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Democratic Rep. Gary Peters (MI)

Goal Thermometer

It almost feels like a bad dream at this point, but 2009 and 2010 were dark times to be a Democrat. Tea party furor, fueled by the provocateurs at FOX News, erupted in town halls all across the country, in a desperate attempt to derail the age-old progressive dream of health care reform. The cacophony intimidated many Democrats into caving and opposing the Affordable Care Act.

A few brave souls, however, did not succumb to the pressure, despite knowing that a vote in favor would likely cost them their seats in Congress. One of them was Rep. Gary Peters, who represented a swingy district in suburban Detroit that had supported Obama but had also voted for George W. Bush twice before. It was precisely the kind of turf where a freshman Democrat sticking his neck out for the president's signature priority would be putting his entire political career at risk.

But Peters did so anyway. The chance to extend health insurance to millions of people, and thousands of Michiganders, was too important to pass up, he said, no matter the consequences to him personally. And so, with everything on the line, he cast a vote for the law Republicans once derisively dubbed Obamacare. Then, an amazing thing happened.

Gary Peters won re-election—by a hair. That allowed him to continue his career, and put him in an ideal position to carry forward the Democratic mantle in Michigan after longtime Sen. Carl Levin announced his retirement last year.

But the Koch brothers haven't forgotten Peters' support for the ACA, something he's proudly backed ever since. That's why Republicans have already dumped over $6 million in negative ads—filled with lies and distortions—to try and stop him from keeping this seat blue. What's more, Peters' opponent, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, is the wealthiest candidate running for Senate anywhere in the nation and has self-funded her campaign to the tune of $3 million. She's tried to hide the extent of her fortune, but she has plenty more where that came from.

And the sad thing is, these well-financed lies have worked. During the winter, when Obamacare's disastrous rollout dominated the news, the Kochs pounced, driving down Peters' poll numbers. Fortunately, he's since rebounded thanks to his own aggressive ad campaign, but it's cost a lot of money—fighting back against bullshit isn't cheap.

That's why we need to help. Peters nearly lost thanks to the ACA once before. Given how successful the law's been, progressives absolutely cannot allow that to happen again. And with the Senate on the line, we need to take this seat entirely off the table for Republicans.

Peters is also with progressives on our top priorities, including comprehensive immigration reform, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and ending the filibuster once and for all—just check out his answers to our questionnaire. And he's here today at Netroots Nation in Detroit, where he spoke from the heart about the city's resurgence before introducing none other than Elizabeth Warren.

In short, Peters is someone we very, very much want to see in the Senate next year, to join folks like Chris Murphy, Tom Udall, and Jeff Merkley to steer the chamber in a more progressive direction. But it won't happen if we don't put our backs into it.

So please, chip in $3 to help elect a fearless progressive like Gary Peters to the Senate.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I actually met Gary Peters for the first time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, VirginiaBlue, hbk, bigrivergal

    at YearlyKos (as NN was called then) 2007 in Chicago. This was when he was thinking about his first Congressional run. I don't think he spoke at YK, but a bunch of the Michigan delegation went out to a nearby place to eat and talk politics. As I heard his conversation, I thought "Here is a guy who is going places."

    Still think the same!

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:40:01 AM PDT

  •  Michigan expatriate endorsement (6+ / 0-)

    As a born & raised Michigander, now living the expatriate life in NYC, I wholeheartedly endorse Gary Peters to fill the US Senate seat currently occupied by Carl Levin.  From what I can gather, Peters is precisely the sort of elected official that Michigan most urgently needs right now.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:43:20 AM PDT

  •  Gary is awesome! (5+ / 0-)

    I had him as my professor at Central Michigan a few years ago. He's amazing!

    Michigan, you're beautiful - but your politicians stink. You need a Schauer.

    by ScottyUrb on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:43:30 AM PDT

    •  He was my congressman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LakeSuperior, ScottyUrb

      for 4 years, and it's true, he is awesome! He's a great campaigner, and will continue MI's tradition of progressive senators (Hart, Levin, Stabenow). I predict he pulls out a lead and wins by 10 points (which would be huge for an open-seat election in MI).

      Born and raised in NJ-03, went to college in NJ-06, grad school in IN-04, now live in MI-09. Economic -6.12 Social -8.31 The Republicans turned me into a Democrat

      by Don K on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't "Go Red!" one of their college cries during (0+ / 0-)

    traumatic brain injury season?

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:53:40 AM PDT

  •  Twice voted for W? (0+ / 0-)

    Why exactly did you mention that?
    All I can think is that this makes him partially responsible for everything that has happened because of Bush's policies.
    Seems that someone who's proud of having traded votes would leave a tinge of purple in that Blue you want for Michigan.

  •  Peters is getting help from her GOP opponent. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShoshannaD, Amber6541, VirginiaBlue

    Of course, Congressman Peters is getting campaign help thanks to the missteps of his GOP opponent, former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land who is looking more and more like a Stepford wife and is out of step with women voters regarding women's issues.

    •  Land is an utter moron. Like Palin-level stupid (4+ / 0-)

      I find it hard to believe she was ever elected to statewide office. She's so bad her aides are literally afraid to let her face the press on her own.

      I had been curious as to why the GOP seemed so desperate to find someone other than her to run. Now I know.

      •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

        I'm guilty of having voted for her for Secretary of State once before back when I thought it made sense to have both Democrats and Republicans on the ballot, you know, for balance.  I also didn't know enough about her, to realize she was an idiot. IIRC, she promised to shorten the lines to get DLs and license plates renewed. That's about all she needed at the time.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          In fairness, she did improve operations in the SOS offices, but she is possessed of weapons-grade stupidity, as shown by her TV ads.

          Born and raised in NJ-03, went to college in NJ-06, grad school in IN-04, now live in MI-09. Economic -6.12 Social -8.31 The Republicans turned me into a Democrat

          by Don K on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 01:16:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Donated. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    This is a hell of a lot easier than trying to follow each candidate to figure out who currently needs it.  Keep endorsing, KOS.  Help me help America.  

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:02:35 AM PDT

  •  The one thing Peters needs to do is to (0+ / 0-)

    withdraw his co-sponsorship of H.R. 1154, the proposed BREATHE Act by Rep. Jared Polis.

    Because Jared Polis is incompetent at matters involving the Clean Air Act, he has crafted a bill that would precipitously de-regulate all current hydrogen sulfide emission limitations in all air quality permits and Clean Air Act implementation plans in all industrial sectors in the entire United States when EPA makes hydrogen sulfide a hazardous air pollutant.   This means that all such provisions affecting many emission sources become federally unenforceable and therefor eligible for removal from permits.

    This all is nothing less than an atrocity on the Clean Air Act because it reverses 40 years of progress in controlling hydrogen sulfide emissions under the CAA without having any replacement with new HAP control regulations which could take years to develop.  

    It took 22 years after mercury was designated as a HAP to put control regulations into effect.

    The BREATHE Act would render as federally unenforceable current hydrogen sulfide emission limitations affecting U.S. Steel on Zug Island and at the Marathon Detroit Refinery.  

    •  Secure the environment... that's missing (0+ / 0-)

      I'd like to thank you for bringing up The BREATHE Act - one I didn't know about but I'm certain to follow up on. I'm big on Environmental Justice issues, especially as they impact a number of friends and communities I work closely with.

      Peters did create the Petroleum Transparency Act in the midst of the piles showing up illegally on the banks of the Detroit River. However I've not seen how hard his push has been on that bill in the past year.

      One criticism I have is that it isn't broad enough. Kind of like wagging the tail of the dog. We need a PETROLEUM INDUSTRY Transparency Act. Something that reveals how each state handles every phase of the dirtiest energy source we have. If we don't have transparency and demand best practices then the industry will simply slide into whatever states offer them the least regulations.

      We have to move to clean energy and allowing big oil to keep playing dirty isn't going to work. Yes we aren't as deregulated as China - we also aren't gagging on pollution in many areas as a result. However there ARE AREAS THAT ARE EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS. This transparency act is to ensure locations across the country can find BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES are what their community is able to demand.

      I wish pollution was more prevalent in West Bloomfield so Mr Peters had more first hand experience. That's one area every representative needs to work on - listening to the people experiencing situations every day. Ask them what would be best rather than assuming you can figure it out.

      Stephen Boyle 2014 Green Party candidate US Congress MI-14

      by Fuzzytek on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:58:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vote out the Republicans who sold out Michigan (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans have reversed decades of progress with regressive and suppressive policies.  Witness how they privatized entire cities, overthrowing our democracy.  Witness how they busted our labor unions and sold us out to the global corporations overseas, where they dodge taxes.  
    Our only real choice now are the Democrats.  Vote out the Republicans by voting Democrat, and drive some progress.

  •  Excellent Diary. You convinced me to donate (0+ / 0-)

    it was that good.  Also this  

    One of them was Rep. Gary Peters, who represented a swingy district in suburban Detroit  
     gave me a good chuckle.   I pictured a 1960s swingers party with fondue and cheap leisure suits.  

    I'm what Willis is talking about.

    by pitbullgirl65 on Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 06:10:56 PM PDT

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