And before we take the jump, I just wanted to remind you again that you can contribute to candidates on this project by hitting this ActBlue page
And, because I get grief about not pimping my other series, here are the stories in The Basics Series...
New Republican Sales Pitch
DLC Democrats Sales Pitch
City on a Hill
The Napoleonic Strategies of the GOP
The Danger Called Howard Dean
AND A NOTE TO THE DCCC: Telling Michiganders that Reddies are good friends to the oil industry connotes that they are also good to the AUTO INDUSTRY and are good for the local economy. You MIGHT want to say that the reddies SEND JOBS OVERSEAS.
Sorry. I'm a little full of piss and vinegar today as you will see in some of the paragraphs below.
Still. DCCC. DUMB MOVE.
Anyway, here we go...
MI-1 - Northern lower Michigan and the U.P, eh. Our incumbent, Bart Stupak, won this seat with 66% of the vote, but Bush carried 53%. You'd figure the reddies would want to fight for this seat, but there is no Republican candidate for this district.
MI-1: Safe Blue
MI-2 - Western portion of the state including Muskegon and Holland. The reddie, Peter Hoekstra, won this district with 69% of the vote, or 9 better than W. Our guy is Kimon Kotos, a professional politician having worked for Al Gore, Mark Warner and Dennis Kucinich. This is a rematch of 2004 where Hoekstra beat Kotos by 40 points. Kotos points out that Hoekstra was 17 points down in the primary and he was 15 points up. While I find this disingenuous and a bad barometer of political changes in the district, even so, it puts him down 8 points. I just don't see Western Michigan going for this kind of Democrat. I see it going for lots of others. I think Bill Winter would just dominate the scene. But not this guy.
MI-2: Safe Red
MI-3 - West central portion of the state including Grand Rapids. The red incumbent, Vernon Ehlers, won this one last time with 67% of the vote, or 8 better than W. Our guy is Jim Rinck, a lawyer who has won an award for outstanding pro bono work. I don't know why he is advertising that some 20 years ago, he was an Eagle Scout, maybe that's a big thing, and being a lesbian, I just don't know it. But he's also talking about his six varsity letters. I don't know. If you have to work so hard to say you're not a dweeb, maybe you shouldn't be working so hard. Also, maybe a color picture instead of one where you looklike a dead fish, might not hurt anything. I don't get this guy. Dig this.
MI-3: If I were in this district, I'd vote Republican.
MI-4 - North central portion of the state including Traverse City. The red incumbent, Dave Camp, won this district with 64%, besting W by 9. Our guy is Mike Huckleberry, a restauranteur and small businessman turned community activist to help save a town when Electrolux announced it was axing 2700 jobs to move to Mexico. He's running on jobs, jobs, jobs. Here's a quote from his website
"I never had any desire to be a politician. But I couldn't believe our great nation would fall from good to so bad and so fast," Huckleberry explained while filling trays of water pitchers and cleaning tables at his busy restaurant. "Our country's policies are hurting workers, farmers and small business owners. This downslide will only end when we elect people that have the courage to stand up for America and American workers."Don't you want to roll up your sleeves and help the guy? We'll see how well "jobs, jobs, jobs" plays in Traverse City. If some plant closes, Huckleberry's in. If not, I think it's going to Camp. Regardless, if you have an extra dollar hanging around doing nothing, give it to Huck.
MI-4: Safe Red
MI-5 - East portion of the state including Flint and Saginaw. Our incumbent took this seat with 67% of the vote, beating Kerry by 8. This is a strong Union town, and it's going to have a predisposition to blueness. Running against him is the Pro-Life Certified Eric Klammer, a heating and cooling engineer and auto hobbyist. He plays trombone and tuba and a believer in rugged individualism who understands family issues. Gak. I can't do this anymore.
MI-5: Safe Blue
MI-6 - The Southwest corner of the state extending to Kalamazoo, most importantly, Coloma and its new McDonalds, well, it's not so new anymore, but, you get the picture. The red incumbent, Fred Upton, won this district with 65% of the vote, but it's a lot more blue than that, as Kerry did 46%, and would probably have done better if he had gone to the Blueberry Festival. Our guy is Kim Clark, and, truth to tell, I don't get him either. I don't know if he's gay. He and his male partner (with an incredibly Jewish name) run a theatre. Now I have nothing against Jewish gay people, being one such person myself, but this guy goes on about his Christian (and let's go there, Fundamentalist) bona fides, as is an ordained minister and he has a degree in Christian Education from the Moody Bible Institute. I mean, ok, he's got another degree from Loyola and he teaches at DePaul. "But isn't that Chicago?", I hear you ask. Why yes. Yes it is. This guy exudes Chicago. He was an Assistant Vice President in Chicago's Cosmopolitan National Bank. I mean the word "Cosmopolitan" isn't bad enough without sticking the word "Chicago" in front of it? If this guy was running in Ann Arbor, ok. But they do ox roasts in Lawrence. It's a big thing out there. In all of PawPaw, we couldn't get a hunter or a farmer or a guy who works in a factory or runs a hardware store? No. Don't get me wrong. Kim's a great guy. He should be running for Lipinski's seat in IL-3. But MI-6? NFW.
MI-6: OH SO SAFE RED
MI-7 - South central portion of the state, including Jackson. The red incumbent, Joe Schwarz won this seat last time with 58% of the vote, or 4 better than W, but was beat in a messy and expensive primary by an uberreddie named Tim Walberg who rallied support from the Club for Growth and the Right to Life crowd. CQ Politics says that it's so clear he's going to go all the way he should just start packing his bags now. Our gal is Sharon Renier, an organic farmer and Executive Director for the Great Lakes Bioregional Land Conservancy, Vice President of the Organic Crop Improvement Association and other organic foods groups. She was invited by USAid as their keynote speaker at the First Annual Organic Coffee Producers meeting in San Salvador. She was also a paralegal for quite some time working for the University of Michigan, Chrysler, and Michigan's largest law firm. Both Renier and Walberg won their primaries with 53% of the vote. Renier in a four-way race, Walberg in a two-way race. But Walberg won in a way to be sure to alienate moderates and social liberals. I hope so, because if it comes down to dollars, she's already in the red.
MI-7: Might be interesting. Might be just depressing. Hard to tell.
MI-8 - Middle portion of the state including Lansing. The incumbent, Mike Rogers, won this last time around with 61%, in a 54/46 red district. With Bush's decline, we're probably looking at the same numbers but our way. Our guy, Jim Marcinkowski, served in the FBI, the Navy and finally the CIA, where he was a classmate of Valerie Plame. Jim joined two other former CIA agents in testifying at a Senate Hearing on the serious consequences of the leak. After leaving the CIA, he joined the Prosecutor's Office in Oakland County, establishing the first special prosecution unit for domestic violence in Michign. He's an A+ candidate and he's getting no attention from Rahm and the gang. CQ marks this as our best pick up opporunity in the state. Let's do it!
MI-8: If we want it, we're gonna have to get this guy's back.
MI-9 - Suburban Detroit, mostly Oakland County. The red incumbent, Joe Knollenberg, won this seat with 58%, but it was a 50/49 district for Bush. CNN called it "the real battleground" in 2000 as a confluence of affluence and liberalism. With Ws popularity going down, this can't help but move the district more blue, which is all to the good, because we have a great candidate here in the incredibly media-savvy Nancy Skinner, local radio show host later syndicated to over 400 stations, and a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Nancy's kind of a hands-on type. Here's an example:
After witnessing first-hand the devastation of natural disasters and dangerous environmental practices that were previously unquestioned, Nancy persuaded the White House to assemble a team of ten federal agencies, and the nations' leading architects and engineers, to prevent future tragedies. She did this by rebuilding two entire towns away from the floodplain using the principles of sustainable development.Pretty slick. She's within 4, the incumbent a has 35% approval rating. If the difference comes down to dollars, Joe's got 12x her money. We'll see.
MI-10 - The thumb of Michigan's mitten including Port Huron and the northern portion of Macomb County. The red incumbent, Candice Miller won this one with 69%, a whopping 13% higher than W. Our guy is Robert Denison, a Labor Union Organizer and Democratic Activist. My gut says that the Union is going to turn out in force on this one and that they're just going to carry the day.
MI-10: Solidarity forever, the Union makes this Blue.
MI-11 - Suburban Detroit, including Novi and Livonia. It's kinda hard to describe this area except that it always reminded me of Schaumburg. The red incumbent Thaddeus McCotter, won this with 57%, although it's a lot more purple than that as Kerry had 47%. Our guy is Tony Trupiano, formerly a nationally syndicated radio show host, where he is considered to be the Voice of the Middle Class, school teacher and small business owner. I'm going to point you to lizah's diary where she'll tell you why you should support Tony. Me, I think it was a 53/47 district last time with Ws numbers tanking, those numbers are probably right but this time they're favoring us. The right candidate can take the 11th.
MI-12 - Suburban Detroit, including Southfield and Warren. Our incumbent, Sander Levin, won this with 69%. They're not even trying on this one. No Republican candidate is contesting this seat.
MI-12: Safe Blue
MI-13 - Detroit, baby. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick won this district last time with 78%, but Kerry beat her by 2. No Republican candidate here. Move along.
MI-13: Safe Blue
MI-14 - Detroit, Hamtramack and parts of Dearborn. Our guy, John Conyers, won this with 84%, a mere 2% better than John Kerry. I don't understand why the reddies contest MI-14 but not MI-1. Whatever. Chad Miles is their guy and he's very full of righteous indignation that John Conyers is, well, John Conyers. He served two tours over the course of seven years, earning the rank of Sergeant, and points us to http://www.whoserved.com, which, of course, tells us that Conyers served in the Army and reserves and stuff between 1948-1957. Maybe my math is wrong, but it seems to me that nine years is longer than seven years. Maybe it was so long ago that he figures people have forgotten, like they might have forgotten the award that Conyers got from that Martin Luther King guy. Or not. I'm thinking not.
MI-14: Safe Blue
MI-15 - Southeast portion of the State, including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and parts of Dearborn. This is an incredibly liberal area, and our guy, John Dingell, carried it with 71%, or 10 better than Kerry. The sacrificial lamb the reddies are putting up is F. Vincent Vernuccio, a second year law student working for Lexis/Nexus (who clearly sees me writing about him here. Hi Vinnie!). I admire a kid, still in law school, who is running for Congress, I really do, it takes gumption, as that's not a word I get to use a lot. And Vinnie, as his website calls him, is a good-looking obviously intelligent guy and preternaturally driven guy. I just don't know how a kid that young got enough KoolAid in him to be that Republican. Maybe some nice Democrat out there can, like, I dunno, take him out on a date or something, maybe dinner and a movie, and talk slowly about how tor.ture.is.bad.
MI-15: Safe Blue - but this Vinnie kid is going to be something to reckon with in years to come.