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Former Congressman Mark Schauer (D. MI) is taking an interesting step in his campaign for Governor:

I came across a Facebook post yesterday that made me look twice. It had a black background and the iconic Michigan mitten in the colors of the LGBT rainbow. The post was from Mark Schauer, the Democratic challenger to Michigan’s anti-equality governor, Rick Snyder. As a Michigander, this was a first for me. A candidate for state-wide office is looking to attract voters to his campaign by trumpeting the need to make Michigan the next state to go equal.


It has been common practice in Michigan, for Democratic candidates to be supportive of LGBT equality, but only if someone else brings up the subject. The way of the savvy politician here has always been to acknowledge your position pro or con and then move onto economic issues as quickly as possible. Move along. Nothing to see here. But Mark Schauer isn’t just announcing he’s gay-friendly, he is using marriage equality as a major issue in his campaign.

The link Mark posted on Facebook did not lead to the standard campaign donation page I expected to find. It led to a sign up “petition” for people who are pro-marriage equality. It’s a common way for politicians to gather email addresses for fundraising and to find dedicated campaign volunteers – Michiganders interested in an issues the campaign intends to highlight. The more someone cares about marriage equality, the harder they’ll work for a candidate who supports it.

The hidden message in that Facebook link, is that Mark Schauer plans on making Governor Rick Snyder’s anti-equality stance front and center as a campaign issue.

Mark Schauer was minority leader of the Michigan House, a member of the Michigan Senate, and his wife Christine is Calhoun County Treasurer. He is an experienced politician. Yet he seems to have made the political calculation that hearts and minds have changed since 2004, when a “DOMA” amendment was approved by Michigan voters. - The New Civil Rights Movement, 11/13/13

Schauer even has a whole section on website dedicated to equality and LGBT issues:

Michigan is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. But under Rick Snyder, many people – especially women and the LGBT community – are being left behind.

After promising to focus on our economic problems, Gov. Snyder has signed bills that banned domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples, and limited access to basic health care services for women. Gov. Snyder has also refused to support equal pay legislation, and his administration has opposed adoption cases for loving, committed same-sex couples.

Mark Schauer understands that in order to build a talented workforce and compete for good-paying jobs, Michigan needs to be a more welcoming and inclusive state. That’s why he fought to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and expand access to basic health care services and cancer screenings for women. As Governor, Mark will continue to defend women’s reproductive rights. He also supports legislation to strengthen the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act by protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination, and he supports marriage equality. Mark is committed to building a stronger Michigan for everyone.

We'll see how successful Schauer is in making marriage equality a reality.  But it's not like Schauer doesn't have enough ammunition to use against Snyder:

Democratic candidate for Michigan governor Mark Schauer has some thoughts on Governor Rick Snyder's relationship with seniors. Schauer says that he's been traveling the state to campaign early and campaign hard, and one thing he's repeatedly heard from seniors is that they don't like the pension tax.

Schauer, a former congressman, says that he met one man at an event in Atlanta, Michigan, who told him he's paying 16 hundred dollars more in taxes per year because of the pension tax. Schaur says the pension tax is just one thing that's been done under Snyder's administration that he thinks has pout Michigan on the wrong path. - WKZO, 11/12/13

Schauer isn't the only person that has beef with Snyder:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder addresses the media in his office in Detroit, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.  The governor said that he's at least a week away from deciding if Detroit needs an emergency manager to confront its $327 million budget deficit and $14 bill
A coalition of unions representing 35,000 state employees has launched an effort to highlight areas where Michigan government can be more efficient and improve services to citizens.

Leaders from the five unions say Republican Gov. Rick Snyder isn’t doing enough on that front and has ignored employees’ ideas.

“What’s missing in the governor’s administration is really the engagement of workers,” said Cindy Estrada, vice president of the United Auto Workers. “There are people at the top that think they have all of the answers, and that’s not how you’re going to drive efficiencies.”

The coalition’s “Pure Michigan Waste” campaign debuts a day before impasse hearings begin in Lansing between the five unions and the Office of the State Employer over disputes in negotiating the next collective bargaining agreements.

But Estrada — who spoke on behalf of UAW Local 6000, which represents 17,000 state workers — said the campaign is “separate and apart from the contract negotiations.”

“The goal of this campaign is to address two critical needs: improving services and saving Michigan taxpayers money,” Estrada said. - Lansing State Journal, 11/13/13

And activist groups are already  getting ready for next year's election:

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address at the State Capitol in Lansing. Angela J. Cesere
Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group closely aligned with labor unions, is launching a new online campaign that will focus on Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's alleged shortcomings in the lead-up to the 2014 election.

The "Snyder Fails" website and social media accounts, which went live Tuesday morning, will be frequently updated with content designed to engage Michigan residents with the governor's "right-wing agenda," according to Progress Michigan.

"Snyder has shown over his tenure that he favors giving handouts to big business, while leaving the scraps for working families," said Sam Inglot, a former Lansing City Pulse reporter who will serve as project director for the new campaign. "Snyder has failed Michigan as a leader."

The website will include original blog posts, multimedia and a "by the numbers" section promoted as an alternative to the governor's own metrics dashboards published on the state's website. - MLive, 11/12/13

Not to mention you haze the zombie known as the NERD Fund that just won't die:

Democrats are beating the drum that the governor talks a good game of transparency but they allege he ain’t walking the walk. And now the D’s have a chance to suggest the “disease” is catchy and Rich Baird has caught it.

Rich Baird, who is not supposed to be a household name, is quickly reaching celebrity status as the consummate inside-player in the Gov. Snyder inner circle.

For the ill-informed Mr. Baird took his pal Rick Snyder off the street and offered him a really neat job with a Detroit accounting firm. When Mr. Snyder traded the Mr. for Gov, he returned the favor and brought Mr. Baird into state government as a non-state employee paid with moola from the Nerd Fund.

Oh, that Rich Baird. - MLive, 11/14/13

With all this going on, it's no wonder Snyder is in for a big fight next year:

The contest for Michigan's governor's race may be closer than previously anticipated, according to a new poll.

While many polls this fall have given Gov. Rick Snyder (R) an eight-to-10 point lead over his presumed Democratic challenger, former Rep. Mark Schauer, new numbers from Inside Michigan Politics (IMP) suggest that neither candidate leads the race. IMP, a subscription-based statewide political newsletter, commissioned their own poll using both Republican and Democrat pollsters from Michigan, the Republican-affiliated Revsix of Pontiac, Mich. and Michigan Blueprint Strategies, a Democratic polling company in Lansing.

IMP/Revsix/Blueprint polled 794 likely Michigan voters and found Snyder, who was elected in 2010 with an 18-point margin, currently has a 2.8 percent lead over Schauer with voters. That puts Snyder's margin within the four percent estimated margin of error, and means, for all intents and purposes, the two candidates are statistically tied.

"It's almost a three-way race for a two-man contest," IMP proclaimed, given that 30 percent of Michigan voters told the pollsters they haven't decided which candidate should get their vote - Huffington Post, 11/8/13

Plenty of time between now and next year.  But if you would like to donate or get involved with Schauer's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, In Support of Labor and Unions, Milk Men And Women, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Motor City Kossacks, Michigan, My Michigan, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Waiting for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    usual suspects to chime in with "Michigan is too conservative for talk like that" etc.

  •  Thanks for the information and links. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, Sylv

    This report is encouraging, even tho it is still very early in the campaign season.

    Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

    by Amber6541 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:09:00 PM PST

  •  Has Schauer said anything about this (5+ / 0-)

    abortion coverage denial effort by the right to life nutcases?

    I think it is important for him to address that publicly now...before the legislature considers it.   I think he should say that Rick Snyder does not know how to lead his own party to support his policies....making him [Snyder] a weak leadership governor who does  not know how to control the majority of extremists in the Michigan republican party.

  •  Who is Schauer? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First time I have heard of the guy and I live in Michigan and am fairly active in politics.  Once again Michigan Democratic "leaders" choose a candidate who will get crushed in the election.  

    •  Former Rep from MI-07 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He lost in the 2010 Tea Party wave to Tim Walberg who he had beat in 2008.

      More background:

      Schauer, a Democrat, was previously a member of the Michigan Senate, where he served as the Minority Leader, and the Michigan House of Representatives. In each legislative body, he represented Battle Creek, Michigan and its surrounding region.
      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        So, the Michigan Democratic "Leadership" believes someone who lost to the Republican Tea Party and has been out of politics since 2010 is a prime candidate to challenge Snyder for governor?

        •  He's been very involved in politics just not as a (0+ / 0-)

          candidate. I'm not sure he's a great pick but he's been involved in other ways. From Wikipedia again:

          BlueGreen Alliance[edit]
          After leaving Congress, Schauer began working with BlueGreen Alliance, described in an interview as "a partnership of 10 unions and four environmental groups that is dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy."[31] In the same interview, Schauer noted that he had also been working with the Construction Laborers’ union on Michigan wind farm projects. Schauer stated that "[his] work is focused on jobs, jobs, jobs—that support families and sustain our communities."
          2012 labor protests[edit]
          On December 11, 2012, Schauer was one of an estimated 12,500 demonstrators[32] at the Michigan State Capitol protesting the proposed Right-to-work legislation. Labor activists and Democrats in the state legislature criticized the legislation as being "about union-busting and retribution for Proposal 2, a failed Nov. 6 labor-backed ballot initiative that would have barred a right-to-work law and enshrined collective bargaining in the state constitution," and suggested that it had been "fast-tracked" without proper discussion or debate.[33]
          During the protests, Schauer was among the demonstrators pepper sprayed by police. In a video interview conducted shortly after the incident, he characterized the protests as "a peaceful demonstration where people [were] exercising their First Amendment rights" in which demonstrators were not "touching the building or endangering the building in any way," and stated that the use of pepper spray was "not necessary."[34] When asked whether the incident would prompt him to run for elected office again, Schauer deflected the question, saying only, "I'm angry. What the legislature is doing is wrong, it's cowardly."

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