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Some people who may be running for office this year

by: Eric B.

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 15:13:15 PM EDT

Someone who shall remain nameless (unless they care to identify themselves) posted something to my Facebook wall earlier today that there is a rumor that Nancy Skinner is considering a run for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional District. Talked to a folk or two to confirm, and it's true ... Skinner has told a couple of people that she is looking at a run for the Dem. nomination.

I'll let you people take it from here.

Eric B. :: Some people who may be running for office this year
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Speaking of federal candidates...
I noticed that there have yet to be any federal candidates file for office. I take it the unbearable winter weather has put a damper on circulating petitions.

Nancy Skinner would stand a very good chance in the Democratic primary, if she were to enter the race.

On another 'some people running for office this year' front: Take a look at who is seeking the Republican nomination for State Senate in Oakland County's 13th (Pappageorge retiring) seat -- Tom McMillin, Rocky Raczkowski, Chuck Moss, Marty Knollenberg.  Wild.  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

They usually wait until the end
You'll notice that in 2012, most of them didn't file until May - by which time we were within two weeks of the deadline. We still have five weeks to go.

As for that state Senate race, I'm impressed how well it showcases the diversity in today's Republican Party - the white guy, the white guy, the white guy, and the white guy.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
Thank you for sharing. Good info.

I had forgotten that Godfrey Dillard was disqualified from the 13th Congressional District primary due to inadequate valid signatures.

I remember being convinced that John Conyers was going to be bounced from the ballot with his 1,051 submitted signatures. Maybe no one challenged them... ?

I wonder why Clark Durant didn't try to make a go of it for the Republican Senate nomination this year?

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
And on the 13th
There is some other fellow that has filed, an Al Gui, for the Republican nomination.  I cannot speak to his background.

Two Democrats are running.  My understanding is that Ryan Fishman has raised serious campaign contributions, but I haven't seen that confirmed yet.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Fishman is the serious candidate.
He's a former Republican, he has donated to Republicans, and would apparently be the rightmost Democrat in the caucus if elected.

His opponent, according to rumor, isn't keen on fundraising, hasn't been knocking doors (which is what candidates like to replace fundraising with), and she recently just shed her campaign manager. Sounds like she's all but conceding to Fishman. That being said I've been wrong before.

Hopefully Fishman surprises me when elected.  

[ Parent ]
If she fades out
I hope she doesn't turn off from the process entirely. She may have the makings of a future County Commissioner or State Representative (or a potential candidate for the positions, at least).

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
He's donated to Repub candidates but I also found via web that he gave a bunch of $ to Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor and Allison LUndergan Grimes.  He's also pro choice and has given some bucks to Equality MI.  I think Tupac Hunter still gets right most dem award, socially at least.  

[ Parent ]
Ryan Fishman - Democratic Candidate for State Senate - 13
Ryan put up $107,000 for 2013 fundraising.  He's looking good. Only chance we have to make this seat count.  

[ Parent ]
I heard
that Brenda Lawrence filed her 14th congressional district petitions today. Depending on the filing information that the state should update soon, that likely means she is the first federal candidate to file in the state.

Based on the info that Scott Urbanowski linked to yesterday, this also puts her ahead of the curve compared to candidate filing dates during the 2012 cycle.  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Lawrence is also getting some free media
BLAC: Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence Talks L. Brooks, Detroit
The long-time leader plans to unite the cities of the 14th Congressional District on her second congressional run for a U.S. Representative seat

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
Who is
Who is Nancy Skinner?  Bobby McKenzie has already raised over $100,000, which is really nothing in as wealthy a district as the 11th, but it's certainly not "Some Dude" money, either.  Bobby is running a very serious campaign.  How good a fundraiser is Skinner?  Can she put up double that to make up for her tardiness?

I have a hard time commenting on this right now
Bobby McKenzie is sponsoring this website this month, which means he literally bought the ground sirloin I grilled as hamburgers tonight and the beer I washed them down with. So there is that.

Nancy Skinner is a former radio show host (I believe). She also had work ties (I seem to remember) to Dan Mulhern, but was let go ... allegedly for her conduct during a conference. I won't go into details. Let's just say that if she's the nominee, we can expect that this would be brought up.

That said, I have nothing to say about this race this month, while someone in it is sponsoring this website.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Skinner ran against Knollenberg in 2006
She was the last Democrat to lose a congressional race to Knollenberg; her strong showing that year helped set the stage for Peters's win in 2008.

Before that, she lived in Illinois; she was one of several candidates in the 2004 U.S. Senate primary in Illinois, losing to a guy named Barack Obama.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
This would certainly make the 11th
one of the most interesting races to watch from every angle.  That David Trott attack ad with him taking the medicine and house and then dumping the 101 year old woman on the curb is intense.  Adding Nancy into the blue side makes the 11th the 'get the popcorn' race for me.  Nancy has some skills, if she can pull some money together, they would be wrong to overlook her.

[ Parent ]
Speaking of the 11th becoming the 'get the popcorn' race...
MLive has another installment in the saga of "Bad Santa."

Former campaign manager sues Congressman Kerry Bentivolio, says he's owed over $150,000

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

[ Parent ]
A Little History
Back in 2006 Nancy Skinner ran against Joe Knollenberg in the old 9th District. She lost, but did quite well considering Knollenberg was a 9-term incumbent with a fat warchest in a fairly red district (though even then it was showing signs of turning purple).

Two years later, she considered running again but agreed to step aside for Gary Peters (who of course went on to win, in part due to Barack Obama's coattails).

Since then she's worked behind the scenes for other candidates, run a small multimedia company, and has been very active on the climate change issue.

Most people would know Nancy from talk radio. She was one of the founders of Air America (before it crashed and burned), and along with Tony Trupiano is probably the best-known Michigan-based progressive radio host.

Now, you do raise a very good point about fundraising.

She is getting a very late start (by comparison, she started her 2006 campaign in the third quarter of 2005), and unlike Dr. Anil Kumar Nancy can't draw from her personal wealth to match the money already raised by Bobby McKenzie.

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

[ Parent ]
She was First Gentleman Dan Mulhern's Chief of Staff for awhile.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
For which she may not be getting the "coveted" Jennifer Granholm endorsement

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

[ Parent ]
I didnt know who she was either
I didnt know who she was either but read on her wiki she once lost an election to Barack Obama so theres that.

In 2004
Nancy Skinner was in Illinois, and ran for the open U.S. Senate seat as one of seven Democratic candidates.

The 2004 Illinois Senate race was quite possibly one of the most bizarre of the modern era.

One of the Democrats spent $32 million in the primary, and lost (as did Nancy Skinner) to a then-unknown state Senator with a funny name -- Barack Obama.

On the other side, the Republican nominee (and clear favorite to win statewide), Jack Ryan, was forced out when records from his divorce were unsealed showing he had dragged his wife -- Jeri Ryan, Seven of Nine herself! -- to underground sex clubs in the U.S. and Europe.

Republicans were left without a Senate candidate, and finally had go all the way to Maryland to find someone to finish the race.

That someone was Alan Keyes(!), and the outcome was the very definition of "epic fail" -- between this debacle and the downfall of Gov. George Ryan, Illinois Republicans spent several years in complete disarray.

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

[ Parent ]
Even more bizarre than that
Mike Ditka thought about running, decided against it, and said last fall that he regretted not running.

There were quite a few Chicago-area pols in the race, including Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas (who still holds that office) and Gery Chico, a Daley aide and Chicago school board member. Despite the crowded field, Obama got 53% of the vote.

What's interesting is that Republicans had an even more crowded field - eight candidates, including Jim Oberweis, the chairman of Oberweis Dairy who this week won the nomination to face (and likely lose to) Dick Durbin this fall. Their struggles to find a replacement for Ryan is even more ironic in that they couldn't get any of the seven losing candidates in the primary to replace him.

At any rate, Obama's landslide win was one of two gains for US Senate Democrats in an otherwise lousy year for the party.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
It is a major bummer
that a Republican holds the Senate seat that was previously occupied by the President -- in Illinois, no less! The other seat picked up that year, the Colorado seat by Salazar, was thankfully held by appointed Senator Michael Bennet in a narrow 2010 win.

The Illinois Democrats must be more dysfunctional than us here in Michigan.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
For that, blame Rod Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris
Blago's outlandish "pay-to-play" scheme to monetize his power as Governor to appoint someone to complete President-elect Obama's Senate term -- captured on federal wiretaps -- wiped out the Democrats' moral high ground after Gov. George Ryan's downfall, and pretty much guaranteed a Republican would be able to take the Senate seat as part of the general Tea Party tsunami of 2010.

Senator Roland Burris was the ultimate placeholder -- utterly ineffectual and mostly inoffensive, a man in the twilight of his political career looking for one last office to etch on his ginormous mausoleum (seriously, look it up -- there are Pharaohs with less gaudy memorials).

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

[ Parent ]
Not sure about that
I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of the Democratic Party in the Land of Lincoln - so I won't speak to how well they function. I can say that Democrats have won competitive races in Illinois.

Take Pat Quinn, for example. Lieutenant governor while Blago was governor, Quinn became governor after Blago was impeached and removed. In 2010, everyone expected Quinn to lose - yet he held on, even as the likes of Snyder, Kasich, and Walker were winning Democratic-held governorships elsewhere.

In 2012, Democrats gained four US House seats in Illinois - four more than in Michigan.

From what I've heard, the biggest problem facing Illinois Democrats is that the infamous "Chicago machine" is still a thing. Even so, the machine is far from invincible. This week, a six-term incumbent state representative - whose father chairs the Cook County Dems - got trounced in the Democratic primary. (Full disclosure: I know some folks who volunteered for the winner of that race.)

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
In that case,
once more... with gusto! The Illinois Democrats have a chance to yet again prove their mettle by dragging Governor Quinn across the finish line this year, as well.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Living in Chicago
Interesting to see some comments about my state of exile, Illinois. By no means am I an expert, but do have some observations...
- The problem here is not the Chicago Machine, because that
no longer really exists. The problem in my view starts and ends with one Michael Madigan
- Mr. Madigan rules the State House as Speaker with an iron fist, and while I supported Will Guzzardi in his challenge to Ms. Berrios, he will be emotionally crushed in Springfield by Boss Madigan
- Mr. Madigan also rules the Illinois Democratic Party, as
Chair and rules with an iron fist
- In Michigan, especially in the '70's,we had meaningful factions that challenged the powers. The 1970 Congressional Primary to take on William Broomfield is a prime example of that playing out. Not so in Illinois.
- Readers may say, well what about Guzzardi? Doesn't his win show an opportunity to challenge the Madigan power base? While I have yet to look hard at the results, I suspect that Guzzardi's win had more to do with gentrification than it did with desire for Independent Dems to challenge the power structure. Because one thing that still holds true about Chicago is that race-based voting plays a big role in outcomes, and the Latino vote in LD 39 has dropped over the past few years.
- The idea that there are still meaningful numbers of
"reformers", such as was the case here during the years of Mayor Daley the First, is bogus in my observation. Nearly every Democrat in the House votes as Madigan instructs, even
those from so-called "independent Democratic" areas
- An example, would be my State Representative, Sara
Feigenholz. Ms. Feigenholtz represents a liberal
lakefront area of Chicago, representing parts of Lakeview and Lincoln Park. Yet, down the line she follows the direction of the boss. Democratic opposition in the district? None since I've lived here. Any typically none in November, though a Green ran in either '10 or '12
- And it is no different in the City, where Rahm holds no less than 45 votes on nearly every vote of consequence.

Another commentator spoke about the success of IL Dems in electing Pat Quinn in 2010. With all due respect to the poster, populist Pat Quinn was elected with less than a one percent margin against a very hard-right downstate Republican. Not a stellar performance in a state such as IL, regardless of the trends that year. At the same time, Mark Kirk was able to capitalize on his so-called moderation to beat a somewhat flawed Democratic candidate, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, by a margin of only 1.6%.

While I voted for Pat Quinn in 2010 and in this weeks' primary, I am seriously concerned about what will be playing out in Illinois over the next several months. To start, Quinn is not terribly popular with many Democrats, Boss Madigan most concerningly. To wit, he was held to 72% in this weeks' primary by a non-entity with no money. With an opponent who makes your Snyder look like a pauper, this campaign will get ugly, early and often, and I fear that the tenor of the race will keep Dem-leaning Independents home while Rauner's rich pals will turn out in droves as they always do. Despite Madigan's effort announced this week to put a tax the rich proposal on the ballot, I don't see that as being enough to turn out the base.

My guess is that Durbin is re-elected by the lowest margin of his Senate career (56, 60 and 68 are his three elections) and Quinn is beaten by Rauner by no less than a 52-48 margin, with some Dems and most Dem-leaning Independents voting with Rauner.



[ Parent ]
More on Quinn v Rauner
Yes, there will be some heated action in Michigan this Fall, but keep an eye across the Lake as well...



[ Parent ]
Since this is a Michigan blog
...perhaps a couple of Michigan-related notes and comparisons may be apt here.

You say the Chicago machine "no longer really exists," but as you also note, Rahm rarely faces much opposition to his policies - which to me is proof that the machine is still powerful.

Michigan has had some major establishment-type figures, to be sure - Ed McNamara, Brooks Patterson, and some would suggest Mark Brewer or Bob King - but I haven't seen it on the level of Chicago's machine.

Then there's Bolger and Madigan. Jase Bolger appears to have a much easier time keeping Michigan House Republicans in line than does Madigan with Illinois Democrats.

Madigan has struggled to do much with a 71-47 majority. I'm no fan of his, but if he was that iron-fisted, he would've had a much easier time getting 60 out of 71 Democrats to back him on things like marriage equality and pension changes.

And if Madigan's struggling keeping some of his current caucus in line, he's sure as hell going to have a hard time with Guzzardi - who, keep in mind, didn't just squeak through a primary, but who landslided an incumbent by 22 points. Guzzardi knows he owes Madigan nothing.

Tea party Republicans in Michigan, on the other hand? At the end of the day, they toe the Republican line.

As for Quinn, he's got a couple things backing him that I'm not sure he did in 2010. For one thing, he seems to be running a much cleaner administration than Blago or Ryan. Second, efforts to turn out Democratic voters in key congressional races will help him, Durbin, and others. And there are many: Schneider-Dold, Bustos-Schilling, Davis-Callis, Foster-Senger, and a couple others.

Schauer will also benefit from a similar effect in the 1st and 7th congressional districts. The DSCC's efforts in support of Peters will also help.

Again, not to get too far off track - this being a Michigan blog and all - but hey, there's nothing wrong with some state-level 'comparative politics,' right?

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
thanks for filling in some moer of the blanks
I didn't want to make my post too long, but mentioning how Obama won an outright majority in the Dem primary is important to understanding his rise from Illinois Senate back-bencher to POTUS in less than five years.

I'm also a bit surprised Jim Oberweis is back -- this would be, what, his fourth try?

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

[ Parent ]
As I recall
He ran in the special congressional election after Hastert resigned.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
Lost to Democrat Bill Foster, I believe
Wow, I forgot that it was Hastert's seat.  I remember the election was a Saturday in March, though.  

Taking the outgoing GOP Speaker's seat in a special election.  Those were the days.  Democrats had such an amazing special election congressional streak going on...

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Foster, who (IIRC) lost in 2010 but came back in 2012. He's a nuclear physicist, too.

Yeah, we had many special election wins - including quite a few in previously Republican-held districts. South Dakota and Kentucky in 2004, Mississippi (!) in 2008, New York in 2009 and 2011, and I'm sure I'm missing some.

Yet when a Republican barely won a Republican-held seat in Florida this month, that's when much of the pundit-sphere decided to act like special elections had nationwide ramifications. But I digress.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
I would just like to say
I would consider it an honor to lose an election to Barack Obama.  

[ Parent ]
For some reason
Willard Romney can't seem to come to that same inner peace.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
By the way
I would show up to a nominating convention for the sole purpose of voting to support your bid for State Board of Education. We should have a young'n nominee for that and comparable posts.  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Oh dear god
I don't have a hankering to run for anything, ever. Are there minimum age requirements for the position? As much as I love young candidates, I bet I'm too young. Lemme Google.

[ Parent ]
Looks like you just have to
be a registered voter. Oh, and have no felony convictions in the past 20 years.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

[ Parent ]
Great, looks like I'll have to figure out another way out.
Interestingly, all (major party) candidates have to do is get the nomination at their party convention. I would have thought there would at least be some signature gathering required. Nonetheless, won't happen. Jesus heavenly father, what if I won?!

We should have a young'n nominee for that and comparable posts.
We should have more young candidates in general. Gotta build that farm team.  

[ Parent ]
Heard from a couple people at the local Dem club meeting tonight that she told everyone that she'll be making an announcement in a couple of days. This was after she made a "fiery" speech on how the Dems can win in November. Bobby McKenzie was there when she announced this and also made his pitch to the club.  

What a twist!
I hadn't seen this coming. Interesting.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Bobby McKenzie has had five months to grow as a candidate
But I still don't know where he stands on the Affordable Care Act, the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, same-sex marriage...AFAIK, he's generic Dem at best.

I already have plenty of reasons to vote AGAINST Bentivolio and Trott -- Bobby has never given me a reason to vote FOR him.

At least he stopped referring to himself as a "No Labels" candidate. Doesn't mean he didn't stop THINKING that way.

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

[ Parent ]
People see right through that stuff
Better to call yourself a moderate Democrat.  

[ Parent ]
Which is exactly what I've told him several times
Republicans (or, more likely, outside 501(c)3 groups) are going to label EVERY Democrat running for a House seat as an Obamacare-loving, tax-and-spend liberal who will take marching orders from Nancy Pelosi.

It does not matter AT ALL if said Democrat claims to be a "centrist," a "moderate" or to have "no labels." If the Democrat has a voting record, it doesn't matter how "purple" that record or even if he or she is a genuine "Blue Dog" -- the attacks will come in that form.

Given that, someone like Bobby might as well OWN those labels, to wear them like armor and defend them. Otherwise, you've lost the Dem base, and with them on the sidelines you have zero chance of winning.

Which is why I like Nancy Skinner -- she is a proud Progressive and completely unafraid of the GOP line of attack. Kumar and McKenzie waffle and look to their handlers for the "right" response to such questions.

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

[ Parent ]
It's not just about
It's not just about what your opponent will or will not try to paint you as, though, but the lean of the district matters.  I'd say in an uncompetitive district, yeah, if you want to run someone with unabashed liberal conviction, fine.  It's not going to make a difference, anyway.  

But, I do think it's healthy to have a debate in more competitive districts about what type of candidate you want to run, which type of candidate will not just make the factor in turning out a primary crowd, but flipping some fence-straddling indies.

I really don't know about MI-11.  Some days, I tell myself that it's completely winnable.  But, most days, as it has been redrawn, I wonder if we shouldn't just run some flaming progressive every time since it seems so out of reach.  It's not some deep-red district, but it's also drawn just perfectly enough that it looks more gettable on paper than it actually is in reality.

I honestly don't have a dog in this race, so I'm reacting to what I've seen.  What I've seen is a guy who got in early and who is a fairly serious candidate running a very serious campaign against great odds.  Sure, he'd probably not be my type of Democrat, but he's not a "Some Dude."  Then, you have a solid progressive coming in who would speak more to someone like me, but who is getting in late relative to her opponets, and seemingly acting like the people who have been running for months and building connections should just get out of the way.  

Perhaps, had she gotten in sooner, I'd have a more favorable opinion of her.  But this foray seems just a bit tacky.  I'm kind of a stickler not just for what you do, but how you do it, and she's making me sympathize with Bobby even if I'm not exactly ideologically aligned with him.

[ Parent ]

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