 11th rather than the new 14th.

I think my arguments were sound from the broader Democratic perspective -- and had Peters run in the 11th there's little doubt he could have beaten Kerry Bentivolio like a rented mule and we'd be in a good position to hold the seat through 2020.

But Peters' eventual decision was based on who he could beat to remain in Congress, and events have proven him right.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
You miss my point (4.00 / 1)
My point was to show the utter hypocrisy of folks (such as Dingell, Levin, Conyers, etc.) who are...."seasoned" and have been serving for longer than some of us have been alive, to be calling for a fresh face, new energy, blah, blah, blah.  Perhaps they themselves should lead by example and retire so that new blood can step in and lead with energy and renewed enthusiasm?

"Action is what separates a belief from an opinion."

[ Parent ]
Reading the Tea Leaves (4.00 / 2)
In 2012 we were able to achieve some important victories.  Unfortunately, we suffered disappointing State losses and we now face many challenges in Michigan with the actions of the Governor, the State legislature and the Michigan Supreme Court. We have a lot of work to do together to change this dynamic and win at the state and local levels.

Translation: Why did we win at the Federal level but lose at the state level?

We believe that the combination of challenges and opportunities that dramatically confront Michigan Democrats today have called on us as elected Democrats to urge a new and inclusive chapter in MDP leadership.

Translation: Brewer made some decisions that we don't like and we didn't know about them.

There exists around our state an abundance of leaders, committed activists and talented local elected officials and now is the time to send a clarion call to all - those involved in the Party and those not yet involved - that the Party is the place to gather to advance Democratic values. We must build a stronger organization that reaches out to more constituents, conducts more organizing activities, pushes the envelope on technology, communicates a consistent message, builds infrastructure around the state and raises a broad range of resources to accomplish these objectives.

Translation: Maybe the disaffected members of the party will return when Brewer is gone.

That is why we are excited to support Lon Johnson to be our next State Party Chair.  He is a strong leader who represents the future of our Party in Michigan.

Translation: He's not Mark Brewer.

...

We believe Lon is the right leader and will bring to the Party vision, energy, and a commitment to collaboration.

Translation: He's not Mark Brewer.

As a Democratic family, we have worked hard together on so many issues important to our state. We respect the hard work and long service of our current State Chair, the MDP staff, volunteers, and organizations throughout the state. This is about uniting for the future of our Party. We invite you to join us.

Translation: We're seeking a divorce.



Now do this one... (4.00 / 2)
Dear Friends,

I am writing to let you know I am running for re-election to Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party and to ask for your support.

Like many of you, my roots in the MDP started at the local level. I worked my way up starting with the Young Dems and held positions as Club President, County Party Treasurer, and District Chair. Those experiences gave me an appreciation of the challenges, goals, and expectations of Party leaders at all levels.

In my time as MDP Chair, I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of you. I've traveled to all 83 counties and built countless relationships along the way. I've worked to balance the needs of all members - grassroots activists, local party leaders, organizations, candidates and elected officials. We are a robust, diverse, and inclusive Party. I've always taken into consideration the unique needs of everyone involved and worked for long-term success and stability.

During that time, you have also gotten to know me. You know I have never been interested in using the Chair position to get ahead or move on to the next office. My sole focus has been building a successful Party meant to last - investing in programs that allow candidates and Party organizations to grow and succeed.  

Together, we have accomplished a lot. I am particularly proud of advances we have made in areas of:

  • Fiscal Responsibility and Financial Stability:
    When you first entrusted me as Chair, the MDP was nearly $800,000 in debt. I paid off that debt, and on my watch we've maintained a balanced budget, have never been in debt, and achieved solid fundraising goals.  Our Party membership is the highest it has been in 25 years at 13,000+ members strong, and our online fundraising is strong and growing. In addition, I have refused personal pay increases and ensured those resources are put toward winning elections.

    I have also worked with you to make sure your resources are optimized. The MDP has worked with candidates and Democratic groups to save millions of dollars on printing literature and mailings, and assisted with communications. In addition, I regularly work with Democratic leaders - at no cost from the Party- to ensure complicated campaign finance laws are properly observed, saving candidates and local organizations from expensive fines and political embarrassment.


  • Party Building:
    Under my leadership, the MDP has worked hard to ensure candidates and organizations have what they need to win. I provide a variety of Party trainings covering compliance, fundraising, communications, and field. In the last election cycle alone, the MDP trained 487 Party leaders.

    In my time as Chair, we've also invested in technology that helps Party organizations grow and succeed. Michigan was one of the first states to utilize the Voter Activation Network (VAN) and provide free access to this valuable resource to all Democratic groups and candidates in general elections.

    Party Building has helped the MDP build a solid farm team of both future elected officials and political staff. In the last 3 election cycles alone, we've played a direct role in dozens of municipal and county victories. And when you talk about farm team, you need to include people who help our candidates get elected. I'm proud to say the hard-working staff at Hart-Kennedy House has gone on to work in Michigan and around the country for important political figures at every level and at major political organizations.  And our strong intern program has provided a path for young people to get involved in the Party.

    I've also made it a main priority to grow our constituency caucuses to ensure the MDP truly reflects our state.  Today we have the largest number of constituency caucuses of any State Party in the country.


  • Investment in Social Media and Web Communications:
    Growing our social media presence has been another focus. In 2012, MDP's Facebook page added more "likes" than any other Democratic State Party. Our Twitter following increased by 70% last year and now has the 8th largest following of all Democratic State Party organizations. And on YouTube, the MDP received the 2nd most views of any State Party in 2012 for our Supreme Court video, "Can't Run."

    Our Email and web presence has been significant in recent years. In 2012, MichiganDems.com received 333,866 page visits. We also developed several micro-websites that take on GOP candidates including: TheRealBruceRendon.com; BolgerGate.com; and JudgeColleenOBrien.net.

    The MDP has been a leader in email communication, too. We have gathered the largest Email list of any Democratic organization in Michigan - and in 2012 alone we sent out 67 statewide Email blasts.


  • Taking the fight to the Republicans:
    I have always been on the frontlines when it comes to taking on the GOP. In 2012, I worked with Senate and House leadership to expose Republican Leader Jase Bolger's election rigging scheme. I also took the fight to Pete Hoekstra for his bogus attacks on Sen. Stabenow. In past elections I have gone on the offensive against Dick DeVos and Cliff Taylor. Currently, I am taking on the GOP's latest scheme - an attempt to rig the Electoral College system.  I promise I will continue to do whatever it takes to keep up the fight against extreme Republicans.

  • Working Hard and Leading by Example:
    We ask our candidates to work hard, and I believe the Party Chair must lead by example. I have maintained an around-the-clock work schedule going everywhere in the state to engage Democratic leaders and activists. I have traveled to Party meetings in all 83 counties including regular trips through the Upper Peninsula. I regularly attend church services in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Grand Rapids and conduct outreach to religious leaders of all denominations. My schedule also includes a college tour and youth outreach. And I work closely and attend events for Labor, environmental, and progressive groups.

  • Winning Elections:
    Since I became MDP Chair, Michigan has voted for every Democratic Presidential candidate.  During that time, we elected Governor Granholm to two terms; Sen. Stabenow to three terms; Sen. Levin to three terms; maintained one of the most-respected and influential Congressional Delegations in the country; won Supreme Court seats; achieved big victories in the State Legislature despite GOP gerrymandering  (including majority in the State House in 2006), countless victories up and down the ballot, and many important ballot questions including the right to keep Straight Party Voting on the ballot as well as the ballot measure that allows our Party organizations to maintain BINGO operations - a major source of income for many Democratic groups.

  • Moving Forward:
    I'm proud of the work we have done, but I know we can do better. Moving forward, I believe there is much we can learn from the structure of President Obama's successful campaigns. I will work to continue to implement many of the technological and organizational practices the President pioneered.

    I also believe we need to address the very serious issue of gerrymandered legislative and Congressional Districts. Democratic statewide turnout has not been translating into victories at the Congressional, state legislative and local levels. This warped system designed by the GOP is a major obstacle to securing more victories. If we do not fix this rigged system, our efforts to provide resources and run good candidates could be for naught. It will be one of my top priorities to implement redistricting reform to ensure that Democrats are fairly represented at all levels.

Friends, I have not taken my decision to run for re-election lightly. This is a decision I have made after careful consideration and consultation with groups and individuals at all levels. I am more excited than ever to get back to work for victory in 2014. I look forward to continuing to work in an inclusive manner to make our Party even stronger.

I will continue a 24/7 work ethic - because the Republicans never stop. I will continue to be a responsive Chair, returning phone calls in a timely fashion and making myself available for speaking engagements, trainings or working through complex campaign finance issues. I will work to continue to grow our Party and work with all our members throughout the state.

And I will continue to put my heart and soul into the #1 job of a Party Chair: Ensuring our candidates and organizations receive the training and resources they need to beat Republicans up and down the ticket.

Thank you for all of your efforts through the years. I ask for your support for re-election to Chair so I can continue this important fight with you.

Sincerely,

Mark Brewer



"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Who is going to support him? (0.00 / 0)
He has an uphill battle to say the least!

[ Parent ]
I keep coming back to...Sparky Anderson (0.00 / 0)
Ol' Sparky won consecutive World Series with The Big Red Machine in 1975-76...then was fired two years later when his team missed the playoffs for the second time.

It's not a perfect analogy -- and of course Cincy's loss was Detroit's gain. Sparky even got the last laugh when he won the Series again with the '84 Tigers while the Reds were in the middle of a 15-year slump.

But the point is, a leader (baseball manager, party chairman, whatever) is judged by recent performance and future prospects, not how many wins the leader had back in the day.

Even future Hall of Famers can get the sack.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Wherein I Play Devil's Advocate (Mark Brewer edition) (3.50 / 2)
Party Building has helped the MDP build a solid farm team of both future elected officials and political staff.

Where is this farm team?

I've also made it a main priority to grow our constituency caucuses to ensure the MDP truly reflects our state.  Today we have the largest number of constituency caucuses of any State Party in the country.

In this case, quality > quantity. It's great to have a lot of caucuses, but if the work they do doesn't result in more votes for Democrats, then what's the point? I say this with a great deal of respect for those who are involved in various caucuses, and I acknowledge that I do not know all and see all. However, with the exception of the Justice Caucus (along with the Blue Tiger Bloggers Caucus, as soon as we get into full gear), I cannot name any specific examples of work that constituency caucuses have done that has led to election victories for Democrats. (Those of you who are involved in another caucus, please feel free to toot your own horn - we'd love to hear what you are up to!)

Regardless, I don't see how Brewer can take credit for these caucuses - most of these caucuses have been formed by, and at the behest of, grassroots activists. I don't see how Brewer can take credit for the formation, or continued existence, of caucuses.

Growing our social media presence has been another focus. In 2012, MDP's Facebook page added more "likes" than any other Democratic State Party. Our Twitter following increased by 70% last year and now has the 8th largest following of all Democratic State Party organizations. And on YouTube, the MDP received the 2nd most views of any State Party in 2012 for our Supreme Court video, "Can't Run."

Our Email and web presence has been significant in recent years. In 2012, MichiganDems.com received 333,866 page visits. We also developed several micro-websites that take on GOP candidates including: TheRealBruceRendon.com; BolgerGate.com; and JudgeColleenOBrien.net.

I'm a big fan of social media as a tool to improve your brand and spread your message - but all the followers, likes, and retweets don't mean much if they don't result in more votes. Take that "Can't Run" video, for example - it got a lot of views, sure, but we lost two of the three seats!

OFA used social media effectively, as did now-Justice Bridget Mary McCormack's Supreme Court campaign.

(Slightly off-topic, but does everyone know who ran against Bruce Rendon in 2012? Yep...)

Since I became MDP Chair, Michigan has voted for every Democratic Presidential candidate.  During that time, we elected Governor Granholm to two terms; Sen. Stabenow to three terms; Sen. Levin to three terms; maintained one of the most-respected and influential Congressional Delegations in the country;

But down-ticket races haven't gone so well for us - which is kind of why Brewer is in trouble in the first place. Also, Michigan is one of several states that has gone Democratic in every election since 1992; so have Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, and others. The point being, Michigan is not alone in trending Democratic; the nation as a whole is trending Democratic.

Furthermore, Levin was a rather popular popular incumbent by the time Brewer took over the MDP; two of Stabenow's three wins came during good years for Democrats; and Granholm's victories came during years in which we lost the offices of Secretary of State and Attorney General (the latter for the first time since the 1950s).

won Supreme Court seats;

And we have lost more than we have won, especially in recent years. We lost four out of five seats in 2010 and 2012. We will soon be at a 5-2 minority, and of those two, one (Cavanagh) will have to retire in 2014 due to age.

---

Barring the unforeseen, I will be at Cobo on the 23rd. If it comes down to a floor fight, I do not yet know who I will support. But as a Democratic activist, I feel strongly that it is my responsibility to ensure that the future of our Party is a strong one.

Over the last 18 years, Brewer has been a great Chair, make no mistake about that. But the fact that he - an incumbent - hasn't yet earned my vote should tell you something. It should tell you that I am quite concerned about the direction our Party is taking. He can say he's won x number of races over the years, and I do give him credit for his role in that.

But the reality is, things have changed. No matter how you spin things, we have no power in Michigan. Furthermore, what worked in 2006 will not necessarily work in 2014. What worked in 2008 will not necessarily work in 2016. And I am not convinced that Brewer is the right man for the job as we move forward for the next two years and beyond.

While I am not sure if a change in leadership is necessary, I do feel strongly that a change in direction is necessary. It remains to be seen whether Brewer or Johnson is more able to make that change.

(Stay tuned for the Lon Johnson edition of "Wherein I Play Devil's Advocate.")

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: The Grand Rapids Press, which rarely endorses Democrats, backs Winnie Brinks


[ Parent ]
Social Media (4.00 / 1)
The party's Internet and social media use is spotty and not engaging. Check the MDP Facebook page right now and note how many people posted in the last month. Not ... many.

The party's home page at michigandems.com has little for members to see. The calendar is lame and hosts few events and links to local parties are not up-to-date. The NGP content management system is capable of far more and should host sub-domains for local parties.

The party's Twitter account is another story and is fairly busy with daily updates. But the constant bashing is dull, unimaginative and ineffective. And only one tiny Twitter button on the home page. Independents will not subscribe to the Twitter feed to read the constant negatives and the party faithful don't need more preaching.

The use of the "dashboards" to rip Rick is good, but it's kinda "inside baseball" and presented like a dry audit reports.

More ...


[ Parent ]
Email from Rep. Sander Levin (4.00 / 3)
Dear Friend:

As a former County and State Party Chair, and a Member of the Michigan Congressional Delegation for thirty years, I take seriously my leadership in the Democratic Party.

Every two years I lead and help finance a coordinated campaign in Oakland and Macomb that works to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.  But it is not enough to create and re-create an election effort every two years and I am concerned to see supporters of mine take their activism away from the Party because they feel disconnected from the Party as an organization.  We must have a stronger infrastructure led by our State Party that is organizing and engaging volunteers, young people, new constituencies and voters all year long.

A candidate for Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Lon Johnson, I believe will help change and strengthen the Party into the broad-based, vibrant and effective organization we will surely need to take on the challenges we face in 2014 and beyond.

The entire Congressional Delegation has united around Lon Johnson as our next State Party Chair.  We wrote this letter to Michigan Democrats and I wanted to send along a copy to you.

I hope you will read it and join us in bringing about this positive change.  As always, don't hesitate to email me your thoughts or call my campaign office at 586-576-1636.

With many thanks, and much appreciation.

Sandy Levin



"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Sound of the nail in the coffin... (0.00 / 0)
It's hard to see Brewer survive this one.  I'm betting he drops by weeks end.

Carpetbagger (4.00 / 1)
Kinda hard to support someone who doesn't even really live in Michigan, except when it is convenient.  Anyone seen Lon in-state, or in his district, since his failed State House race?

"Action is what separates a belief from an opinion."

. (4.00 / 2)
Probably not. I think he is a great guy and ran a hell of a race but I just don't get it. Maybe Mark didn't do X but what and where was Lon during that?

[ Parent ]
Does it really matter? (3.75 / 4)
The guy's phone has a Michigan interchange, he grew up in the state, and he has a home here.

If he is capable of doing the job, of shaking up and modernizing the party and sweeping away some of the deadwood that has helped create a very long string of failures by the party, will any of that be undone by where he spends most of his time?

The question, to me, is not where he lays his head, but whether he's capable of turning the Michigan Democratic Party into a winning organization.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
How is he suppose to do that... (0.00 / 0)
When we already he asking for 60k more money the Mark is current payed. If the problem is we need to get organized, we need bodies to organized. we could keep mark and use that 60k to hire 2 more organizers at the MDP that double there bodies there for organizing  

[ Parent ]
Is that happening? Do you have any reason to think this will happen? (0.00 / 0)
If the man can raise the money to pay himself an extra $60 grand, why would you turn it down? Do you have any reason to think that Mark Brewer plans to hire more people, or to update the way the party organizes itself?

Again, I'm neutral, especially since I've never met this Lon Johnson fellow. But, some of the reasons being offered in opposition to him are part of the MDP's problem, which is a significant resistance to change.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Ok, so.. (4.00 / 1)
is Johnson, no he has already said he going to hire a executive director, to do the organizing, so we will be pay a man 140-160k a year to not even do the job, or even lives in this state currently, no more the Mitt Romney live in Massachusetts, or was a son of Michigan.  

[ Parent ]
Separating the Chair from Exec Director position is overdue (4.00 / 4)
In theory, the MDP is saving huge amounts of money by giving Brewer the responsibility for doing EVERYTHING.  In reality, there's too much stuff to do for one person to do it competently.

The Chair ought to deal with outsider forces: constituency groups, media, national organizations.  The E.D. ought to focus on execution of the agreed upon program.

I suppose you could say the Republicans have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on extra staff, at the same time they were beating the crap out of us at the polls.  We've been very frugal in defeat.


[ Parent ]
But.. (4.00 / 2)
you are forgetting, the the whole party is split like this, we have MDP, JLC, and DEMCOM. Given this I will say that alot of the blame for this past election failure can be lay at the feet of this competing interests, that are having territory pissing matches, rather then getting crap done.

for example the MDP, like mark letter said, put together a literature production plan for all candidates that wanted in on it, they would produce the the lit, sent it to print for .10 a piece, all the canidate then when to the many training that were put on were given infomation about this. This was stopped by DEMCOM, who came in and wanted to mirco-manage all the house candidates, but then would give them the run around until it was to late, mainly because they were focus on a select few races, I've also heard  that there organizer's weren't very good and couldn't manage many races. Either way they refuse to let candidates use this service they had to go thruogh demcom and pay .20 per lit and wait for them to approve their lit, and in many case won't do so before some of the mailing dead lines they had. Many House Candidate where very upset about this.

This are some the reason the JLC and DEMCOM are supposely completely restructuring right now, they messed up big time.

Furthermore him being involved with the Obama Campaign is not a plus for me, while the HQ in Chicago had some very good target matrices and such. Many of the people on the campaign at the local levels were clowns, from what I encountered. Given porp 2 really suck the air out of the room, with how much money and bodies they devoted to that campaign, the obama campaign came in and Slash and Burned in many place, they came in with the goal of getting Obama elected, backstabbing the coordinated campaigns in some areas and they left all the local party to pick up all the pieces, they were gone on election night, leaving some staging locations trashed. We need to Build the party for the long term, not win in the short term and then let it rot, again.


[ Parent ]
Isn't that basically what we had ten years ago? (0.00 / 0)
Hollowell as Chair, Brewer as Executive Director (or similar title)?

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: The Grand Rapids Press, which rarely endorses Democrats, backs Winnie Brinks

[ Parent ]
No, 10 years ago, Dr. Doolittle ran things. (4.00 / 1)
I once emceed a fundraiser at which both Mark Brewer and Butch Hollowell were present, so I introduced them by telling the story of the Push-Me-Pull-You.  As the book explained, the Push-Me-Pull-You was never caught by surprise, since it naturally looked in both directions, and at least half of it was awake at all times.  The downside was that it never went anywhere.

The Chair/Exec Director model is standard in business, non-profits, and many political bodies.  The MDP had an executive director for a couple decades until Brewer announced that he could absorb both roles - around 1998, maybe?


[ Parent ]
ED (0.00 / 0)
Probably true, but Lon hasn't said that publicly.


[ Parent ]
In 2011 Brewer promised a "top-to-bottom" review of the MDP (4.00 / 1)
After the 2010 GOP tsunami, Chairman Brewer told the MDP Convention crowd (in his acceptance speech) that he would begin a "top-to-bottom" review of the MDP, and make changes to answer the many criticisms leveled at him two years ago.

It probably would shock no one here that the grand review never actually happened, and the only positive addition I can think of was hiring Kevin Hrit.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
lol (1.67 / 3)
I guess that is why so many people speak so highly of Kevin around the state, said nobody ever. I've honestly have not heard more bad stuff about someone. Dead weight is a huge problem in our party.

[ Parent ]
And Kevin Hrit didn't last (0.00 / 0)
I also found the hiring of Hrit very helpful. But many of the ideas he was bringing to the table were about long-term continuity -- many we've heard from Grebner, too.

And then Hrit disappeared to run a short-term congressional office. I dunno what that says about the party, and its long-term vision.


[ Parent ]
Kevin's long-term continuity ideas were what I liked as well (3.50 / 2)
I've known him since 2006, but this is the first I'm hearing of any negatives.

By "short-term congressional office," are you referring to Dave Curson's short tenure replacing Thaddeus McCotter during last year's Congressional lame duck?

'Cos if you are, I don't see that as saying anything about the Party -- as those circumstances are not likely to happen again.

And to say Kevin "disappeared" during those few weeks -- arguably the time where his official MDP duties would be least in demand (after the election, before the new legislative term began, including the holidays) -- isn't really fair.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Details? (0.00 / 0)
Kinda hard to support someone who doesn't even really live in Michigan, except when it is convenient.

Do you have any details?

If you can prove that Johnson really isn't from Michigan, then we should know now, so we don't make the mistake of electing the wrong Chair.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: The Grand Rapids Press, which rarely endorses Democrats, backs Winnie Brinks


[ Parent ]
Go look at his voting record (0.00 / 0)
i bet the last time he voted here was his own election and hasn't before that sense he moved out east, he is no more from this state then Mitt Romney is from Massachusetts.

[ Parent ]
WRONG! Lon Johnson votes in Michigan. (4.00 / 1)
Lonnie's voter record is unusual, but better than you suppose.

According to my records, he voted in five even-year general elections between 2002 and 2012, skipping only November 2010.

Also, he voted in the August primary in 2006 and 2012.  Plus a couple presidential primaries.

What's weird is that his record has been so intermittent - he seems to drop his Michigan registration from time to time.  Maybe he has an out-of-state drivers license which keeps coming to the attention of the Michigan Elections Bureau?  He's had to re-register several times - maybe as many as five over the past ten years.

He's used an absentee ballot several times, but he's also shown up in person several times.

To me, it looks like a case of a person who spends a lot of time out of state, but who goes out of his way to preserve his Michigan voting record.


[ Parent ]
so... (0.00 / 0)
you point is he votes in Michigan, very intermittently? Am not seeing were you disproved my point, given it seem more then I would have thought, it really not that hard to get a absentee ballot, and if would have been very easy to have voted every-time in Michigan.

Again I point to Romney, he votes and lives in Massachusetts, yea his address is his sons basement in Massachusetts, he main resident is in California. So sure Lon's main address is in Kalkaska how offend is he there?  


[ Parent ]
Not intermittently. (4.00 / 1)
Lon VOTES quite regularly, as far as general elections go.  It's just his voter registration keeps being cancelled and reinstated.  But before each general election (with the exception of 2010) he makes sure everything is right so he can vote.

[ Parent ]
Not in 2010? (0.00 / 0)
Part of our problem, then....

[ Parent ]
also, oh god what have you done! (0.00 / 0)
"Maybe he has an out-of-state drivers license which keeps coming to the attention of the Michigan Elections Bureau?"

GJ way to start a conspiracy, now people are going to be demanding to see his Michigan State Driver License.  


[ Parent ]
Not a conspiracy (0.00 / 0)
If you are registered to vote in Michigan, and you apply for or renew a drivers license in another state, the Elections Bureau is notified and they start the process of dropping your voter registration.

There's nothing illegal about that.  Under both Michigan and Federal law, the elections authorities are allowed to presume that if you apply for an out-of-state drivers license, that you've recently moved out of Michigan.  They can presume it, but it doesn't make it true.

At the same time, there's nothing to stop you from re-registering and voting - it's perfectly legal to vote in Michigan while holding (say) a Florida drivers license.  And of course eventually another electronic notice may get sent to Michigan, causing you to be dropped again.

The only important effect is that somebody who isn't paying attention may miss the deadline for re-registering, which is roughly 29 days before the election.  States with same-day registration solve this problem without ever thinking about it.


[ Parent ]
i understand that... (0.00 / 0)
I was admitting to make a joke, at the expense of the Tea Partiers, who have a obsession with the President's Birth Certificate, School Records, etc. etc. so and so fore to the end of time.

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
How does Lonnie's voting record stack up against Brewer's?

[ Parent ]
good question. (0.00 / 0)
Grebner? sense you seem to have the records, would you care to enlighten us?

[ Parent ]
Mark Brewer never misses an election (0.00 / 0)
More precisely, he hasn't missed an even-year primary or general election in at least 20 years, which is what you'd expect of a state party chairperson.

He may have skipped a township millage election or something like that.  Seems to be a regular voter in school elections also.

He skipped the most recent presidential primary, but of course the official policy of the MDP was to discourage voting in the 2/2012 primary since it wasn't approved by the DNC.


[ Parent ]
So (4.00 / 1)
Who would be a better chair when it comes to tackling the toughest question of how do we get sporadic voting dems to the polls in gubernatorial elections? Just kidding.

I think anyone, regardless of what side they on in this would see the irony of Lon not voting in 2010 but somehow he is going to bring a mythical ofa model that would turn sporadics into dependable voters. Not to say one precludes the other but I do not like dems who did not vote in 2010.


[ Parent ]
. (0.00 / 0)
I had saw some of the attack ads from Republicans claiming he didn't live at his residence in-district because it was dilapidated and that he really spent his time on the east coast or Chicago. No clue how accurate that was but I know they ran with it.

He certainly is well connected and sometimes that takes you far from home so I am not down on that but the whole helped Iraq develop a democracy thing of his bio, I don't know what that means. Whenever I think of American civilians doing work in Iraq I usually think of the million dollar contract to build a shack or just sketchy stuff like that. I am not saying he did that or that I have ever heard that but I have never seen much about what he actually did there working as a civilian.


[ Parent ]
Why I am supporting Lon Johnson (3.50 / 2)
I come out of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party--the progressive wing--and I believe Lon offers us an opportunity to build a winning party.

Right now we have political consultants on the party payroll who work hard, are good people and try their best but are not delivering the goods. They endure because they have relationships that matter.

We have a fundraising structure that is almost entirely dependent on labor unions, lawyers and regulated corporations. This endures because we have no creative energy behind new approaches, no one who can leverage connections with wealthy donors nationally and a moribund grassroots fundraising program.

Democratic grassroots organizing doesn't exist outside candidate campaigns and grossly under-performs even during presidential elections. Why are we enduring this when we have the technology, talent and an engaged Democratic majority voting public?

The only way to break the cycle of defeat is to change course. Lon Johnson offers us that change. Over the coming days and in the few short weeks we have up to the Democratic convention, there will be opportunities for delegates to the convention to learn more about Lon. You can start by going to his web site www.lonjohnson.com.

Lon has deep roots in Michigan and he has a long history as a Michigan voter, both in southeastern Michigan and northern Michigan. He has been involved in grassroots and grass-tops political organizations nationally and in Michigan. Lon has worked as a political strategist for the Democratic National Committee, Al Gore and Congressman John Dingell. His wife, Julianna Smoot, is a top Democratic fundraiser, has worked for the Obama administration and was deputy campaign manager for the president's re-election campaign.  Our congressional Democrats, who know Lon well, gave him an extraordinary vote of confidence with their endorsement this week.

Lon Johnson offers Democrats an opportunity we should not pass up. He has talent, a track record of success as a Democratic strategist, enormous energy and a focus on getting the resources we need to build the party we want.

Everyone I've talked with who knows Lon Johnson says the same thing--he's a winner who will shun gimmicks and sideshows in favor of solid organizing and innovative strategies.  

Sounds like just what we need doesn't it?  


but. (0.00 / 0)
Like i said below. How? Lon, is being back by the same people your saying are the problem, if he is there man how is that going to change anything?

[ Parent ]
Also... (0.00 / 0)
Did you know the UAW, didn't want to give up control of the GOTV in many places to the Obama Campaign. They rejected the obama model neighbor model in favor of the old model GOTV model of few central staging locations, so again, Lon is the guy being put forward by the UAW, the same people that reject what your saying would benefit the party, are the people putting fore the guy you want voted in.


[ Parent ]
Not about the UAW (4.00 / 1)
The UAW's influence within the Democratic Party will continue but doesn't equate into control. Where they have excelled is mobilizing their members and as other groups like the MEA and constituencies like environmentalists and LGBT gain influence the grassroots strength of the party has become more dispersed, at least as reflected in delegates to the state convention.  What's missing is growth.  If you look at the number of precinct delegates fielded by the GOP and the MDP you see a picture of a Democratic party that has huge room for growth if generating grassroots activism was a party priority.  

[ Parent ]
Completely about the UAW (0.00 / 0)
The UAW's influence within the Democratic Party will continue but doesn't equate into control.

What evidence do you have of this? you presented none, and the fact that you can just say that has me questioning how much you know about Politics with the unions in Southeast Michigan. The way this is going down with the UAW backing and support for Lon, tell's me they have a lot more then just influence, and the way that works for unions, is you need to show respect to your elders, they know what there doing, or you don't get support.


[ Parent ]
Wherein I Play Devil's Advocate (Lon Johnson edition) (4.00 / 1)
As we head into the critical elections of 2014 and 2016, we need to be 100% sure that our Party is in capable hands. We cannot afford anything less.

On that note, while I firmly believe that the MDP needs a change in direction, how do we know that Lon Johnson is even qualified to be Chair of the MDP - much less that he'd be better than Brewer?

He's worked for OFA, he has managed campaigns, he can fundraise, and he has even run for office. All are big plusses in my book.

But does he also have experience within the structure of the MDP, a caucus, and/or a local Party organization? As the nominee for State House, he is automatically on the Executive Committee of the county parties in Kalkaska and other counties in the district where he ran. Other than that, how involved has he been? Has he been an officer for a county or district Party, a club, or a caucus? Has he been on State Central, or even been to meetings thereof? (As Chair, he'd have to lead those meetings.)

I would submit to you that it's one thing for a new vice chair, secretary, or treasurer to come in without much internal experience with the Party. Having some fresh blood in the upper echelons of MDP leadership may be a good thing. But that doesn't mean Lon Johnson ought to be Chair.

Here's another question that I have: If Johnson wants to be Chair, we need to to know what he would do as Chair. I have heard vague bits about moving our Party forward, but what concrete ideas does he have?

Now, one might think that it's impressive that the congressional delegation has endorsed Johnson en masse. Keep in mind, however, that Johnson managed Dingell's 2002 campaign, so there is that.

As I said in my "Devil's Advocate" comment about Brewer, we need a new direction. Still, I am unconvinced that this "new direction" will require new leadership. Does Johnson have the background and know-how required to be an effective Chair? I'm not (yet) sure. I am even less sure that he should replace someone like Brewer, who, for all his imperfections, is still an incredible asset to the Party.

The future of the MDP is a very important matter; Michigan won't stop going the wrong way unless our Party stops going the wrong way. But while Brewer is not perfect, there is such a thing as doing worse than Brewer. And before I can be persuaded to vote for Johnson (if we do have a floor fight), I need to be confident that it is worth it to remove Brewer (and with him, his expertise) and replace him with someone like Johnson.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: The Grand Rapids Press, which rarely endorses Democrats, backs Winnie Brinks


But Biggest problem with... (0.00 / 0)
with all the move the party forward stuff, is that his being put up by the UAW, who are the antithesis of not moving forward, but just putting the next guy who they know will know how to tow the line up for the position?

[ Parent ]
Remember (0.00 / 0)
This is Peter King, the same UAW president, that was trying to get in bed with Matty Moroun

[ Parent ]
oops (0.00 / 0)
lol think i was thinking about that guy from Iowa

[ Parent ]
Nope (0.00 / 0)
Peter King is the congressman from New York.  Steve King is the congressman from Iowa. lol

But, yeah, I don't really trust Bobby King any further than I can throw him.  It's really too bad, because I have a lot of hope for him.  Along with not getting many wins in politics, he hasn't got a lot of wins for the UAW.  He's been trying to break into new markets for years, now, and doesn't seem to be any closer.  I'd say his record in both of his roles is even less stellar than that of Brewer.  

He's totally the wrong messenger, and yet he's behind the workings of this coup.  The whole situation is something less than spectacular.


[ Parent ]
. (0.00 / 0)
Good points. I would guess that the fact Lon's wife has raised $100s of millions for Washington Dems would play a role in the Senate and CD endorsement.

[ Parent ]
Try BILLIONS (0.00 / 0)
Over two presidential campaigns.

[ Parent ]
BTW, Just heard some Rumors? (0.00 / 0)
Just heard tonight that there, could be a 3rd and even 4th candidate throwing their hat in the ring, in the coming week.

Obviously Rumor, I think a wait and see approach would be good.



Search
Progressive Blogroll
For MI Bloggers:
- MI Bloggers Facebook
- MI Bloggers Myspace
- MI Bloggers PartyBuilder
- MI Bloggers Wiki

Statewide:
- Blogging for Michigan
- Call of the Senate Dems
- [Con]serving Michigan (Michigan LCV)
- DailyKos (Michigan tag)
- Enviro-Mich List Serve archives
- Democratic Underground, Michigan Forum
- Jack Lessenberry
- JenniferGranholm.com
- LeftyBlogs (Michigan)
- MI Eye on Bishop
- Michigan Coalition for Progress
- Michigan Messenger
- MI Idea (Michigan Equality)
- Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
- Rainbow Mittens
- The Upper Hand (Progress Michigan)

Upper Peninsula:
- Keweenaw Now
- Lift Bridges and Mine Shafts
- Save the Wild UP

Western Michigan:
- Great Lakes Guy
- Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott
- Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Gay
- Public Pulse
- West Michigan Politics
- 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:
Powered by: SoapBlox