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On Tuesday night, I faced Mike Rogers in a debate held at the Johnson Center of Cleary University, sponsored by the Voters' Voice, Livingston Press & Argus, and the local Livingston County libraries and Chambers of Commerce.

View full video of the debate here.  (Some parts of the video were corrupted, but the gaps have been filled in with audio from a separate source.  We apologize for that.)  

This was the first debate that Rogers, the 6-term Republican Congressman from Michigan's 8th Congressional District, has shown up for in years.  Just the fact that Mike walked in the door last night shows that we have him worried.  

The debate didn't do much to salve Mike's anxiety.  We took Mike to places he didn't want to go, calling him out on his reckless and false claims about the Affordable Care Act, his support of the Ryan budget, and his campaign donors, which include such shady characters as the Koch Brothers, a good number of the major insurance companies in Michigan, and Alabama Congressman-turned-Enbridge lobbyist Bud Cramer.  

Mike's responses were often vague, noncommittal and confusing, including in one instance where he alluded to being part of a group of Congressmen who meet "in secret" to formulate bipartisan solutions.  He did not reveal the names of any members of his secret club besides himself.  Not only does Mike seem to to think that bipartisanship means an after-work cocktail party with some Democrats, but is there any proof that his secret club even exists?  

The people of the 8th District deserve to know who has been their representative in Washington for the past twelve years.  That's why, in my closing, I invited Mike to two more debates, one each in Ingham and Oakland counties.  

Mike was silent.

Mike hightailed it out of the room not five minutes after the debate concluded, completely ignoring most of the relatively meager crowd of supporters on his side of the room.  

He also completely forgot to thank the organizations who hosted the debate.  

So, on behalf of both candidates for Michigan's 8th Congressional District, I would like to thank the Voters' Voice, Livingston Press & Argus, and Livingston County libraries and Chambers of Commerce for putting on this debate, and extend my thanks to Cleary University for graciously providing the venue.  

And Mike?  I look forward to seeing you in Ingham and Oakland counties for two more debates.  

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And now a recap of the rest of the week:

On Saturday, we visited the Ortonville street festival, and hit every door in the village.  Response was positive, especially on the issue of Enbridge, which is especially important in Ortonville and Brandon Township, where Enbridge is engaging in a pipeline "replacement" project.  

On Monday, besides preparing for the debate, we also hit 700 doors in Lansing and put out yard signs in Lansing.  

On Tuesday, we hit around 630 doors in the morning, then prepared for the debate that night.  

Yesterday (Wednesday), we attended the UAW retirees meeting in Howell, and hit another 700 doors.  

We're looking forward to getting out to Oakland County later this week, to drop literature, place yard signs and meet with constituents.  

Discuss

It's been a while since we've been on the Kos - for that we apologize.  It has been a very busy few weeks.  We spent practically the whole time in walking shoes, hitting doors, meeting with constituents, and putting out yard signs.  We also lined up two debates with Mike.  Yes, that's right: Congressman Mike Rogers, who has refused to debate a challenger for years, has agreed to face us not once, but two times.  He must be scared of something.  The first debate is scheduled for 6:00 on Tuesday, September 25th, at the Cleary Johnson Center in Howell, MI.  We hope to see you there!  

Here's a brief recap of the past week:

On Tuesday, we attended the National Organization for Women's candidate forum, sponsored by the Macomb-Oakland county chapters.  It was great to see Congressman Gary Peters, State Representative Lisa Brown, and Oakland County Treasurer candidate Andy Meisner.  We finished up the day by doing close to 175 doors in Oakland County.  

Wednesday afternoon, we attended a rally in support of medical marijuana patients.  It's time to end the war on drugs!  After the rally, we hit around 750 doors in Lansing.

We stopped by the EVE (End Violent Encounters) silent auction in support of their shelter for victims of domestic violence on Thursday, and also attended the LAHR PAC Candidate forum.  The day wasn't done until we hit another 500 or so doors and dropped off more yard signs.  

On Friday, we attended a fellowship luncheon supporting the Greater Lansing business community, then hit another 200 doors.  We also put out several more large signs.  This weekend, we're heading out to Oakland County to put up more signs and hit some doors.  We're looking forward to meeting constituents in the new part of the district.  

We'll be back on the Kos with more regularity from now on.  Look for an issue diary coming up in the next few days, and until then, don't forget about the debate!  September 25, 6:00 pm at the Cleary Johnson Center at Cleary University in Howell.

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We've spent the last month taking MI-08 Congressman to task for his silence on Enbridge Energy, the Canadian company responsible for the July 2010 oil spill in Marshall, MI.  The company recently made headlines again (and again) for posting armed guards (off-duty sheriff's deputies in uniform) on private property to keep the owners of the property away from areas where Enbridge is expanding the pipeline (Lakehead Pipeline 6B) running through that property.  If the name of that pipeline seems familiar, that's because it's the same pipeline that burst in Marshall.  

Mike has been completely silent.  Until Sunday, in this Livingston Daily article, where Rogers finally responded by ducking responsibility for the whole thing.  He noted that the 8th District is nowhere near Marshall, and that he voted to fine Enbridge and implement stronger pipeline regulations.  

Perhaps Mike doesn't realize that Lakehead Pipeline 6B runs all the way through the 8th Congressional District.  Perhaps he doesn't realize that that same pipeline had hundreds of anomalies on it in 2010, and Enbridge still has not addressed all of them.  Enbridge continues to push hundreds of thousands of gallons of tar sands oil through Michigan in a decaying pipeline, putting every resident along the line at risk.  

Perhaps Mike doesn't realize that the stronger regulations that he bragged about voting for have been criticized by independent watchdog organizations as a set of regulations that "didn't do much for safety", and would not apply to the existing Enbridge pipeline or the one that Enbridge is currently building anyway.

Perhaps Mike doesn't realize that Enbridge's deal with the Livingston County sheriff's department was just canceled, and that Sheriff Bob Bezotte has stated that the department won't consider a new contract with the company until they fix possible ordinance violations at a "storage facility" - most likely a pooling station - in Tyrone Township.  

Yes, perhaps Mike doesn't realize.  Or perhaps he just doesn't care.  Either way, the fact is, the more Mike tries to shirk responsibility for Enbridge, the more the people of this district realize that he is simply incompetent when it comes to protecting the environment, private property and Constitutional rights of the people of the 8th Congressional District.  

Discuss

With their report, "Prosperity Economics", Yale University's Jacob Hacker and Nate Loewentheil finally bring us a concrete, comprehensive policy proposal that channels the spirit of the progressive grassroots movement of the last two years.

Prosperity Economics is our response - the progressive, middle-class response - to the Austerity Economics of the Romney/Ryan/Rogers ticket.  Romney, Ryan and Rogers are calling for the middle class to sacrifice their Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants and Social Security in the name of "austerity".  Their wealthy friends however, have nothing to fear: not only will have to sacrifice nothing, they'll be given an even larger tax cut on top of the Bush tax cuts they're already receiving.  

The only way to acheive sustainable, long-term growth is to build an economy where the benefits of growth are widely shared, an economy where all Americans, not just the wealthiest 1%, benefit from economic growth.  

I have been an advocate of Prosperity Economics since long before it was known by that name.  How could I not be?  I was born and raised in Michigan's 8th District, and I've experienced firsthand the effects of Austerity Economics.  I have seen our infrastructure, from our roads and bridges to our schools and public lands, crumble and lie in disrepair because the state budget was slashed.  I have seen our manufacturing base lose 50,000 automotive jobs - shipped overseas to benefit the corporate bottom line.  And I've seen another 150,000 ancillary jobs which were dependent on the auto plants and suppliers, evaporate as those manufacturing jobs disappeared.  I understand the struggles of all those small business owners, waitresses and waiters, police officers, firefighters and teachers who lost their jobs as the auto industry left Michigan.  

I know this firsthand because I was one of those laid-off teachers, whose salary was dependent on the tax base.  How can you have a tax base when you allow your manufacturing jobs to be outsourced in the name of "free" - instead of fair - trade?  

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On July 26, 2010, the Enbridge Energy oil pipeline running through Marshall, MI ruptured and spilled over 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.  The spill was the costliest in-land oil spill in U.S. history, and the river is still not clean.  As if that wasn't enough, Enbridge knew about cracks in the pipeline since 2005, five years before the spill.  

And if you've you've been reading the news lately, you'd know that on July 27 of this year another Enbridge pipeline, this time in Wisconsin, also ruptured, this time spilling about 53,000 gallons of oil into a field.  

Depending on who you are (or your proximity to the Kalamazoo River system), Enbridge Energy should either be hightailing it out of the state, or bending over backwards to fix their mistakes (and their pipelines) and earn back our trust.  

But no matter how you see it, they definitely should not be strong-arming and bullying people all across the state, posting armed guards and clear-cutting trees on private property.  

But they have been.  

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Yesterday, Fenton residents filed an injunction against Enbridge Energy Partners, the same company that spilled an estimated 819,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River, leading to the longest and costliest pipeline spill clean-up in the nation's history.  Fenton is located in northern Livingston County, and also happens to lie in the path of one of Enbridge's oil pipelines.  Enbridge has started to cut down a huge swath of trees on private property in Fenton, MI, in preparation to put a new, wider tar sands oil pipeline in the place of the one that already runs through the property.    Enbridge does not have an easement allowing them to put in a new pipeline, nor permission to cut down those trees.  We visited the owners of the property yesterday, and they showed us the portion of their property that Enbridge has clear-cut to make room for the pipeline.  (Pictures beneath the fold.)  Fortunately, the owners of the property were granted an injunction against Enbridge, halting Enbridge's construction until September 26th.  

There have been several instances of Enbridge employing these kinds of heavy-handed intimidation techniques all across southeastern Michigan in the past few months, including several places in Livingston County where armed guards are currently posted on private property.  (Pictures of guards will be up next Thursday.)

Before we headed down to Fenton yesterday, we helped facilitate the local implementation of the DREAM Act, helping young dreamers in Lansing fill out paperwork that will put them on the path to citizenship once the DREAM Act is passed.

Pictures and a brief summary of the rest of the week, below the fold.

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In the wake of Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick, Mike Rogers (MI-08) and his Republican cronies have some explaining to do.  

Because of Romney's witting or unwitting choice to push Congressman Paul Ryan and his budget proposal further into the national spotlight, Mike is going to have to explain to his constituents why he supports a budget plan that would completely eliminate Medicare for our children and grandchildren, and increase our Medicare costs by an average of $6,500, effectively doubling the cost of health care.

It's not surprising that Mike would want to pad the pockets of insurance companies by turning a very effective government-run health care system into a corporate money-making voucher scheme, seeing as, this election cycle alone, he's taken close to $500,000 from health insurance industry.  

It doesn't surprise me, but it's still disgusting.  

Medicare is not an entitlement.  We're not spoiled because we want to be able to live our lives after we retire with dignity.  Medicare, Social Security, and all the other programs Rogers, Romney, and Ryan want to disembowel are part of a safety net that every American has earned.  

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Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT

Campaign Update 8/7/12

by Lance Enderle

As we speak, polls across Michigan are open for the primary elections.  For us, it's the calm before the storm.  In less than 24 hours, Mike Rogers will probably make it through his primary election, bruised but still alive, and the general election season will begin.  

Well, it will begin for us anyway.  Despite the fact that he's been given a five-week vacation, Mike hasn't showed his face in the district since the Fourth of July.  We hit another 5,000 doors last week, had an Op-Ed article printed in the Oakland Press, walked in the Lansing African American Festival Parade, and met with constituents at Senior Power Day in Brighton.  Mike, on the other hand, may not even be IN the district.  

More about last week and upcoming events below the fold.  

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Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM PDT

Campaign Diary, July 31

by Lance Enderle

It’s the end of July - the dog days of summer are sneaking up on us, the streets of Lansing and Brighton and Rochester are sprouting yard signs like blocky oversized red and blue dandelions, and Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) is battering his way through a three-way primary in Michigan’s 8th District.  

A brief rundown of the last few weeks of my campaign, below the fold.

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On December 31, 2011, I received the press release below form The Occupation Party;

The Occupation Party (TOP) is pleased to announce that it endorses Lance Enderle, Democratic candidate for Congress from Michigan's 8th district.
Mr. Enderle represents what we think of as the ideal candidate.  In his own words, he says, "I am not afraid to make the hard decisions that are needed, and will never forget who I represent. I want to be a voice of the people and not the special interests. Money should not be the dominant influence on our political process, it is imperative that we get back to the root of our great American experiment called Democracy."  He has been involved with Occupy Lansing from the start, and his positions on important issues are aligned with our draft platform.
He's been through life's ups and downs:  he's a parent and a grandfather.  He's been a public school teacher and has a master's degree in special education.  He has direct experience with modern economic life, having been laid off from a teaching position while still paying for a mortgage, paying for college loans, and supporting his family.
For more information about the Lance Enderle for Congress campaign, visit http://lanceenderleforcongress.com/ or follow his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/....
Frances Arroyo
Media Coordinator
The Occupation Party
PO Box 11076
Cincinnati, Ohio 45211”

As a Progressive Democrat, I am honored and privileged to be one of the fi¬rst in the country to gain the endorsement that represents the 99%! I believe this endorsement to be a badge of honor and a litmus test for accountability.
Since I got into this congressional race in 2010, my campaign has been one based on; restoring faith in our financial system, social and economic justice for all, tax reform, campaign finance reform, and safe guards to protect our environment for future generations.

By restoring faith in our financial system, we will hold the corporations and financial institutions accountable for their actions.  After all, they are individuals after the Citizens United ruling. We will fight to end all forms of predatory lending, and restore an equitable lending system.  We will end the corporate welfare, and restore incentives to those who manufacture within the United States and create jobs in America; the small business owner.

Social and economic justice
is achieved first and foremost by recognizing that human rights are equal rights, and every American citizen is entitled to human rights! So for all of my Right-wing friends, who hate on me for being a pro-choice candidate, if HUMAN life begins at conception as you say, shouldn’t human rights be given to that child, just asking? Also, I continue to fight for a single payer public option health care system; because health care is a basic human right and no human being should be denied proper health care.

Tax reform is imperative to the stability and security of our great nation!  We need to raise taxes; yes I said raise taxes, especially on the corporations and uber rich who have been taking advantage of the system and the working class for way too long now.  Not only do we need to raise taxes, we need to spend our revenues and resources more wisely; but that is for continued discussion.

As a Special Educator, I have dedicated my life as an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and to the betterment of society by educating the youth.  Through this adventure I have found our education system is in need of repair.  We do not invest enough in education, and education is our future.

During the election of 2010, I felt like the poster child for election reform.  I got into the primary race as a write in, got on the ballot two months before the election and spent $15,000.  I was the only candidate in the country that did not take PAC money during the election, it hurt not to have the money but that was not why I was running, I was running to defend our democratic process.   Granted, I did not win last election, but I made the point it does not take money to run for office, it just takes: passion, conviction, character, integrity, and fortitude.  These are the traits I carry with me into the 2012 election, the only difference is I will take PAC money from non-corporate groups if it is offered; I have to be able to compete with Mike to beat him.  

Since 2010 I have been fighting for the above, but I have also been advocating for the environment.  Last election cycle hydro-fracturing became a topic of discussion; I believe I was the only one who was continually pounding away on this destructive process.  I have not stopped; “fracking” is bad and needs to be criminalized!

My platform is that of social and economic justice, governmental reform, and protecting the environment for future generations, while standing up and giving a voice to those who have lost it.  I am proud to be a voice of the 99%! I look forward to the fight ahead.  I will be there in the trenches with the young, old, and working class giving the 99% a voice. It is an honor and distinct privilege to represent the people; the 99%!

Please visit www.Lance 2012.com for more information or to contribute to the campaign.

Discuss

2011 was a great year, even though I was not sitting as the Congressman from MI-08.  I had the privilege of continuing to run my campaign for 2012; we never really stopped running. Since the 2010 election, we have logged over 90,000 driving miles and been on a great adventure!

After waking up the day after the election, I found myself unsatisfied with the results of the election in which Mike Rogers did everything to avoid me and the people.  He would not answer the tough questions. I decided that I would answer the questions, since he wasn’t.  I have been campaigning like the campaign never ended.

I found myself in the middle of winter, 2010, traveling the district and stopping into small businesses and future constituents homes.  I sat, and I listened to their daily burdens and issues they had with their government.  The conclusion I came to was that our Congressman, Mike Rogers is way out of touch with his constituents, unless you are a 1%’er or a corporation.  

I found every small business owner that I have talked to pays a quite substantial amount of income tax associated with their business.  A large percentage of these business owners DO NOT get a tax refund when it is all said and done.  My question to Mike is; why do you want to continue the current tax structure we have?  Mike you know that the way the tax structure is set up, our small businesses pay the tax burden of the corporations, and you Sir want to continue this corporate welfare.  The people want to know; why do the small businesses pay taxes without a refund, while corporations like World News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch) and Amway (Dick Devos) pay nothing in corporate income tax and receive billion dollar tax refunds?  Why Mike, is this your common sense plan?  

2011 was filled with continued meetings, parades, and support for the working class.  
In February/March, we in Michigan were hit with a political nightmare called an Emergency Financial Manager Bill.  This bill would replace a public act that was already on the books; it took original P.A.312 and put it on steroids.  What this new EFM bill did was, say that an emergency Financial Manager could be appointed by the state and would have TOTAL control over the municipality or school district he/she was put in charge of. These EFM’s can; sell government owned property as they see fit, negate all union contracts and not adhere to collective bargaining, contract privatized service to replace current services, and the worst part of this bill allows the EFM to remove elected officials ability to govern.  Please look at the link below to see what the Mackinac Center got legislated.  
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/...

During this period I was active in the trenches with labor organizations and Michigan residents, standing together in the cold Michigan winter, protesting these draconian measures.  EFMs are nothing but a way to social engineer a community, while attempting to break the back of labor and the working class people, by circumventing their right to vote.  These protests were necessary and I was honored to be a part of them.  Remember, there is nothing more important than standing up for what you believe in, not just giving lip service like so many politicians do.  

As the winter turned to spring, I found myself getting out more in the public and knocking doors again.  The response was and still is, overwhelming.  I am grateful for this privilege of traveling MI-08 and all of the wonderful people I have had the privilege to meet and soon serve in Washington.

The summer found us at picnics and parades.  I want to thank all of the clubs who had summer picnics.  It was great to meet with people of the same values and break bread in a great family environment.  Also, we were able to walk in three 4th of July parades and two Labor Day events.  The best part about the parades was; there was no heckling only positive comments were yelled at us, which is rare considering one parade was in Mike’s hometown.

The fall was productive as well.  Meetings and events have become part of the regular schedule, and I have yet to see Mr.Rogers or a staff member at any of these events.  Could it be he just does not care about the people of MI-08?  The major event of the fall has to be the Red Cross strike.  I had the honor of walking the picket line with Teamsters local 580 in Lansing.  I will not let labor fight the fight alone, and look forward to helping them again when needed.

I also had the privilege of helping the Occupy Movement in Lansing get their ground game started.  It was great to see the community come together, young and old, doing their part to save democracy.  The focus of social and economic justice is something that was in need of addressing, I am grateful to this group of young patriots for standing up and making the discussion take place.  I am proud to be part of the 99%.

As we came into December, I found myself in Washington D.C..  The time in D.C. was very productive for the campaign.  We have the BEST people in Progressive politics working for us there, they have become family.  The trip began with meetings and a meet and greet at Lake Research.  I was the guest of honor at this event, as was Sue Thorn who is running for Congress in WV-01.  It was great to meet Sue and the dignified guest from Labor and Progressive causes.  TeacherKen, I look forward to continuing our conversation.

Also, during this trip, I visited Mike’s office; twice. Both times Mike was UNAVAILABLE to talk with me, the constituent.  I was interested in talking to him about his “common sense” tax plan.  The same tax plan I received a mailer about, which had no concrete information on it about this plan, but the mailer was paid for at the tax payer expense.  It is good to see Mike is still campaigning on the tax payers dime.

As the year comes to an end, know that I am working diligently and will continue to work for you the people of MI-08 and this country.  I am thankful for all of you I have encountered; know you all make me a better person. Also, special thanks to Beth B. Laffy, George and Renee, Brainwrap, Joel, Phil, Joe and Kathy, Bus and Carol, JJ, my union Brothers and Sisters, and Mom; you are all family. I wish each and every one of you a Joyous Holiday Season and an outstanding 2012!

Please visit our website www.Lance2012.com.  We need you on our team in 2012!

I look forward to seeing you all in 2012, keep on keeping on!

Discuss

Greetings to the DailyKos community!

My first diary here hit my opponent, GOP incumbent Mike Rogers, hard on his inexplicable continuing desire to allow oil drilling in the Great Lakes (the largest supply of fresh water in the world) even after the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the Enbridge Energy spill here in Michigan's own Kalamazoo River. Drilling for oil in the Great Lakes would pose a clear and present danger to the health, safety and livelihood of millions of people, and could result in the destruction of untold ecosystems.

My second diarymoved on from the very large ways in which Rogers is helping destroy our nation and the environment to one of the smaller ways in which he's abusing the public trust.

I then posted a two-part diary on Mike Rogers' terrible track record on job creation.

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