NOTE: Please Rec!! As you'll see if you follow StrandedWind, this is about to turn into a significant story!
I'm listening to a conference bridge right now with Lance Enderle, Ministry of Truth, and Karoli from Crooks & Liars.
GottaLaff from Political Carnival is aware and will catch up on the details tomorrow and I think Sandi Behrns, who just got a slot on Alan Colmes' blog, will be interested, too.
Markos and Aravosis were contacted but they're busy at the moment.
I'd say given the people looking this story will get the visibility it needs. Good job, Brainwrap, for being update 0 on this problem.
Now, MI-08 is outside of the metro Detroit area , but it does include parts of northern Oakland County as well, and it is, you know, a race for the United States Congress. They have no problem running detailed articles about the race to replace Bart Stupak in MI-01, and that's way at the opposite end of the state. With the primary coming up this coming Tuesday, you'd think that there would be some sort of mention of the race in the major Michigan newspapers, wouldn't you? The Detroit Free Press? The Detroit News?
Well, let's take a look. First up, the Detroit Free Press:
Lessee...they make endorsements in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th districts. The 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 11th districts get no mention whatsoever. Not an endorsement, not even a mention of which candidates are running.
Now, I have no clue what the situation is in the other 4 districts that get passed over, but here in the 8th we have a rather unique situation, in that the only Democrat listed on the ballot is, effectively A PHANTOM.
That's right--Kande Ngalamulume very publicly dropped out of the race a week AFTER the filing deadline, and then left Michigan--but refuses (so far) to register his residency in another state. The result of this is that unless Lance Enderle is successful in his write-in campaign, there won't be ANY actual living, breathing, flesh & blood Democratic candidate on the ballot in MI-08 in November.
While write-in campaigns are generally considered a joke a the Congressional level, this one is rather different. Lance has a small staff and a smaller budget, but he's been pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, shaking hands and talking to people one-on-one and at district Democratic club meetings. He's been doing radio interviews, handing out flyers and basically working his ass off to try and make sure that someone is there in November to stand up to Mike "Let's Drill in the Great Lakes!" Rogers, the GOP incumbent who's been embarrassing the district for the past 9 years.
How about the Detroit News?
OK, this is a little better--they at least mention the 8th district. Unfortunately, in some ways this is even worse, since it's highly misleading:
8th District: Seat: Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, is finishing his fifth term.
Behind the ballot: In November, he'll face Democrat Kande Ngalamulume, a business analyst whose family emigrated from Zaire when he was a child, and Rogers is expected to win another term.
That's it. They don't mention ANYTHING about Ngalamulume dropping out of the race and skipping town, nor is there even a footnote about Enderle or the messy situation that this leaves the district in.
Then, of course, there's the News' list of endorsements, where they once again fail to mention the 8th at all.
This is not a normal situation, this is no normal write-in campaign, and the Free Press and News should be ashamed of themselves for not at least mentioning the race.
Full disclosure: While I'm working at a substantial discount, I am still being paid. Mostly, however, I'm just upset at the mess caused by Kande's withdrawl and am trying to help salvage the situation.
Update: Per request, I'm reposting the backstory on the MI-08 brouhaha:
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. He's basically a total jackass.
As far as I can tell, 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.
Cut to the 2010 campaign.
Earlier this year, a 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 agains 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. The 8th District Dems are in a pickle.
However, there is one more way out of this pickle, 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 few 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 3 days to get the word out about it.
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.
THE LATEST TWIST:
And now, we come to the AP article printed a couple of days ago. The key passage (emphasis mine):
For his part, Ngalamulume says he just wants to see a Democrat representing the 8th District.
"I want Mike Rogers out of office. However that happens, I'm for it," he said Wednesday.
However, Ngalamulume says if he wins the primary, doesn't move out of state and donors begin lining up, he'd be willing to resurrect the campaign in the fall.
Um...look, I'm trying to keep this as professional as possible, so I'll just say...gee, that's mighty big of you, Mr. Ngalamulume.
Meanwhile, I'd like to invite you to learn more about Lance Enderle, 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!