I don't mean to disrespect the great work being done by Steve Singiser on Tuesday's primaries, but he's completely skipped over an important story here in Michigan that's quickly gaining traction elsewhere in the progressive blogosphere!
With only 2 days to go before the primary, and the extremely long odds of a write-in campaign winning, this story needs as much exposure as possible, as quickly as possible!
Below the fold, the backstory:
Blogging for Michigan: MI-08: 2 Days for the underdog race of the year! (just a repost of this diary)
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, 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. And here's the thing: Rogers won the seat in 2000 by just 111 votes, the closest Congressional election in Michigan's history, I believe. He's managed to win re-election easily in the following 4 races, mostly due to the Dems not fielding a serious candidate (exception: Jim Marcinkowski was an awesome candidate in 2006, but Dem resources were spread so thin picking up the low-hanging fruit in dozens of other races that he was tragically lost in the shuffle.
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.
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.
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 2 more days to get the word out about it.
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!
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.
P.S. Here's a pic of Lance, for what it's worth:
Update: Thanks for the Recs, everyone! I'm working on an update right now, but wanted to at least kill the "Rec Beg" in the title since, ya know, it worked...
I'll actually be offline for the rest of the afternoon so I won't be able to post any further updates/responses until early this evening, however, I'll be sure to do so when I can.
Also, I have jury duty all day tomorrow (Monday), so I won't just be offline, I won't even be able to follow the story since you can't bring cameraphones (read: my iPhone) into the courthouse. I'll be checking in/following up tomorrow evening, however, and of course on Tuesday (primary day itself).
Thanks again to everyone who's been helping out on this!
Update x2: Oh for heaven's sake...after all my griping about neither the Detroit News nor the Detroit Free Press even mentioning MI-08 (or only mentioning Kande, not Lance), I just discovered that the Oakland Press has screwed the story up in the reverse--they mention Lance's campaign, but they don't mention Kande at all, and state that Lance "WILL be on the ballot in November":
In the 8th district, one Republican and one Democrat filed as write-ins against U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Brighton.
Rogers’ district includes the Oakland County communities of Holly, Groveland, Rose, Springfield, Brandon, Independence, Oxford and Addison townships plus much of Orion Township. The district also includes all or parts of Livingston, Ingham, Shiawassee and Clinton counties.
Eric Harvey of Perry in Shiawassee County is the Republican who filed to run against Rogers in the Aug. 3 primary. The Democrat filed to run is Lance Enderle of East Lansing. He will appear on the November ballot.
Well, Oakland Press, I sure hope that statement proves to be true, but it doesn't help Lance one iota if your Democratic readers think that he's ALREADY WON and therefore don't bother to vote for him at all!!