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A poor musician blames his instrument

by: Eric B.

Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:34:17 AM EST


I'll reform you, you soft-headed sonofabitch! How we gonna run reform when we're the damn incumbent! -- O Brother, Where Art Thou?

So, the race for Michigan Democratic Party chairman is all about change, change that I think just about everyone recognizes is needed. Doing the same thing over and over has led to defeat at the state level over and over. The difficulty for one of the candidates is that he's an incumbent, and marketing himself as an agent for change is essentially admitting that what he's done in the past hasn't worked. It's not a good position to be in.

That acknowledged, Mark Brewer's line that Democrats keep losing because of gerrymandering smacks of horse manure.

Brewer says that’s because Republicans drew the legislative district maps to the benefit of G.O.P. candidates. So how does Brewer want to fix that? Another ballot question. He wants to put a question before voters in 2014 to change how districts are drawn.     

He's been state party chairman for 18 years. That means he's been around for two go arounds with the Census and redistricting. It's not like everything was just gerrymandered last week.

Also, gerrymandering isn't just a Michigan problem. Republicans control the House of Representatives because they gerrymandered all across the country after 2010.

The way districts are drawn is a problem. There isn't any reason why a party that gets fewer votes for a legislative chamber ought to have a majority in said chamber, let alone two of them. But, it doesn't explain why Republicans were able to capture everything in 2010 to control the process. Before that, Democrats not only had a majority in the House, but going into November of that year had a successor to Andy Dillon as House Speaker all but picked out.

Eric B. :: A poor musician blames his instrument
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2010 was a strategic failure (3.50 / 2)
By all lights, 2010 was The election of a generation with both redistricting and a new governor at stake. We can piss and moan about redistricting but this was an event that we could calculate the moment Granholm took office.

I'm not sure we can lay this entirely at Brewer's feet, but until the Party recognizes the strategic mistake of 2010, and then actually begins to address that mistake -- well, welcome to Michissippi.


2010 wasn't pretty (4.00 / 1)
but I think before a single strategic decision was made just about every Dem in this country was dealt a terrible hand. 2 years of a hyper partisan Obamacare debate where they certainly won the messaging war in Congress wasn't a good way to start the cycle.

[ Parent ]
The electoral problem in 2010 (4.00 / 1)
Was that the Dems stayed home. Again, we have not really dealt with this. In Kent County we had a turnout on par with 2002. They did not win for being motivated, they won because we were demotivated and didn't show up.

Not doing the basics of turnout, riding on past victories with Granholm -- I don't know what it was, but the impact was clear. At the end of the day we didn't have the voters. That was a fundamental, critical mistake.


[ Parent ]
Which was (4.00 / 4)
something that happened around the entire country right? Only one candidate running for chair voted in the 2010 elections can you guess who?

[ Parent ]
Very good point (0.00 / 0)
That was actually a very good and damning point.  People need to realize that the blame for 2010 can cut both ways.  Neither of these candidates can claim 2010 as a positive for himself, so people really shouldn't try.

[ Parent ]
True, but we still gained five formerly Republican governorships (3.00 / 1)
in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Vermont. Minnesota and Connecticut elected their first Democratic governors in 20 years.

Even in states where we lost the governorship. In Ohio, John Kasich didn't even get 50% of the vote, and Scott Walker only won in Wisconsin by a few. In Michigan, we lost by nearly 0 points.

And no, you can't entirely blame that on Bernero, as imperfect as he was.

At least in those other states, more Democrats turned out to vote. Michigan? Embarrassment.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: McCann (D) seeking recount for state Senate in Kalamazoo County


[ Parent ]
I'll (4.00 / 1)
blame Virg. He was an awful candidate in just about every single way. I can't think of one positive he offers voters. The guy is just bad.

[ Parent ]
And not to mention (4.00 / 1)
We just got off of 8 years of Granholm who was not a very effective governor by any metric. Maybe some of the state you listed elected there first dem in 20 years while we tried to elect a guy that was terrible after 8 years of Granholm. Apples and oranges.

[ Parent ]
GG (4.00 / 2)
GG spent eight years trying to maneuver around the GOP in the Michigan senate. The GOP tactic was to deny her programs and progress in Michigan - exactly what the national GOP did to Obama.

My gripe with GG is that she should have taken the fight to them, campaigning against a "do nothing GOP senate."



[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
Dems don't fight, they don't communicate their ideas.  

[ Parent ]
Cool Hand Luke (0.00 / 0)
What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men.


[ Parent ]
So exactly where do assign responsibility for state-wide candidates? (4.00 / 2)
At the very least, Brewer is the figurehead for a manifestly failed policy. the question we keep circling around is why do we end up with this set of candidates? Couple it with lack of work on turnout and there you have it.

Whether we assign the problem to Brewer or to internal conflicts with various stakeholder groups is beside the point. The failure to develop an adequate farm team of candidates is one of the glaring examples of missed opportunities.

The next chair of the Party ought to come in with an idea of what we do different, because clearly, what we're doing now is insufficient.


[ Parent ]
. (4.00 / 1)
If we had Virg's campaign manager sitting here and asked him if he ran the race or did Mark Brewer run the race he would stare blankly. We ended up with Virg because of the UAW mostly. They made it clear Virg was there guy no one else got in it was him and Andy story over.

I think folks here with experience in recruiting candidates would agree it take places 90% of the time at the county level.


[ Parent ]
No one else got in because the time to make that decision was 2009... (4.00 / 2)
...and in 2009 pretty much everyone assumed John Cherry would be our nominee. Because he was Bigfooting around the state acting like the inevitable nominee.

His cowardly about-face in January 2010 left us with just Virg and Andy. And Alma, bless her heart.

Basically, Rick Snyder beat both Andy and Virg:

He stole Dillon's base of support in the open August primary -- all those so-called "centrist Democrats" and independents and anyone with "Granholm fatigue" -- giving him his margin over Hoekstra and MiCox and at the same time ensuring Bernero's victory over Dillon.

And then, of course, we had November.

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


[ Parent ]
John Cherry (0.00 / 0)
was a horrible candidate.  All he had to do was open his mouth and he put me to sleep.  He would never have beaten Snyder either.

[ Parent ]
Never said he would have beaten Snyder (0.00 / 0)
All I've ever maintained about Cherry was that

A) He would have performed better than Bernero or Dillon, which would have helped downballot to salvage some races we didn't have to lose, and

2) Take Snyder out of the picture and Cherry could have beaten a known hard-right candidate such as Hoekstra or MiCox.

Of course, Cherry dropped out almost a month before Rick Snyder "introduced" himself with his Super Bowl ad, and long before he started running ahead of the other Republicans in the polls.

Which tells me that what Cherry was REALLY counting on was running as the incumbent after Jennifer Granholm joined President Obama's Cabinet...and when that didn't happen he bailed.

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


[ Parent ]
Assigning the problem (0.00 / 0)
Until the respective caucuses and their leadership work collaboratively, and proactively, with the MDP chair, it won't matter who is the chair.  The farm team gets built with everyone working on the same page, setting aside personal agendas.  And, it takes time, as in multiple election cycles.  

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

[ Parent ]
That would mean an end to past practice (4.00 / 3)
We would have to actually seek and encourage qualified candidates, regardless of their ability to balance the ticket.  We would have to seek state-wide candidates regardless of whether they have stood in line long enough.  We would have to find state-wide candidates that are capable of running a campaign away from and independent of the "coordinated" campaign.

[ Parent ]
. (4.00 / 1)
You should go look at the maps with dpi and pick 56 house seats and 18 Senate seats. The reason we could receive more votes but not a majority is EXACTLY because of gerrymandering.

I like the change agent stuff. Mark is a dinosaur because he has been chairmen for 18 years but the UAW has been calling the shot for far longer and now are trying to keep control despite there major follies.

-Eric, and I am not trying to start a fight or be mean or anything, do you think Mark Brewer or House Caucus Leadership (that I think now for the 100th time everyone has established actually make all the decisions and run the campaigns) is to blame for not achieving a House majority? And sure we could get into a semantic answer where people say "well, mark should tell them no" or "he should have led the charge on a redistrict reform" (which it sounds like he wants to?) but on the basic question of who is actually is to blame for not winning those campaigns. Is it the people that make the decisions on what races to play in and what the message is or is it Brewer?


Mark needs to go (4.00 / 1)
There is no coordinated communication and no overarching strategy.  The GOP beats the Dems about the head because they're so good at how to use events to drive their message.  And their strategy is so simple - dismantle any parts of government that can be sold to their friends to make money and consolidate their power.  Everything else they do is noise.  The Democrats have no strategy and no offense.  They're always playing defense. I want offense and strategy.    

[ Parent ]
Boy (4.00 / 1)
...So is it the people that make the decisions on what races to play in and what the message is or is it Brewer?

Really semantics are fun but I am just trying to figure out if people really blame him when the House is running the campaigns. If Brewer had full control to delegate, fire and hire the consultants and staff of the caucus then maybe but he does not at all.


[ Parent ]
How does the GOP do it then? (0.00 / 0)
They have the same message from the top on down.  I don't blame Mark for everything and I like him but I think someone needs to show some leadership and pull everyone together to develop coordinated strategy like I said instead of everyone going off in different directions.  If nothing changes and the Dems don't act in concert with each other, they will keep losing ground.  I will say though that I haven't heard anything about this from Lon Johnson.  

[ Parent ]
I don't know (4.00 / 1)
how the GOP run there party structure.

[ Parent ]
What part does Mark play in elections? (4.00 / 2)
You don't see a problem with the Cooridinated Campaign getting off to such a late start in 2010 when so much was at stake? All anyone heard in 2010 that there was no money. Why? This last election, people were saying is there a Coordinated Campaign? When we lose all but one Supreme Court race in 2012 and we lose the Supreme Court race, Attorney General race and Secretary of State race in 2010. Just what part did the party play in these miserable defeats? You seriously think the party can take credit for the Obama wins, really? Bob King is not blaming Mark Brewer for the defeat of Prop 2. So why does Mark and his supporters want to keep spreading that story? Does it benefit them in some way? I think it does and it could not be more divisive. All I know is when the entire Democratic Congressional delegation does not want to work with Mark again, doesn't that tell you something? And please spare me the story that they were pressured. Just who in this world believes Carl Levin can be pushed around?

[ Parent ]
Hi (4.00 / 1)
...Soooo is it the people that make the decisions on what races to play in and what the message is or is it Brewer?

Really semantics are fun but I am just trying to figure out if people really blame him when the House is running the campaigns. If Brewer had full control to delegate, fire and hire the consultants and staff of the caucus then maybe but he does not at all.

I never said the party should take credit for Obama's wins. Bob Kind is 100% trying to blame Brewer and scapegoat his way out of it. Why do you think only the UAW and Teamster have endorsed Lon? Maybe cause the rest of the unions say it for what it is the UAW dinosaur trying to keep control when they absolutely in no way should be. Who pushed Carl Levin and the rest of the Federal elected around? How about Lon's wife the Billion dollar women.


[ Parent ]
And (4.00 / 1)
I would just add that agree with a lot of people I have talked about that it must have taken some really bravery for the federal who must have an average length of service of something north of 30 years to call for a fresh face and young blood. LOL.

That is rich, not to mention I have seen countless post here calling for some of the older members heads saying that they intentionally do not groom a farm team in case of a primary. The whole thing is pretty ironic.  


[ Parent ]
Your ignorance is showing (4.00 / 2)
Clearly you don't know Carl Levin, Debbie Stabenow, John Dingell, etc.  The idea that they can be pushed around by a former Obama staffer, whatever her title, is unsupportable.

And if Mark Brewer is content to take credit for the victories of both Senators, every presidential race since 1996, and the congressional incumbents -- as he did in his "I'm running" email a few days ago -- how is it he bears no responsibility for losses at the state level? You seem to have some campaign experience -- surely you know that when Carl Levin gets 60%+ of the vote, Stabenow and Granholm get in the mid to upper 50s, etc., that has little to nothing to do with the MDP, right?  And presidential campaigns pretty much run themselves.


[ Parent ]
I (4.00 / 1)
don't care much about the MI Congressional Delegation signing that letter. As is pointed out here and elsewhere, they don't rely on the state party for much of anything. Lon Johnson is an unknown and, though Brewer isn't perfect, I can't envision replacing him with a guy who has done nothing to prove he's the right one to take over (and implement the very expensive changes he calls for).

[ Parent ]
Bob King is placing the blame for Prop 2 on Brewer (3.00 / 1)
Sorry, have to call you on that one.  He, indeed, is trying to place the blame on Brewer.

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

[ Parent ]
In What Way? (0.00 / 0)
In what way is he blaming Brewer for the failure of Proposal 2?

[ Parent ]
Bob King clearly stated that he is not blaming Brewer (2.00 / 2)
Why does Bob King say publicly he is not blaming Mark Brewer for Prop 2's loss? It just seems to me to be another excuse for Mark Brewer to hide behind as to why those who have worked with him over the last 18 years would now like to work with Lon Johnson.  

[ Parent ]
his doesn't say it... (4.00 / 3)
but everywhere you look, it implied, not only by their action by in the press.

http://www.freep.com/article/2...


[ Parent ]
Gerrymandering is part of it (3.50 / 2)
But the fact that we lost so many seats by narrow margins, while the MDP lags behind the Party of Palin in terms of infrastructure, tells you everything you need to know.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: McCann (D) seeking recount for state Senate in Kalamazoo County

[ Parent ]
Hi. What do you think of this clear question? (4.00 / 1)
Is it the people that make the decisions on what races to play in and what the message is or is it Brewer?

[ Parent ]
Well, first off, I'm not advocating getting rid of Mark Brewer (3.67 / 3)
I'm neutral in the race, as is this site. If Democrats think that Mark Brewer has what it takes to revolutionize the way the Michigan Democratic Party does business -- and everyone agrees that it is an organization basically out of the Stone Age -- then by all means give him additional terms as chairman.

What I am saying is that the reason he is now giving for why Democrats have performed so poorly in the last several election cycles is essentially horseshit.

Let's also remember that the Dems' failures are bigger than in the House. They also haven't had a majority in the Senate in like a billion years, lost attorney general and secretary of state races routinely and managed to get one person elected to the state Supreme Court ... and she just resigned because she's corrupt.

At some point, it's reasonable to ask whether the guy in the job while all this happened is the guy who can reverse things, and is the guy who can modernize the way the party provides assets to campaigns.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
hmm (2.00 / 3)
I guess you can't ask a straight question and get a straight answer around here.

I was using the House as specific example so people did not find an accuse not to field the question and you can say it is Switzerland but when you lead folks so strongly you might as well endorse. I reminds me of a 501c3 mailer, "we are not advocating for anyone we are just educating" :)


[ Parent ]
But really (2.50 / 4)
the only thing that is horse shit in the post is pretending not to be supporting one or another candidate. You again have tried to blame Brewer for nearly everything but when I ask such a simple question:

Is it the people that make the decisions on what races to play in and what the message is or is it Brewer?

You don't answer it because anyone that has any clue how these campaigns run, and I am not sure if you do, could blame Brewer with a straight face.


[ Parent ]
Since Mark doesnt seem to be responsible for much (3.00 / 1)
why don't you enlighten us with what the MDP chair is responsible for.

[ Parent ]
. (2.50 / 2)
The MDP chair is the figure head who is responsible for running MDP entirely ops like membership, conventions and bingo and assist with local party building. There job is to get all of the progressive actors in the state to sit down at the same table instead of shooting at each other in circles.

What they are not is someone that runs campaigns.

Should we praise Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Obama's win last November. No, and no one would say that because it is absurd.


[ Parent ]
Then (0.00 / 0)
Figurehead? Then why does it matter who's in there?
Why not just toss that former Macomb County Commissioner Carie "Hottest Politician" Torrice into the main office?

[ Parent ]
beleive it or not (0.00 / 0)
it matters.  

[ Parent ]
Hard to Believe (0.00 / 0)
Definition of FIGUREHEAD

1: the figure on a ship's bow

2: a head or chief in name only



[ Parent ]
The adult in the room (0.00 / 0)
It matters that your chair is someone who can build consensus, not have a personal, politcal agenda; can place his/her ego aside and bring everyone together to work toward the common goals of the Democratic platform; remains calm, cool and collected in the face of intense pressure; tries (and I emphasize tries) to herd the cats across all counties and districts; tries to keep everyone in the dem caucuses aware of the political antics of the right wingers and coordinating some kind of unified response; etc.  (So much to explain and so little time nor space.)

What a chair is not is inexperienced in all that listed above and more.  What a chair is not is an opportunist.  What a chair is not is some hot-head who rides in on a white horse to save the day.

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


[ Parent ]
DNC (2.50 / 2)
What about the State Party Chair's involvement with the DNC? Isn't that one of the State Party Chair's responsibilities?

[ Parent ]
Winner, winner, chicken dinne (4.00 / 3)
The MDP chair is the figure head who is responsible for running MDP entirely ops like membership, conventions and bingo and assist with local party building. There job is to get all of the progressive actors in the state to sit down at the same table instead of shooting at each other in circles.

Part of my complaint with the Michigan Democratic Party is that I can see no evidence whatsoever of local party building here in Isabella County ... and this is a blue county. Last November, rather than digging into an available bench of people, they put "some guy" on the ballot. Again, demographically speaking, it should be a swing district.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Aw... (0.00 / 0)
...now you have just offended the many good people on the ground in Isabella County who have worked hard for a long time.  Geez.  When folks actually start showing up for meetings and events, and participating in candidate recruitment and field work with actual boots on the ground, then I will take their complaints seriously.

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

[ Parent ]
I won't name names (4.00 / 1)
But, there were a lot of hard feelings following the 2010 election. I'm not going to get into particulars, because everyone involved is basically a friend of mine. You probably know some of it.

Buuuuut, they ran a place holder last year against Kevin Cotter. That's a symptom of something gone wrong in a 50/50 district.

Also, for the record, I don't get involved in street level political organizing because I'm a journalist. Not only do I operate this website, I write for the Mt. Pleasant paper and occasionally do freelance work for them.

I thought by now I'd have made that clear.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
It wasn't for lack of trying to find a good, make that great, candidate (0.00 / 0)
The ICDP worked tirelessly, for over a year, to find a good candidate.  A whole lot of folks said no, for purely personal reasons.

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

[ Parent ]
Why is that? (0.00 / 0)
There are people who'd be good, competitive candidates up here, but they aren't active in Democratic politics.

Why aren't they involved?

I can give you one answer, which is that the popular impression that they won't get any support from outside the district.

There are other reasons, of course, but the general feeling up here is that the district is every year written off by the state party.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Good candidates (0.00 / 0)
The support will come when a good, strong candidate steps forward to run.  This is the case in any marginal district.

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

[ Parent ]
Do you see the conflict? (0.00 / 0)
They fielded very competitive candidates around the turn of the millenium, but those candidates had to get by without any resources from outside the district. So, now there is the impression that even very good, competitive candidates will not see help from ... anyone.

So, good people won't run because they don't think they'll get help. And, the people who can offer them help won't extend the hand of support because they want the right people.

And, by the way, the success here in 2008 was entirely thanks to the OFA people who were still in the county.  Those are the people who got all the CMU students to the polls. I would have hoped that the locals involved in that campaign might have picked up on some of what they did. No one in Michigan retained that information, apparently, because part of Lon Johnson's campaign platform is to replicate OFA's successes here.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Building organizations on every college campuse (4.00 / 5)
... is exactly one of the things the MDP should have done long ago, and it should be a priority.  Not around election time, but in the months and years when no election is looming.  There are 20 colleges/universities in Michigan, and except for MSU and UM, you'd be hard-pressed to find a continuing knowledge base about tactics, volunteers, voter registration, or partisan IDs that gets preserved after each election and updated for the next one.  

It's not a huge project, but it would pay off with 500 additional Dem votes in Isabella in every general election.  And 1000 at WMU, and 300 in Marquette, and so on.  If we include improved performance in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, it probably amounts to 10,000 additional Democratic margin statewide in each election.

But it doesn't happen - in fact the MDP has been more of a hindrance than a help here in East Lansing.  At one point, about ten years ago, Brewer actually called one of our contributors and told him what we were doing was illegal.

This is only one tiny example of the Mark Brewer I have come to know and love.


[ Parent ]
Mark (2.50 / 2)
Do you believe you stand to financially gain if Mark Brewer is not longer chair?

[ Parent ]
Wow. (3.00 / 2)
Who are you?  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
I sure hope so. (4.00 / 4)
Mark Brewer has basically been black-balling me for 8 years.  If he's removed - even if PPC never works for the MDP again - we would be better off, because Brewer won't be threatening our clients or undermining our relationships with candidates.

To take the simplest example, Mark Brewer rewrote the bill creating the 2008 presidential primary (2007 P.A. 52) specifically to put PPC out of business.  Section 615c(9) basically ONLY applies to me - I don't think it affects anybody else on earth.

To protect myself I sued, first in state courts (losing in the Supreme Court 4-3, with the Republicans supporting Brewer, and the Democrats dissenting in my favor) and then in Federal court, where I won.  The paradoxical result was that for two years PPC possessed the party IDs from the 2008 presidential primary, but the MDP did not.  In other words, it was a typical Brewer screw-up, which blew up in his face.

So, yes, I expect PPC will be better off if we're allowed to work without interference.


[ Parent ]
Please ... (0.00 / 0)
More.

[ Parent ]
I might add that I spent $50000 dealing with it. (4.00 / 3)
PPC would simply have been put out of business if the law stood as written.  I spent $5000 in the trial court (winning).  Then I spent $5000 more defending the decision in the Court of Appeals (winning 2-1).  Then I spent $5000 before the State Supreme Court (losing 3-4).

Then, with the unexpected help of the ACLU, I spent $10,000 in Federal court, winning.  (Judge Nancy Edmunds.)  Fortunately, the Secretary of State finally got tired at that point, and didn't appeal.

Unfortunately, instead of appealing, Terry Land took the bizarre position that since the presidential primary statute had been held unconstitutional, that the 2008 election wasn't a genuine election at all, so there were no official records of it, and therefor FOIA didn't apply.  (I'm not making this up.)

I sued under FOIA for access to the data, winning in the trial court.  After much screwing around, the Secretary of State finally abandoned their appeal, which is why the data is now available for the asking.

Thank you, Mark Brewer.


[ Parent ]
Seems Ironic (0.00 / 0)
That Brewer was a member of the Young Democrats but refused requests to expand the YD to college campuses.

[ Parent ]
The MDP cannot impact your local party (4.00 / 1)
The local party controls its own affairs.  Whether local leaders take advantage of resources is a local option.  This is pretty much true of everything from grooming candidates, to running local gotv, to simply identifying democratic voters.  And as the party structure has devolved over the last ______ (20, 30 or 40 years) in this country, office seekers are more inclined to avoid the local structure entirely.

[ Parent ]
I think (0.00 / 0)
I think we've seen comments the last couple of weeks to know that this isn't entirely true. The state party can impact local parties by providing resources.

I won't go into details, but I've had conversations with people the last couple of years that have left me thinking, "Shouldn't you be working with the local party chair on this, rather than me?" That tells me there isn't very good coordination between local parties, legislative recruitment efforts, candidate recruitment, and other stakeholders.

Someone should be coordinating that. I'll give you three guesses as to what is the most logical entity.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
You're making some assumptions (4.00 / 1)
One assumption is that your local leader is open to working with the State and is actually qualified to do something useful.  Another assumption is that the State party has some authority over the local party.  It doesn't.  I have seen local leaders tell State leaders to go get fucked in so many words.  I have also seen State leaders completely cut local leaders out of elections.

It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The State boys don't work with the locals because they are bumpkins.  The local boys don't work with the State boys because they are out of touch and condescending.

Should it work better?  Yes.  Is it the State's fault if your local party lacks good leaders?  No.  Is it the State's fault if they fail to realize you have good local leadership when most places do not?  Maybe.


[ Parent ]
I am? (4.00 / 1)
I make exactly zero of those assumptions.

I do think there needs to be a better job done of coordination and an effort made to build parties in each of the counties ala Howard Dean.  I can't speak to the leadership of each local party, or even the current leadership of the local Democratic Party, but in the past there's been a good deal of willingness locally to do that. There haven't been any resources from the central party forthcoming, however.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Well ... (0.00 / 0)
There job is to get all of the progressive actors in the state to sit down at the same table instead of shooting at each other in circles.

I'd hardly call some of the players to be "progressive." His job is to win and hopefully the winners are progressive.


[ Parent ]
Membership and local party building are two of the MDP's biggest failures, IMHO (4.00 / 3)
We could get a lot more out of our conventions than we've been getting. Better media, more "bounce," etc.

Also, when and where are the bingo events? Certainly nowhere near my turf (Northville, Livonia, Plymouth, Canton, Novi, Farmington/Farmington Hills).

P.S. so now you're posting that the Chairman's job is "to get all of the progressive actors in the state to sit down at the same table instead of shooting at each other in circles." But when I posted a few days ago that I expected the Chairman to do pretty much EXACTLY that, you scoffed.

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


[ Parent ]
If that's the job... (4.00 / 1)
...how would you say it's going?  "There job is to get all of the progressive actors in the state to sit down at the same table instead of shooting at each other in circles."

I've seen you and others talk about how many tables or groups or whatever there are, with all their acronyms.  If you say the key thing a chair does is bring them all together, and it's not happening, what's the argument for the status quo?


[ Parent ]
Sweet weeping Jesus (3.75 / 4)
You asked a purposefully incomplete question designed to elicit the response you wanted, rather than asking a good question to elicit an honest answer. You got a better response than you deserved, because I don't really appreciate people who ask loaded questions just so they can throw around accusations of bias. End of story.

Once again, just so we're clear on this -- and every time you insist on asking obtuse questions again, I'm going to copy and paste this as a response -- I think the entire party apparatus needs to be blown up and rebuilt. I think that mostly means the people behind the throne, so to speak, who've been resistant to change the last two decades. I think that probably also means changing the leadership of the party, because successful rebuilds of organizations aren't usually based on retaining the same people. I haven't just said this the last couple of weeks. I can probably point back to posts from 2009 going forward saying that Democrats need to make substantial changes to how their party operates.

I have no idea if Lon Johnson is the right person for the job. I've talked to the guy exactly once, and not only do I make it a habit to not endorse but I'm certainly not going to support someone who I've never met in person.

As for this particular post, I've criticized Mark Brewer for something that warrants criticism. Just as I don't endorse people, I'm not going to go out and look for some excuse to criticize Lon Johnson just so's you can feel confident in my pledges to be neutral. That's a dumb thing to do, and I routinely criticize media outlets that do it.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
we all agree the party need to change (0.00 / 0)
Once again, just so we're clear on this -- and every time you insist on asking obtuse questions again, I'm going to copy and paste this as a response -- I think the entire party apparatus needs to be blown up and rebuilt. I think that mostly means the people behind the throne, so to speak, who've been resistant to change the last two decades. I think that probably also means changing the leadership of the party, because successful rebuilds of organizations aren't usually based on retaining the same people. I haven't just said this the last couple of weeks. I can probably point back to posts from 2009 going forward saying that Democrats need to make substantial changes to how their party operates.

Fine, I think we all agree to this point, but at this moment in time we have a chose to make two changes, a new face for the party ,but keeping the man behind the curtain pulling the levers. The other is to keep the old face ,but a chance to decouple the decision making power from a group that in the past had lots of power and has fought against changing for the better because it would take them off this throne, this would be choosing the old face.

Which is better?

Looking forward which would put us in a better place to make real changes down the road?

As for this particular post, I've criticized Mark Brewer for something that warrants criticism. Just as I don't endorse people, I'm not going to go out and look for some excuse to criticize Lon Johnson just so's you can feel confident in my pledges to be neutral. That's a dumb thing to do, and I routinely criticize media outlets that do it.

you don't have to look for problems with Lon Johnson, they are just as glaring , but choosing to post this article without posting Lon's own glaring issues, even if not intentionally , smack of bias, and no am not saying you have to publish both side even if they are unequal, such as Climate Change advocates Vs Climate deniers. You must at least do justice in this case to both sides, to remain neutral.


[ Parent ]
The problems others see for Lon Johnson are not problems in my eyes (0.00 / 0)
Which is better?

I have no opinion on which candidate is better. How many times do I need to say this?
you don't have to look for problems with Lon Johnson, they are just as glaring ...

Here's the problem. Most of the criticisms I've seen of the guy are that he's mostly a creature of Washington D.C. and might only want the job for a short period of time. I don't see those as defects in someone. If he can come in, remake the MDP into an effective organization, I don't care if he comes from Timbuktu and moves on in six months to managing the New York Mets.

The only issue I can see with Johnson at this point is whether he can affect the change he says he wants. So far, what he says about this is that he wants to add to the party, which if he does it would deal with that.  The minute he says something stupid, like that the Democrats' whole problem are gerrymandered districts, I'll jump on him.  But, he appears to be very good as message discipline, so I doubt that's going to happen.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
.. (0.00 / 0)

Here's the problem. Most of the criticisms I've seen of the guy are that he's mostly a creature of Washington D.C. and might only want the job for a short period of time. I don't see those as defects in someone. If he can come in, remake the MDP into an effective organization, I don't care if he comes from Timbuktu and moves on in six months to managing the New York Mets.

That is the problem though, right there, you can't turn around the Michigan Democratic Boat in 1 year, or 2 years even, your going to need a 10 years strategy at this point. You need to have your eyes set on 2018 and 2020, depending on how we deal with redistricting, but given the case of Arizona you still need to have control of the governorship otherwise they can still pull partisan stunts.


The only issue I can see with Johnson at this point is whether he can affect the change he says he wants. So far, what he says about this is that he wants to add to the party, which if he does it would deal with that.  The minute he says something stupid, like that the Democrats' whole problem are gerrymandered districts, I'll jump on him.  But, he appears to be very good as message discipline, so I doubt that's going to happen.

He can't and won't given what he has alluded to, he will not have the time, or given his major backer is the UAW, he will not be able too. UAW doesn't want the Obama campaign structure in Michigan because they would lose control, and there voice drowned out, beside the money they bring to the table. If Lon really try to change stuff in a major way UAW would neuter and ham string his plans the entire way.

On Gerrymandering, the fact is that is a major issue, well by no means the only one the party has or the worse, it is one that has to be dealt with in the form of a election, and 2014 is going to be one of the best times to do that.


[ Parent ]
. (1.00 / 4)
You can have the question anyway you want. To call it obtuse and bias but your coverage of this race for chair fair is horse shit.

Like I said you might as well endorse your level of "education" and not "advocation" is in line with crossroads usa. It is definitely not journalism that much is for sure. You have provided countless reasons why Brewer is no good but little to no coverage on Lon's strength or weakness it is a joke.


[ Parent ]
. (1.00 / 4)
Thanks for being an adult and marking me as troll because you do not like my post.Not childish at all I am going to refrain from marking your post a 0 because I disagree with it.

[ Parent ]
This has nothing to do with a disagreeable post (4.00 / 1)
Go back and reread the entire thread. There are at least three other people who are critical of things I've written here, and yet of the four you are the only one I've given any negative ratings to.

Some people understand how to disagree politely, and then there are those who get troll ratings. Some day, you may figure out that out.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Well ... (4.00 / 1)
It's true that because of the gerrymanders Dems need well over 50% to have a majority in either the House or Senate. The point is they received 54% of the two-party vote for the House in November, and with 54% they should have done a bunch better than 51 seats. By my calculation they should have at least been competitive in the 99th, the 108th, the 66th, the 85th, and the 56th, and they didn't do better than 45.4% in any of these seats. They came close in the 23rd and 101st, but didn't win these either. That right there is enough to get to 58 seats, so even with some slippage there's enough there to get to 56.

Add in seats with Rep PVIs between 4 and 5 (districts 61, 106, 79, and 39), and there's more than enough targets to get the Dems to 56 seats.

Now if you tell me the House caucus controls House campaigns I'll believe you, and I'll blame the House leadership and not Brewer. They had a good Dem year at the top of the ticket and a target-rich environment given the numbers put up statewide, and didn't get the job done.

Now, with that out of the way, can we at least agree that Brewer can share some of the blame for the failure to elect a SoS since '90? Okay, '94 was a crappy year for Dems, but there was another chance in '02, and despite Granholm and Levin winning at the top of the ticket, the Dems couldn't get their choice elected. Same for AG in '02. And let's not forget the failure of Dems to convert top of the ticket success into votes for Supreme Court candidates. If you want to say Brewer has no responsibility for any of this then you're saying MDP chair is a figurehead position that's not worth 30 seconds of my time thinking about.

Now I agree with not necessarily believing the convention should just rubber-stamp the UAW's choice. The UAW has fought the good fight over the years for African-American rights, women's rights, and now LGBT rights, but they're a smaller part of the Dem coalition than they were 30 or 40 or 50 years ago.

In other words, I believe Brewer deserves replacing, but I'm not sure Johnson is the right person for the job. Were I a delegate I might just vote to give Brewer another term until a better candidate shows up, but as of right now I'd be leaning against him.


[ Parent ]
. (4.00 / 2)
"If you want to say Brewer has no responsibility for any of this then you're saying MDP chair is a figurehead position that's not worth 30 seconds of my time thinking about."

That is basically what Lon is proposing but he wants to be paid an additional $80k and hire an ED that I assume would make in the $80k range.

I certainly do not think Brewer is perfect and should shoulder some blame for the lack of wins but no where even remotely close to the blame that the caucus should shoulder. I have not heard a single person calling for the House caucus directors head who is the same guy from 2012.

I want the party to change for the better and I do not think that will happen by following the UAW once again and electing Lon. While I think he is a good guy I have a hard time believing he is in for the long haul or that he would even be at the convention (or in the state) if the UAW did not call him.


[ Parent ]
Wow (4.00 / 4)
So, the race for Michigan Democratic Party chairman is all about change, change that I think just about everyone recognizes is needed. Doing the same thing over and over has led to defeat at the state level over and over. The difficulty for one of the candidates is that he's an incumbent, and marketing himself as an agent for change is essentially admitting that what he's done in the past hasn't worked. It's not a good position to be in.

Am sorry I have problems with Mark's leadership, and the biggest one is the control the unions have of the party, specifically the UAW, who won't let people do a thing to improve the way races are run because, "That's not the way thing are done." How can you sit here and say Lon is better then Mark, when the exact same people who are behind Mark's biggest problem are the one's putting up and backing Lon.

List of Ron's Prpblems

1. Doesn't really live in Michigan

2. Back by, and put forward by, the same Unions that got us into this mess

3. He has a very intermittent voting record, especially here in Michigan, most importantly he never voted in 2010. If he is suppose to energize the party and those that didn't vote in 2010, but did in 2008, 2012. How can he do this when he didn't himself?

4. He wants a 60-80k pay hike, to 140-160k. If the parties problem is ability to organize, we need organizers, we could hire 2-3 for what he is saying he wants to get payed.

5. Has already said he wants to go back to Party Chair as a figure head, and to hire a executive to do the job. So he want the title for his resume, and to get a pretty paycheck, and not do the job, especially give #4?  

6. The MDP is already neutered, with both the JLC, and DEMCOM, getting into territory pissing matches. This is the real reason we didn't win back the house in 2012 along with redistricting, the Michigan Democratic Party is Split and every part wants to have control, how's he going to fix anything as Party Chair?

If we need change and I agree something has to change, we need to identify what change is the one we want, would we rather have a new face, who doesn't want the job and is already planning to run for office in 2 years, who going to be the puppet for the UAW. Just changing the puppet that the puppet master has his hand up, is not going to get as any mean fully change

That acknowledged, Mark Brewer's line that Democrats keep losing because of gerrymandering smacks of horse manure.

Am sorry where were you nov 2012, the gerrymandering is horrible in favor of the Republicans, and especially in a year where we had as much going on, Presidential Race, Senate Race, Supreme Court Race, State House Race, and 4 Ballot Proposals. Beside being stretch really thin, Gerrymandering was the one of the biggest contributing causes of the house lost. The others being lack of ability and good leadership at DEMCOM and JLC, which ran many races very poorly, and recruited horrible candidates

He's been state party chairman for 18 years. That means he's been around for two go arounds with the Census and redistricting. It's not like everything was just gerrymandered last week.

No, but fighting for gerrymandering reform, especially in 2014, is a very smart and long term move, its looking at the 2018 and 2020 races as the end goal. Derailing this, is shortsighted and fool headed, something that I say only someone with no real strategic foresight at all comes too, only from looking back at 2012.

Also, gerrymandering isn't just a Michigan problem. Republicans control the House of Representatives because they gerrymandered all across the country after 2010.

The way districts are drawn is a problem. There isn't any reason why a party that gets fewer votes for a legislative chamber ought to have a majority in said chamber, let alone two of them. But, it doesn't explain why Republicans were able to capture everything in 2010 to control the process. Before that, Democrats not only had a majority in the House, but going into November of that year had a successor to Andy Dillon as House Speaker all but picked out.

Am sorry, if you can't see or understand 2010 was the once in a decade swing. 2010 was a Campaign that had two important factors at least effect Michigan, One the make up of Obama coalition in 2008 was inherently weak, young people who are very sporadic voters, white voters who only vote for Obama to prove that they aren't racist, a phenomenon that is well document and studied. One that if you look at the make up Michigan voters, especially as you leave the cities, we have a large amount of very moderate to conservative Dems, the Reagan Dems, the very people this phenomenon would be the largest contributing factor, or did you miss the large amount of white people that came out of the wood work saying "I voted from him in 2008 and am not doing it again!" and if you need number's Obama won 2008 number for whites, in Michigan, were over 50% a majority, in 2012 he won 44.8%. I bet this people had buyer's regret by even 2010.

So 2010 was not Mark's fault, no more then the Iraqi War was Mark's fault, it was a national issue that flooded down to the state and local level, not even compounded by the fact that every president and his party beside G.W.Bush in recent decades has lost in the first off year election.

All that being said, again we have two choices here

The Fresh New Guy, being controlled by the same old people behind the scenes.

vs

The Old Weather Hand, who is beaten and scared, but is finally unshackle from the people behind the scenes.

do you want to change the window dressings or fix the window


?So now you are saying it is the Teamsters and UAW are to blame for losing all control of our State government? (3.00 / 3)
So now we are going to see Mark Brewer unleashed from those who have been keeping his genius hidden all these years? Am I hearing blue boxing say that Jennifer Granholm is to blame for 2010? Really, anybody and everybody but Mark.  

[ Parent ]
HI (4.00 / 1)
If you can come up with a single candidate that would have won the Governors office in 2010 after Jenny crapped out for 8 years I will blame Brewer.

[ Parent ]
It was all Geroge Bushs' Fault! (1.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
. (3.00 / 1)
That's not productive to the conversation.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps no one could have beaten Snyder... (4.00 / 2)
...but had Cherry possessed the intestinal fortitude to walk in 2010 the way he talked in 2009, the margin would have been something like 53-47 or 54-46.

Hell, he might have beaten a weaker candidate with no centrist appeal like MiCox.

Even with a loss, Cherry could really have helped downballot -- think McDowell in the 1st District, Benson for SoS, possibly Davis for Supreme Court (keeping our 4-3 majority), along with a swing of 4-5 House seats and a couple of Senators (to deny Republicans that damn supermajority).

Just a splash more blue in 2010 would have slowed the onslaught we saw in 2011-12.

Now, take Cherry out of the equation and assume the top of the ticket is a no-win proposition, and the job of using our limited resources to try and get that splash of blue downballot fell in large part to the MDP Chairman.

There were many tactical failures and GOTV fizzles in the final weeks. Not all Brewer's fault

But, when asked directly about his part in the failure that cycle -- by me, two weeks after the debacle, in front of the entire Oakland County Executive Committee meeting -- Brewer took zero responsibility, saying with a literal shrug that it was a wave election...Michigan was destined to go red just like Ohio.

Horsepuckey.

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


[ Parent ]
No One (3.50 / 4)
Honestly, there is no one at the State and Local level to blame for 2010, I know that hard to hear, but it the truth.
it was a year very much dominated by National issues, thanks to the republicans. Anyone laying blame at the state or local level, is either ignorant of the historic trends for that year, and or looking to take scalps because people are upset and not thinking rationally and are easily manipulated.  

[ Parent ]
Strange days indeed (4.00 / 5)
The thing that I just cannot wrap my head around is that my choice is between a guy who has probably been around too long on the one hand, and a guy who clearly has no long term interest in the job that is backed by the most regressive part of unionism today.

As others have pointed out, every critique of the Party leadership can just as easily be cast at the UAW because, as they are glad to tell anyone who will still listen, they are the real guys running the show.  The fact that the MEA is backing Brewer, and AFSCME and SEIU seems to be holding off on choosing, tells me a lot about this pissing contest.  

I'm not sure how I'm going vote, but it is amusing to me that if you want the Party to enter this century, you may be leaning towards Brewer.  Strange days indeed.    


It's crazy (0.00 / 0)
I know, I have been vocal to my friends and people around me about my problems with Mark over the years, but looking at this race now, this is how it stands, madness I say madness.

[ Parent ]
Should there be someone there longterm? (4.00 / 1)
Maybe that is a question that should be asked.  I think that thinking gets stale after a time and there needs to be someone new with fresh ideas every so often.

[ Parent ]
That's a good point, but where is the line? (0.00 / 0)
I don't want to term limit the Chair, but I agree a person can get out of date.  I will say this.  If this were an attempt at a take over by other labor unions, and they had a candidate that had real roots here, then I would probably feel different.

[ Parent ]
Change (0.00 / 0)
Change for change's sake doesn't always produce good change.  We have two less than stellar choices, but I've never bought into the idea that's it's always a good idea to throw a hail mary and pray that you made the right decision.  Sometimes, it really should come down to the devil you know than the devil you don't.  If I made it down to Detroit, I can honestly say that at this moment, I'd probably abstain from voting.  Brewer has a lot to answer for, and most of his answers I don't like.  Lon has a lot to answer for that he can't possibly answer for without the fact that he's being backed by an organization as much to blame for this as the guy he's trying to oust if not even more so.  

Had Lon come out of nowhere or from anywhere else within the party, he'd be a legitimate alternative.  As it is, the only real argument for him (that isn't also an argument against him) is just that, he's a hail mary pass, and you'll just have to hope he'll land us safely.


[ Parent ]
Mark Brewer Party (0.00 / 0)
Brewer is setting a historic precedent because if he prevails at the convention then it shows how weak the Michigan Democratic Party has become all these years. From there the Michigan Democratic Party can change its name to the Mark Brewer Party.

http://bankolethompson.com/?p=658


[ Parent ]
Can't Disagree (0.00 / 0)
Brewer is setting a historic precedent because if he prevails at the convention then it shows how weak the Michigan Democratic Party has become all these years.

I don't disagree with this, at all, and it was really kind of my point.


[ Parent ]
Excusefest not the best plan I think (4.00 / 6)
I really think the "it's not Brewer's fault because of (insert random excuse here)" is not really the best support for the guy.  If you have followed the different threads on this blog lately, I am not sure the dem chair is actually responsible for or has any duties.

I have worked on all sorts of races and 'we are waiting on Brewer' or 'brewer says no' or 'brewer says go' is not uncommon at all.  The idea he is not involved at every level in the state races, that is really sort of laughable.

I have sat through countless call times where contacts have said 'brewer says to not put money in your race' or 'brewer told us to just give to the caucus or party for your race.'

Argue about the machinations of this chair race all day and all night, but the idea that Brewer does not have his fingers in every aspect of races, particularly, the state house, state senate or supreme court races is just not true...



What Brewer says (4.00 / 1)
It's easier to blame one person than it is to focus on the symptom and the cure.  In probably 95% of the examples that you listed above, the person(s) saying them probably had no clue as to who or what was really making that decision.  A lot of blame gets placed on Brewer because he is visible and available. It's just so damn convenient and easy.

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

[ Parent ]
I only know about my own case (4.00 / 1)
Mark Brewer called a major contributor to our East Lansing voter drive and told them what we were doing violated Federal law.  We got a letter from the FEC that specifically stated what were doing was kosher.  I called Brewer to talk to him about it.  He hung up on me.

Do you want dates and a copy of the letter?


[ Parent ]
when (0.00 / 0)
when was this event?

[ Parent ]
2004. (4.00 / 2)
The events unfolded across maybe 12 months.  It was part of the fallout from McCain-Feingold.  Brewer declared (incorrectly) that it was illegal to use "soft" money for voter registration.  I told him he was simply wrong, under the language of Buckley v. Valeo.  He blew me off.

We got a letter from the FEC saying that they had no oversight or interest in voter registration drives.  I called Brewer, hoping to straighten things out, and when he discovered the subject, he simply hung up and has refused to discuss the topic ever since.

From 1992 until about 2004, PPC was the main voter file vendor for the MDP.  I have always assumed this incident was one of the reasons Brewer fired us and began undermining us - he's never given us any explanation.  Certainly there were no complaints about quality or price, which you would think would be important considerations.

Brewer is incredibly thin-skinned.  Even if you don't directly criticize him, any accomplishment that shows he was wrong can make him your enemy for life.


[ Parent ]
Laughable (1.00 / 1)
"The idea he is not involved at every level in the state races, that is really sort of laughable."

That is being laughable and just leads me to believe you might not be creditable. Sorry.


[ Parent ]
I don't know what creditable means, but (3.50 / 4)
she is highly credible. For starters, she uses her name. That allows me the ability to determine on which campaigns she has worked (many) and how engaged she has been at the local and state party level (deeply).

To recap: She is highly credible as an activist, whatever her opinions and whether one agrees with them or not.

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
I usually use my phone (1.33 / 3)
Thank you for the spelling lesson and the credibility training :) lol when is the ethics training?

[ Parent ]
... (4.00 / 3)
Hey, I could've been off-base and you were referencing some phrase that I didn't know.

You are attacking known messengers (as well as message, granted) at this point, but are not sharing the name that is behind your message.

You obviously are well-informed. My point is that so is she -- and because you two hold divergent opinions doesn't mean you should attack her credibility.


Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Hello Michael (1.50 / 2)
BlueBoxing had me at 'creditable' as well.  

I stand behind my comments and I use my real name.  I have nothing to hide and no reason to make stuff up to create a flame war in a comment section.  



[ Parent ]
Credible (0.00 / 0)
I think that is the word you were looking for.

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

[ Parent ]
The Departed (0.00 / 0)
"Get me a tuba ..."
Frank Costello apparently quoting John Lennon.

Just remember (4.00 / 2)

the guys with the UAW jackets on mostly are all in appointed positions clamoring to move up the UAW International ladder.

They have no ideas and do very little to advance the Dem Party. The best chance for the Dem part to survive is to shake loose the UAW International shackles and as hard it may be to say... vote for Brewer.

The Party needs to advance without the sole direction of the UAW.  


Obama (0.00 / 0)
Obama won because he was innovative in raising allot of money in smaller amounts. He did not necessarily rely on any one significant group for cash.

But, in 30 years working for the party how has Brewer done anything significant to advance the same program? To "unshackle" itself? Reelecting Brewer may indeed force him to look at other ways to raise money, but I am not convinced.

I get plenty of calls from the MDP to contribute, I made those calls myself, but hearing someone read a script to me is a turn-off and I just want to get off the phone. That is not innovative and it doesn't really work. Come to think of it, I don't think I got one call from OFA for cash, yet I contributed.

Give me a REASON to start contributing money again. Give me a reason to think my party cares about us and I'll send Brewer a check.



[ Parent ]
From MIRS (0.00 / 0)
19 More Local Democratic Party Chairs Endorse Brewer For Re-Election To Chair

Back to redistricting reform (0.00 / 0)
If you think the Congressional Delegation wasn't complicit in the gerrymandered districts we have now, you are hopelessly naive. Remember, every time you pack more Republicans into a GOP district, you have to pack more Democrats into a Democratic one. The major road block to redistricting reform has always been incumbent elected officials. Putting redistricting in the hands of a nonpartisan commission would take away their power. Trust me, they don't want that, even if it would mean more equitable districts.

Academic studies of the results of redistricting have consistently found that protecting incumbents has more weight than partisanship. Since Michigan has lost population that has meant sacrificing a Dem Congressman once a decade, but every time, years of incumbency wins out.

If you don't believe me, look at what happened in PA:

http://www.newsworks.org/index...



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