Recently there was a front-page diary about how the teabagger GOP Senate candidate running against Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, is openly calling for drilling for oil in the Great Lakes, even in the middle of the worst environmental disaster in the nations' history.
Well, guess what? Johnson isn't alone in this asinine idea. In Michigan's 8th district, Mike Rogers, the incumbent GOP Congressman who actually tried to blaming Pres. Obama for Gen. McChrystal's insults in Rolling Stone, was responsible for the gutting of a ban on drilling in the Great Lakes 5 years ago:
Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) offered an amendment that would have permanently banned oil and gas drilling in and under the Great Lakes...
Unfortunately, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) undermined that amendment in favor of a watered-down version that rendered the Stupak amendment meaningless.
“We need a hard and fast rule that says at no place or time should the drilling for oil and gas in and under the Great Lakes be allowed,” Stupak said. “However, just like the Republicans did with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Mike Rogers has opened the door for drilling and the destruction of the Great Lakes.”
In a procedural maneuver, Rogers amended the Stupak amendment thereby removing the meat of Stupak’s amendment.
Now, Rogers isn't a star in the GOP. As far as I can tell, he's very good at raising money and getting re-elected, and not much else. He's a rubber stamp for the GOP, but boy is he good at keeping his seat.
This, of course, is where Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy kicks in, right? DON'T CEDE ANY DISTRICT TO THE REPUBLICANS; run a candidate everywhere, no matter how long the odds. At worst, you'll at least make sure to get the Democratic message out and force the GOP incumbent to stick around their district and spend a few bucks out of their war chest. At best, the incumbent will be caught with their pants down (either figuratively or, more likely, literally), and voila, you pick up the seat after all!
Cut to the 2010 campaign.
Earlier this year, a young guy named Kande Ngalamulume decided to take a shot. Unfortunately, after finding a lack of financial support, he dropped out of the race on June 2--in a very public manner (via email press release), several weeks after the filing deadline. According to the local press, he then left the state.
Since he waited until after the filing deadline to drop out, and was the only one to file, his name will remain on the August 3rd ballot and, presumably, the November general election ballot anyway unless either dies or registers to vote in a different state--and so far, he hasn't filed elsewhere. If he does, then the 8th District Dems can legally challenge his name being on the ballot and could scramble to get someone else to replace him, but otherwise, they're in a bind. Rogers now has a completely uncontested race, and is free to roam around the state, raising money for whoever the GOP has running against Democratic freshmen Mark Schauer (MI-07) and Gary Peters (MI-09), or turning over a chunk of his million-dollar war chest to the RNC, or whatever he likes. A GOP seat is now 100% safe, 2 Democratic seats are further threatened, and the 8th District Dems are in a pickle.
However, there is one more way out of this pickle: If someone runs as a write-in candidate against Kande Ngalamulume in the Democratic primary and wins, the problem is resolved. Yes, they'd still face the longest of odds against Rogers in November, but at least they'd be doing the yeoman's job of keeping Rogers distracted, preventing him from helping the GOP out too much, and saving some face for the local party. Plus, with enough support, he might even pull off the improbable.
Which brings me to the point of this diary:
Lance is a government school teacher (he was laid off last year; don't get me started about the state budget cuts by the GOP-controlled Michigan State Senate). He also happens to be a pro-choice, progressive Democrat, who was very active in Democratic politics in the '90's up north (He worked for Bart Stupak for a number of years; say what you will about Stupak, but aside from his recent HCR/Abortion debacle, he's been a pretty solid Dem on most of the other important issues). He got burnt out and got out of the political game 10 years ago...until a couple of weeks ago.
Lance decided that he was so pissed off about the thought of Mike Rogers getting a free ride that he's going to attempt the
impossible improbable: He filed to run for U.S. Congress as a write-in Democrat.
His primary goal (pun intended) is to at least win the nomination. While stopping there would normally be pretty meaningless, given the unique circumstances at hand, this would be huge.
The bad news, of course, is that not only does he have to get more votes than the only name actually on the ballot on Aug. 3rd; not only does he have to hope that the voters of the district know how to spell his name; but he also only has 15 days to get the word out about it.
The good news (I hope) is that he has you...and me! I got in touch with Lance after hearing about him jumping into the ring and he's brought me on board to handle his campaign website from top to bottom.
Now, I know what you're saying: This guy doesn't have a chance in hell. OK, probably, but if you'd told me on September 12, 2001 that the next President elected--with more votes than any other candidate in history, I might add--would be a black Democrat named Barack Hussein Obama, I'd have said you were nuts.
Alright, hyperbole and wishful thinking aside, Mike Rogers remains a total jackass. At the very least I think it's worth a shot. Besides, look what happened to Mark Foley--a 12-year incumbent in a 65%+ Republican district. Then he gets caught sending porn messages to underage boys and voila! We have an extra Democrat in Congress! (Yeah, that guy turned out to be kind of a jerk as well, but you get my point; anything can happen in a political campaign, but if you don't have someone running, you have no chance of picking up the pieces).
Here's some articles/interviews about Lance:
Candidate against Rogers emerges
Post-Kande options open for local Dems
Teacher fills Dems' void in House race
Radio interview with Lance on City Pulse Live (his segment starts appx. 15 min into show)
Radio Interview on A.M. Lansing (direct link to MP3)
So, with all of this in mind, I'd like to invite you to learn more about Lance, more about his campaign, and perhaps (of course) to pony up a few bucks for the underdog race of the year:
If you can't donate money, please at least rec this up to help spread the word, Thanks!
Full disclosure: While I'm working for far less than my normal rates, I am still being modestly paid. Mostly, however, I'm just pissed at the mess caused by Kande's withdrawl and am trying to help salvage the situation.