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Time for Michigan Dems to drop "Jefferson-Jackson" as the name for their premier social event?

by: helzapoppn

Tue Jul 28, 2015 at 10:46:52 AM EDT

From today's Daily Kos Elections Grab Bag:
[T]he state Democratic Parties in both Georgia and Connecticut recently decided to drop Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their namesake "Jefferson-Jackson" fundraising dinners. Those events have long been a staple of the Democratic circuit across the country, but since both men were slaveholders - and Jackson was the author of the notorious Trail of Tears - they're pretty problematic to hold up as totems. What's more, it's hard to find much kinship between the ideology of today's Democratic Party and either Jefferson or Jackson.

A Georgia spokeswoman says that about three-quarters of the states no longer use the Jefferson-Jackson moniker. Some, like Missouri, are reverting to local heroes (Harry Truman in the Show Me State's case), while others, such as Florida, are going with anodyne names like "Leadership Blue." It's difficult if not impossible to find an ideal standard-bearer, but Democrats can do better than J-J, and it's good to see that they are.
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 103 words in story)

MDP Convention Moved to Larger Ballroom at Cobo

by: memiller

Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 13:23:26 PM EST

(From the diaries! - promoted by Eric B.)

Just hit my Inbox, from MDP:

Excitement for this Saturday's State Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit is  at an all-time high! Michigan Democrats are fired up and ready to take on Gov.  Rick Snyder in 2014.

In order to accommodate the anticipated higher number of delegates, we will  be moving the Convention's afternoon session from the Riverview Ballroom to the  larger Michigan Hall on the River Level of the Cobo Center. The Convention  convenes at 3 p.m.

Credentialing and the Labor Caucus meeting will also be held in Michigan  Hall.

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 19 words in story)

Dem Congressional Delegation Endorses Lon Johnson for MDP Chair

by: memiller

Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:15:16 AM EST

Letter from Debbie Stabenow, signed by the entire MI Dem Congressional delegation -- just hit my Inbox, endorsing Lon Johnson for MDP Chair.

"Turn out the lights, the Party's over..."



There's More... :: (0 Comments, 442 words in story)

MDP Convention

by: Representative Barb Byrum

Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 18:26:51 PM EST

This was an exciting weekend to be a Democrat. In an effort to build on our many victories from November, the Michigan Democratic Party held its State Convention at Cabo Hall in Detroit on Saturday.

As Democrats, we had some important priorities at convention this year. My top priority at this year's convention was to ensure the re-election of Mark Brewer as MDP Chair.

Mark has a proven track record of victory for Democrats. Under Mark's leadership, Democrats in Michigan have gone 4-for-4 in Presidential elections, 5-for-5 in U.S. Senate elections and 2-for-3 in gubernatorial elections. We've built a 24-seat majority in the state House and we shocked the pundits by taking out Cliff Taylor, making it the first ever defeat of a sitting Supreme Court Justice. 

Just as important, Mark is working hard to build the future of the MDP by traversing our state and working with tens of thousands of activists at thousands of local party meetings.

As Democrats, we've accomplished a lot with Mark Brewer as Chair, and there's plenty of work to do. That's why I supported Mark Brewer for re-election, and why I am excited that he will continue his service as Chair of the MDP.

I was glad to see so many Democrats out this weekend. It was a fun and productive weekend for the party.


Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Supreme Challenge at MDP convention tomorrow

by: memiller

Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 13:45:09 PM EDT

(As we've said many times on this blog: Justice Cliff Taylor needs to go. - promoted by rich)

Justice Caucus


Paul Stevenson and Graham Teall, Co-Chairs
with the support of The Michigan Democratic Women's Caucus, Tami Arreguin, Chair presents this Important Caucus MDP Convention Program:

"The Supreme Challenge 2008," in 2 Parts:

"Victims: The Human Face of Injustice"

Moderated by: State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith

"Grassroots and the Supreme Court"
Moderated by: Jim Kruer, Justice Caucus Vice Chair for Finance

When: Saturday, September 6, 2008, commencing about 9:15 am immediately following the Democratic Womens' Caucus business meeting

Where: Ballroom 2 and 4, Lansing Center, Lansing, Michigan

For more information, contact Rudy Serra, Justice Caucus Communications Director, at 313-331-7839 or rudy.serra@sbcglobal.net

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MDP Youth Caucus Launches New Website

by: spontoni

Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 13:48:11 PM EST

( - promoted by lpackard)

Hey friends,

The MDP Youth Caucus has launched our new website that will continue to evolve and become more user friendly.  This site will be the umbrella for all youth activity in Michigan.   You can see the cool new site at


Also, the Youth Caucus is looking for some one to fill in the treasurer position on the executive board, if you are interested, please email Steve Pontoni at steve.pontoni@youthcaucus.org.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Saturday in Flint: State Central

by: memiller

Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 20:52:11 PM EST

Here it is in a nutshell: An entirely pro forma meeting, no mention of any primary/caucus/delegate controversy. We heard a bunch of speeches from our hosts; we voted to allow Mark Brewer to raise money to fix the boiler at Hart-Kennedy House. Stirring stuff. The idea of a make-up caucus is well and truly dead, if no one at State Central was willing to make a fuss to put it on the agenda.
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 428 words in story)

The New Voice of the MDP

by: JPowers155

Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 21:58:08 PM EST

The Michigan Democratic Party has a new Communications Director and in many ways, she's part of the MichLib family.  Liz Kerr is leaving her current position as Deputy Communications Director with the Senate Democratic Caucus and joining the MDP. Liz will replace Jason Moon, who's moved on to OFIS.

For the last few years, Liz has been actively involved in helping many of Michigan's Democratic Senators get involved in blogging and has been a big proponent of blogs, especially MichLib.  For an example of the kind of project that Liz has worked on, check out Sen. Buzz Thomas's interesting video post today on scrap metal laws.

(Full Disclosure:  Liz is a dear friend, so I'm thrilled for her AND the MDP!)

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

I believe the phrase is "lipstick on a pig".

by: Brainwrap

Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 20:37:00 PM EST

I just received an amusing phone call I thought you might find of interest.

A guy called from the MDP wanting to know if I was interested in becoming a precinct captain this year.

I said, "possibly, I might be interested, but I should tell you that I'm not too thrilled with the MDP at the moment."

He responded (knowing exactly what my reason was without needing to ask), "Yeah, we've been hearing a lot of that lately."    


There's More... :: (54 Comments, 225 words in story)

Hillary under 60%, loses 70% of black vote, on MLK birthday primary

by: David Boyle

Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 21:07:24 PM EST

     I have been musing that the MDP scheduled a primary on Martin Luther King's birthday (as opposed to the national holiday), when it was a primary that disenfranchised a black candidate who respected the letter and spirit of DNC rules (and a replacement February primary/caucus could easily have been scheduled); but maybe the forces of justice had their due last night.

    See DetNews, the pithily-titled Michigan blacks reject HI[sic]llary;
HuffPo, Michigan Results Reveal Some Dangerous Trends For Clinton,

...the exit poll results from this strange contest reveal some troubling trends for the New York Senator. ...
    Among black voters, Clinton was crushed by "uncommitted," 26-70. If that kind of margin among African Americans continues into future primaries, she faces major problems in the heavily black January 26 South Carolina primary....

; and at the current top of Mich Lib's "hand-selected" list, the Nation, Michigan's Ominous Message for Hillary Clinton,

...Clinton was perfectly positioned. She had no serious opposition. She also had the strong support of top Michigan Democrats such as Governor Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.
    Usually, a prominent presidential contender running a primary campaign without serious opposition and with strong in-state support from party leaders can count on winning 90 percent or more of the vote. ...
    A remarkable 40 percent of Michiganders who participated in the primary voted for nobody, marking the "Uncommitted" option on their ballots. ...
    Ominously for the Clinton camp, the former First Lady was losing the African-American vote -- in Wayne County and statewide -- to "Uncommitted." African-American leaders such as Detroit Congressman John Conyers, who backs Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, had urged an "Uncommitted" vote. ...
    It is hard[] to believe that Clinton will get very far claiming Michigan handed her a meaningful victory Tuesday night. When two out of every five voters choose nobody rather than a prominent candidate who is running with little or no opposition, that candidate's got no reason to celebrate.

    I hate to disagree with Eric B., but despite his post title, Clinton, Romney cruise to bigger than anticipated margins (Open thread), I, not to mention DetNews, HuffPo, & Nation above, don't think Hill did too good. At. All.

    With comments like the Mich Lib one recently about needing a Caucasian fella on the ticket (Why? I'd vote for an Obama/Sebelius ticket, no white guy there), I think it is good to be sensitive, racially and otherwise, when making comments, maybe. And with the Daily Kos observations today, John Kerry:  Kicking ass, defending the right to vote, and flying to Nevada (on John Kerry's fighting the Clinton attempt to disenfranchise largely Latina/o workers' vote), and Say Goodbye to Howard Dean, (about the DNC entering the legal fray against the Clinton disenfranchisement attempt, and the likelihood of the Clintons booting Dean, in favor of Terry McAuliffe, if they win), it looks not just like a Michigan Dem struggle against Granholm/Brewer/Dingell's complicity with disenfranchisement, it looks like a national battle, of the reformers against the unworthy Establishment. I hope we'd all be on the side of the reformers.

    (While the DNC can't per se oppose the Clinton campaign, it's nice to see them at least opposing a Clinton initiative. Maybe Dean knows that not only will he be booted if the Clintons return to power, but decency itself will be booted as well.)

    --The message, as always, is, be active and take back your party. Find replacements for the people I mention above who need to be replaced. Run yourself if you have to. Be inclusive to minorities and to people in general. Promote the right over the wrong, and progress over stagnation. Keep the dream alive. MLK would expect no less of you.

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

More National Attention - Yay!

by: kelster

Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 06:59:49 AM EST

Today's WaPo features an article titled: All Revved Up Over Michigan's Place in Politics: Today's Primary Is Now Secondary, And Debbie Dingell Is In Quite A State.

Thus, in the most wide-open presidential election in a generation, confusion and disillusionment reign supreme in a state already full of both. While Republican candidates devote advertising money and time to win their remaining delegates, Democratic voters have been ignored (save by Dennis Kucinich, the one candidate to break from the pledge). Edwards and Obama supporters have been told to vote "uncommitted" to support their candidates, though there's no guarantee of whom uncommitted delegates will support -- if they're even seated at the convention.

It's actually not a bad review of the history of how our primary came to be so screwed up...  but at the same time, it's one of the more sexist things I've read in quite a while.

Now, I don't think that Debbie Dingell & Co. did our state any favors by playing politics (literally!), and their arrogance borders on breathtaking.

At the same time, I was irritated to read things like this

So it's understandable when Dingell walks into the UAW hall and begins to rant.

or this

Later on she bellows, "We want them talking about our jobs! We want to see them talk about manufacturing!

oh, yeah - and this

It is apparent over the course of a week that she can speak about the primary at only one speed, no matter the venue. There's no soft beginning, no slow crescendo. You simply get Debbie Dingell, Angry or Angrier or Angriest -- a point where her voice is strong enough to destroy whole star systems.

"You tell me what kind of power it takes to have a candidate take their name off the ballot!" Dingell screams.

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Granholm bashes "uncommitted"...while not committing to Michigan

by: David Boyle

Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 19:39:27 PM EST

    J. Grho has been busy bashing the idea of an "uncommitted" vote, and puffing her pal Hillary, see, e.g., DetNews,
"She's committed to us. We are going to stand behind someone who stands behind us."
, AP via Muskegon Chronicle,
"Their choice is to be committed for uncommitted? Or to be committed to someone who has stood for us?"
(openly MOCKING "uncommitted" voters like John Conyers!!!)

, and DetNews, Clinton cruising over 'uncommitted' (which despite its title, queries

But will she capture a large enough percentage to avoid embarrassment Tuesday?

    Gov. Jennifer Granholm said this morning at a Clinton rally in Southfield that her candidate "is committed to Michigan."    
    "Her opponent in this state apparently is 'uncommitted,' which is not an opponent," Granholm told reporters after speaking to 100 Clinton supporters at the Westin Hotel. "That is why we are encouraging voters to get out and vote for Hillary Clinton. She is not uncommitted to Michigan, which the other candidates apparently are."    
    Clinton opted not to campaign in Michigan because she made a pledge to uphold the party primary calendar, which is tilted to early races in Iowa and New Hampshire.

   There are multiple truth problems with JG's words here, including the fact that, uh, Clinton pledged not to campaign in Michigan (as noted above)! so that Dennis Kucinich, whatever his other problems, is more committed to Michigan than Clinton, cf. George Bullard in DetNews, Re Michigan, at least Kucinich shows up.
    As well, like it or not, Gravel and Kucinich are opponents of Clinton, too, so JG is inaccurate by not mentioning them as opponents, mentioning only "uncommitted" as an opponent. (Cheap rhetorical trick?)
    Last but not least, Granholm (who USED to say that Michigan Liberal is her favorite blog--is that still true??--, so that she may read here frequently) may have borrowed the "committed/uncommitted" wordplay of yours truly on 1/9/08, "Ironically, then, if you are COMMITTED to change, you may have to vote UNCOMMITTED on 1/15." ...I wonder how much she might owe me for "copyright infringement"! No wonder the writers went on strike...

    Now what is really interesting, is Jennifer Granholm's lack of commitment to staying in Michigan herself and doing her job, instead of running off to D.C. with Hillary, if she wins, and then leaving the Michigan mess to her new "Chief Operating Officer" (!! "Michigan Incorporated"??), and to John Cherry, whose, to be blunt, "charisma issues" might prevent him from becoming governor in a normal election.
    See Tim Skubick, the "Off the Record" video of his JG interview on 10/12/07, at c. 13:45-15:45 on the video. (Check WKAR if the above link doesn't work) TS asks JG repeatedly if she will pledge not to leave Lansing, and JG refuses again and again to answer, talking about "speculation", dodging the issue, and leaving a deep suspicion about her own commitment to Michigan. (She does say that fixing Michigan should take longer than a year and a half, and that she doesn't want to go to D.C. ...o.k., then why can't she pledge to stay in Lansing? Whom does she think she's fooling??)

    Repeatedly refusing to pledge to stay on the job in her own state, throwing (or even subtly massaging...) the election for a pal who can give her a cushy slot in D.C., and taking millions of taxpayers dollars to do it, plus the voter list graft, plus holding the DNC-rulebreaking election even after 4 Dem candidates correctly avoided it, plus Michigan's collapse in general...how committed is politician Granholm to Michigan, or staying in Michigan, or anything? Can she be believed when she mocks "uncommitted" voters like the great John Conyers and says voting Hillary is better?
    Probably not. If you vote, vote "uncommitted"...and commit to doing something about Granholm's, Dingell's, Brewer's, Anuzis's, McManus's, and Bishop's noxious dedication to doing the wrong thing re the 1/15 primary, and so many other wrong things as well. Thanks for your commitment to Michigan and to Michigan rank-and-file Democrats!

Discuss :: (24 Comments)

Where is the outrage over the Michigan primary?

by: sgifford

Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 01:40:34 AM EST

As it became clear over the last few weeks that nobody had a plan to replace or fix Michigan's pending disaster of a primary, I started learning more about the situation, and talking to people about it.  I talked to my friends and family first, of course, then later to my Michigan state legislators, and to various members of the blogging community here and elsewhere.  Eventually I created a Web site, WhoStoleMiVote.org , to create centralized place to send people for information and help contacting party leaders.

In each case, I've been surprised by the lack of outrage about this issue.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 470 words in story)

Michigan Primary: The Road to Hell is Paved...

by: Brainwrap

Sat Jan 12, 2008 at 14:16:58 PM EST

(! - promoted by Eric B.)

In light of the "Mitt for Michigan" fuss and other Michigan Democratic Primary-related discussion going on throughout the blogosphere, as a Michigan Democrat (MI-09, Joe Knollenberg's district), I just wanted to vent a bit.
There's More... :: (45 Comments, 616 words in story)

Vote "uncommitted", not for racist Ron Paul (or hope-less Hill)

by: David Boyle

Wed Jan 09, 2008 at 17:12:09 PM EST

     Although respected posters here may say they're voting for Ron Paul or other Republicans...this may not be good. Explanation below.

    See the poor man's Michigan Liberal, the New Republic, Angry White Man: The bigoted past of Ron Paul.,

    ...Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul's newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him. ("What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!" one newsletter complained in 1990. "We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.") In the early 1990s, a newsletter attacked the "X-Rated Martin Luther King" as a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours," "seduced underage girls and boys," and "made a pass at" fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as "a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."
    While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. ...

    Hillary hasn't been good on MLK issues, but Paul is much worse.
    Do you want to vote for Adolf, uh, Ron Paul now? Maybe not. I hope.

    There is also the ethical issue about messing with somebody else's primary; I don't really like it, any more than I would appreciate 10 zillion Repubs crossing over and making Mike Gravel the winner. Dems should vote...DEM, etc.
    And finally, there is also the "dilution" tactical problem, i.e., one Dem thinks, "I'll vote for that loser Huckabee and he'll win the Michigan vote, haw haw", but another thinks "I'll vote for that loser Ron Paul and he'll win the Michigan vote, haw haw", so that the "loser" votes may be spread out too much and let Romney or McCain slip through anyway--and ALSO let Hillary slip through.
    This is what professionals call A Bad Result.

    See, too, Daily Kos today, cartwrightdale, Changing my vote from "Ron Paul" to "Uncommitted" (in Michigan),

    ...I stated a few days ago that Senator Clinton needs to say, on record, unambiguously and as Shermanesque as possible, that she will not challenge the Michigan delegate ban under any circumstances, and not accept delegate votes from Michigan under any circumstances.  If she won't commit to this statement, she is patently unqualified to run in the Democratic primary to begin with, as she would be advocating the strategy of stealing an election.  I spent the last day or so trying to get an answer from the Clinton campaign, and no one will commit to this statement that I've talked to so far.  Which is terrifying.  
    Therefore, I have changed my mind about the strategic advantage of voting for Ron Paul.  It is now the clear strategic advantage, if you're in Michigan, to vote "uncommitted".  Voting "uncommitted" in the Democratic primary allows the delegates to be freed up to support who they like, should the convention prove a close one.  
    Yes, most Michigan Democrats I know still plan on staying home, or voting in the Republican primary, but I hope the word gets out in time that there is a better option.  Voting uncommitted isn't the same as not voting -- it's stopping Hillary Clinton from the potential of hijacking an election with invalid delgates (should the final totals be close).  And that in and of itself is even more valuable than assuring Ron Paul keeps being a pest.

    As for Hillary, by the way: congratulations on her slim 2-point victory over Barack in NH last night, although Barack's 9-point Iowa victory over her was proportionately more impressive.
    However, as Maureen Dowd notes in Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back to the White House?,

    ...Gloria Steinem wrote in The Times yesterday that one of the reasons she is supporting Hillary is that she had "no masculinity to prove." But Hillary did feel she needed to prove her masculinity. That was why she voted to enable W. to invade Iraq without even reading the National Intelligence Estimate and backed the White House's bellicosity on Iran. ...
    Hillary sounded silly trying to paint Obama as a poetic dreamer and herself as a prodigious doer. "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act," she said. Did any living Democrat ever imagine that any other living Democrat would try to win a presidential primary in New Hampshire by comparing herself to L.B.J.? (Who was driven out of politics by Gene McCarthy in New Hampshire.)
    Her argument against Obama now boils down to an argument against idealism, which is probably the lowest and most unlikely point to which any Clinton could sink. The people from Hope are arguing against hope. ...

    Hope against hope. Heh.
    And with Hillary confirming in her victory speech that she'll get us out of Iraq "the right way", it implies she knows better than other Dem candidates what to do there. Which she didn't when she voted to send us to war there, causing far more tears in the families of our dead soldiers than she herself has shed recently; and I don't think she knows better now about Iraq, either. So much for Hillary.

    So if you want a viable change candidate like Barack Obama (cf. the other poor man's Mich Lib, the Huffington Post, Obama Wins Key Support Of Nevada's Largest Union today) or John Edwards to win--and no lawsuit knocks over the primary, and if you don't want to boycott the primary, and maybe even if you like Richardson--, vote "uncommitted" and make sure all your friends do, too, and spread the word the best you can. --Kucinich is campaigning here, so he's violating the pledge not to campaign, maybe? and who wants to vote for a dishonest candidate? And Dodd is out. And Gravel...is Gravel, God bless him.
    Ironically, then, if you are COMMITTED to change, you may have to vote UNCOMMITTED on 1/15. Funny, I know, but that's life.


Discuss :: (24 Comments)

MDP, no Denver rooms for thee at DNC

by: David Boyle

Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 14:40:23 PM EST

     See AP via DetNews, National convention hotel rooms taken away from Michigan Dems,

     Michigan Democrats no longer can count on getting hotel rooms at their national convention in Denver.
    The Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee last month stripped Michigan of its 156 national convention delegates as punishment for scheduling an early presidential primary in violation of party rules. State party officials had until Saturday to come up with an alternative to the Jan. 15 contest, but declined to do so.
    That decision caused the DNC to informally tell state Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer that the party no longer has reservations at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Central during the Aug. 25-28 convention, state party spokesman Jason Moon said Monday.
    "We think that those hotel rooms will be given back to us," Moon added. ...
    The Red Lion Denver Central is a 300-room hotel about 15 minutes from downtown Denver. State delegations fight hard to lock up the best hotels with enough room for their delegates, family members and political activists. ...

    The primary may still be legal to hold as of today, but somehow, I don't know if all the MDP conventioneers can fit in one cardboard box in the mile-high Denver streets at night, now that their "Red Lion" rooms are gone. Maybe 2 really BIG boxes.

Discuss :: (15 Comments)

FOLLOWUP: U.S. judge says Edwards' absence on ballot isn't enough to cancel Democratic primary

by: lapojoynt

Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 13:19:58 PM EST


As promised, here's the full report regarding today's hearing:

U.S. judge says Edwards' absence on ballot isn't enough to cancel Democratic primary by Todd A. Heywood


Michigan Messenger Fellow Todd A. Heywood attended the hearing in Grand Rapids this morning and posted this brief story:

BREAKING: Dem. Primary Can Happen Jan. 15, Fed. Judge Rules

There will be a follow-up story with more details posted later today, after Todd has some time to compose and file a report.

Other fresh content at the site, if you're going to swing by:

Got a news tip? Email us at michiganmessenger at gmail.com

Discuss :: (19 Comments)

Brief for primary injunction

by: Eric B.

Wed Dec 26, 2007 at 15:19:41 PM EST

I haven't had any time to read this, but here is the brief filed for the federal suit seeking an injunction against the Jan. 15 primary.

What are there ... like three weeks until the primary?

Discuss :: (76 Comments)

Chet Zarko on Mark Grebner's legal failures

by: David Boyle

Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 13:35:25 PM EST

     Chet Zarko isn't the most popular person here, being a Republican: but he can be right once in a while, like anyone else. For example, he's opposed the graft of voter lists, their being given as a free gift to the MDP and MRP bigwigs; and in this he is closer most to most Mich Lib bloggers, AND the Democratic Michigan Supreme Court justices (!), than to Saul Anuzis...or Debbie Dingell.
    Also, he does win stuff sometimes (like MCRI--boooo), so may have to be taken seriously whether you like him or not.

    Anyway, Chet on his "Outside Lansing" blog published four diaries commenting about Mark Grebner's failed lawsuit versus the voter list grab. (He insults Mich Lib there, too! so grit your teeth as needed if you scan the diaries.)
    In Mark Grebner to sue Michigan for Deal to Secret Away Election Records, Le Chet notes,

    ...The Parties cut themselves a special deal and wrote into law an amendment to the election code that secreted away election data and gave it to the private political parties before ordering the government to destroy it and exempting it from FOIA for everyone else.  
    It's plainly a violation of the equal protection clause and a sweetheart deal for the parties, and we should resist such deals for a thousand good reasons. ...

    Then, in the short diary Grebner-Primary Hearing Today at 1:30, Zark sez,

    ...Important case.  Not only is the January primary hinging on it, but the equal treatment for public records rides on it. ...

    The next, more substantial diary, Court of Appeals Decides 2-1 Against January primary - Why they were right., opines,

   ...I will comment on that dissent more because it illustrates two points I think are important which the lawyers in this case did not argue effectively (granted, the case was argued on short notice). ...
    While Grebner apparently did make a "vague First Amendment argument" (vague according to the dissent and Circuit Court, which did not rule on it), he does not appear to have made an equal protection argument, something I suspect could have been made at least as well as a vague First Amendment argument.  Indeed, the concept of "viewpoint neutrality", a concept that has roots in both the 14th and 1st Amendments, is clearly implied by Whitbeck's dissent - which acknowledges that public property is being used for private purposes, but argues that the parties are also engaged in public purposes as well (which is the flaw in his reasoning, in my opinion). ...
    The majority comes to the opposite - I believe correct conclusion - by noting that the primary motivation and effect of the special deal provision of the law giving the parties and only the parties access to voter lists is the private benefit the parties will receive, not the "incidental" public benefit that may accrue from the parties using the lists to communicate (in their own biased ways, of course) with voters about candidates and ballot questions. ...
    ...the law on its face violates the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, specifically by exempting records under FOIA only for certain people and allowing other people access to the same records.  Since the public purpose of FOIA is to protect citizens from the harms of secret government, a law that grants access to some and not others unequally protects some citizens over others.  ...By exempting FOIA specifically, but allowing two persons (the two party chairs) to become part of a new category of persons with special access to records, the law raises that issue. ...My concern is that all individuals - all persons - have the same rights and abilities to engage on issues, candidates, and general speech. ...
    ...Whitbeck [who voted to uphold the law] simply doesn't appreciate the damage to the primary process centralized control could cause if an authoritarian like Brewer used the information as a wedge (one wonders if Democratic list-broker Mark Grebner was speaking from experience or first-hand knowledge, but just unwilling to say it was experience because Brewer is simultaneously his client and competitor), and even though I like Saul there's always room for accident and bias even with good intentions. ...

    And finally, in the pointedly titled Michigan Supreme Court Rules for Primary - Reveals Fatal Legal Failure by Grebner Attorneys, CZ puts forth,

    ...We also noted then what we saw as a weakness in Grebner's initial legal arguments and strategy.  He failed to articulate these arguments, and although the Court of Appeals records suggests that he made a "vague" First Amendment argument in the Circuit Court, they did not rule on that issue.
    Well, what's the punchline from the Michigan Supreme Court ruling today.  OL quotes the final paragraph:

[Chet's blockquote]
(O) This order addresses only the question whether MCL 168.615c violates Const 1963, art 2, § 4 and art 4, § 30, the only issues addressed by the lower courts. In particular, this order does not address the validity of MCL 168.615c under any other provision of the federal or state constitutions, and it does not address whether MCL 168.615c is inconsistent with any other provision of federal or state law. [end of Chet's blockquote]

    That appears to be a wide open door for someone to drive a legal challenge through, and is almost exactly in line with the arguments we made last week. ...

    Ouch. ...Chet is not a lawyer, to my knowledge; but Grebner did fail (the Republican "Gang of Four" on the Mich. Supreme Ct. aside), so maybe Zarko makes some sense here.

    I disagree with Chet's conclusion, though,

The most democratic outcome in this case would actually be for the primary to occur (a democratic & open vote, rather than party caucus) and an injunction following the primary requiring equal access to the list.

    Given the number of Democrats thinking of boycotting the DNC-rulebreaking primary, not to mention the chance of absentee voters including soldiers abroad and seniors not getting their ballots on time, I'm not sure about the "democratic & open vote". Also, the lists may be tainted by huge numbers of "Democrats for Ron Paul for a Day".
    In addition, if Grebner or someone else didn't file a federal court suit until after the primary, or filed it beforehand but without asking for expedited/emergency consideration, Grebner might look as if he were "sleeping on his rights" or otherwise half-hearted, and the court might be disinclined to grant his wishes. (After all, he filed the state court suit fairly early on; if he has such confidence in his claims, why would he wait overlong to file a federal court suit, unless he now doesn't really believe what he's saying??)    

    Conclusion: Chet Zarko has laid out some avenues for Grebner, or those who can take up his claims, to attack the voter list graft in federal court. Now that there's a suit against the state and the MDP, as frontpaged at Mich Lib yesterday, to inspire other Democratic activists, can we see if Grebner is capable of learning from some of his own failures and crafting a successful and timely suit against the voter list graft, or not? It is always nice to see people who are capable of learning, but it's up to them to show that they have learned.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Federal challenge to presidential primary

by: Eric B.

Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 13:56:25 PM EST

Well, been a couple of days ... time to break out the brass knuckles again.  A lawsuit has been filed in federal court challenging Michigan's presidential primary.  Here's the document.

The gist, as I understand it, is that the plaintiff is a member of the Democratic Party and her right to participate in the primary has been abridged because her preferred candidate has been barred by national party rules from participating in Michigan's primary.  Thus, she has been disenfranchised.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read it a little later, but by the time I do that, I imagine that blood will have already been spilled.

Until then ... have at it!

Update! ... I should probably point out that the primary has many enemies, and this lawsuit was filed by Democratic Party activists and not Mark Grebner, Hugh McDiarmid, or Berl Schwartz.

Update2 ... Exhibits! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

Discuss :: (80 Comments)
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